Optician Salary

Earnings for Opticians in the United States come in at around $14.78 per hour on average. With bonuses occasionally running north of $4K, profit sharing proceeds sometimes surpassing $5K, and a few commissions as high as $7K, total income for Opticians can range between $22K and $49K according to individual performance. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geographic location, but tenure and the particular employer are influential factors as well. While some workers in this profession — over a third — do not have any health coverage, about one-half do receive medical benefits and approximately one-fourth have dental insurance. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Opticians making up 78 percent. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$25,861 - $58,183
(Median)
$26K
$39K
$58K
MEDIAN: $39,147
10%
50%
90%

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$10.08 - $20.80
(Median)
$10
$15
$21
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$25,861 - $58,183  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,057  
Profit Sharing
$204.26 - $4,894  
Commission
$0.00 - $6,569  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,645 - $48,713  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 407
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$10.08 - $20.80  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.70 - $6.06  
Overtime
$13.31 - $30.88  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,057  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $6,569  
Profit Sharing
$204.26 - $4,894  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,645 - $48,713  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,093
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Job Description for Optician

Opticians assist customers who require vision tests, prescriptions, repairs, and, in some cases, minor eye surgery; essentially, they helps customers determine which prescription they require and assist with any other questions or needs that they may have. Opticians use a piece of equipment called an phoropter to measure the depth of vision that each customer has, and then they are able to determine exactly which prescription the customer needs. Other equipment is also used, including a tonometer, which injects a small amount of air pressure into the eyeball to test for glaucoma. All opticians should be familiar with this equipment, and some may also be able to operate laser surgery machines for outpatient correction procedures.

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Optician Tasks

  • Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames.
  • Measure patient for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames and optical prescription.
  • Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses for patient according to written optical prescription.
  • Adjust frame and lens position to fit patient.

Common Career Paths for Optician


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Opticians who transition into an Optometrist role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $94K per year. An Optician may also move into a role as a Dispensing Optician or a Certified Optician.

Optician Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Optician


Opticians fill the offices of leading firms Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, LensCrafters Inc., Visionworks, Pearle Vision Center, and U.S. Vision, Inc. Opticians seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Visionworks, where the median salary comes to $35K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($22K) and those starting out ($47K) creates a rather diverse pay scale. Other leaders in compensation levels are LensCrafters Inc. at $35K, U.S. Vision, Inc. at $32K, and Sam's Club, where Opticians annually earn $31K.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc offers the lowest pay, with a median salary of just $25K. The pay scale doesn't vary widely, either; compensation ranges from $19K to $42K. A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Shopko Eyecare Center ($26K), Texas State Optical ($27K), and Eye Care Center ($28K).

Popular Skills for Optician


Opticians report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Sales Management, optician, certified optician, and Sales are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people familiar with Customer Service also know Insurance.

Pay by Experience Level for Optician

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $27K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $32K. Opticians bring in $36K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $40K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


For Opticians, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 52 percent greater than the national average. Opticians can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+38 percent), New York (+35 percent), San Diego (+26 percent), and Denver (+13 percent). Falling short of the national average by 19 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Indianapolis. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Houston (11 percent lower) and Chicago (9 percent lower).

Optician Reviews

What is it like working as an Optician?

Optician in Gary:
"Work Flexibility."
Pros: I like that I work a typical 9-5 Monday through Friday schedule. There are NO nights and rare weekends. This is a great "mom" schedule.
Cons: No benefits, not much above minimum wage, everybody does the work of two people, no room for growth/raises, asked to do jobs outside your experience level or area of training.

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Experience Affects Optician Salaries



National Average
$32,000



Skills That Affect Optician Salaries

Sales Management
up arrow 19%

optician
up arrow 16%

certified optician
up arrow 2%

Sales
0%

National Average
$32,000

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Insurance
up arrow 1%

Billing
up arrow 1%

Optometry
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 392 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 48% dental benefits Dental: 26%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 38%
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