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Optician Salary (United States)

The average Optician in the United States earns approximately $14.62 per hour. Overall incomes of Opticians — including $3K bonuses, $5K profit sharing proceeds, and $6K commissions on the more lucrative end — generally ranges between $21K and $48K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length and the specific company. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Opticians. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Opticians making up 77 percent. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, slightly less than one-half have medical insurance and one in four receive dental plans. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Optician Salary (?
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.
)
$25,967 - $57,111
(Median)
26K
31K
39K
46K
57K
MEDIAN: $38,995
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Optician Salary (?
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.
)
$9.95 - $20.82
(Median)
10
12
15
18
21
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$25,967 - $57,111  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,132  
Profit Sharing
$193.92 - $5,152  
Commission
$0.00 - $6,167  
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).
)
$21,407 - $48,085  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 325
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
$9.95 - $20.82  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.25 - $6.16  
Overtime
$12.23 - $30.94  
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 - $3,132  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $6,167  
Profit Sharing
$193.92 - $5,152  
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).
)
$21,407 - $48,085  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,681
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Years in Field/Career:
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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 may experience if they take an upper-level role like Optometrist. The position pays an average $93K annually. Becoming a Dispensing Optician or a Certified Optician is a common transition from an Optician role.

Optician Job Listings

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job title / company
location

Popular Employer Salaries for Optician

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, LensCrafters Inc., Visionworks, Pearle Vision Center, and U.S. Vision, Inc. are top-notch employers for Opticians in this area. Employees of National Vision, Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $35K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $20K to $63K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include LensCrafters Inc., Visionworks, and U.S. Vision, Inc., where Opticians typically earn around $34K, $32K, or $30K, respectively.
Offering only $25K on average, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc seems to pay the least. Moreover, the pay scale seems pretty narrow there; employees make $19K on the lower end and $42K on the higher end. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Texas State Optical at $27K, Shopko Eyecare Center at $27K, and Eye Care Center, where $28K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Optician

Survey results suggest that Opticians put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, facility with Sales Management and optician are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 20 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Those familiar with Customer Service also tend to know Insurance.

Pay by Experience Level for Optician

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Opticians generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $26K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $32K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $36K in this role. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $40K.

Pay Difference By Location

San Francisco
up arrow 42%
Seattle
up arrow 41%
up arrow 28%
Orlando
up arrow 26%
San Diego
up arrow 17%
Philadelphia
up arrow 13%
Denver
up arrow 12%
St. Louis
up arrow 5%
National Average
$32,000
Columbus
up arrow 3%
up arrow 5%
up arrow 9%
up arrow 13%
Indianapolis
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Opticians, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Opticians will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+41 percent), New York (+28 percent), Orlando (+26 percent), and San Diego (+17 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 17 percent south of the national average, can be found in San Antonio. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Indianapolis (15 percent less) and Houston (13 percent less).

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.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Optician Salaries

National Average
$32,000

Skills That Affect Optician Salaries

Sales Management
up arrow 20%
optician
up arrow 13%
Sales
up arrow 2%
Customer Service
up arrow 1%
Insurance
0%
Optometry
0%
Billing
0%
National Average
$32,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 356 votes.

Gender

Female
77%
female alumni
 
Male
23%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
24%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 47% dental benefits Dental: 26%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 38%