Optician Salary

Opticians in the United States pull down an average of $14.89 per hour. Overall cash earnings for Opticians stretch from $22K on the lower end to $49K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $4K from bonuses and $3K from profit sharing. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by geography and years of experience. Although nearly one-half have medical coverage and nearly one in four have dental coverage, over a third claim no health benefits at all. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Female Opticians make up most of the survey respondents at 77 percent. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,657 - $58,541
(Median)
$26K
$39K
$59K
MEDIAN: $39,388
10%
50%
90%

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$10.19 - $21.23
(Median)
$10
$15
$21
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$25,657 - $58,541  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,123  
Profit Sharing
$290.87 - $3,488  
Commission
$0.00 - $6,465  
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).
)
$22,042 - $49,328  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 495
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$10.19 - $21.23  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.67 - $6.38  
Overtime
$13.38 - $31.22  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,123  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $6,465  
Profit Sharing
$290.87 - $3,488  
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).
)
$22,042 - $49,328  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,597
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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 progress into high-paying roles like Optometrist, where median compensation is $95K annually. It is not uncommon for an Optician to continue on to become a Dispensing Optician or a Certified Optician.

Optician Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Optician


Opticians flock to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, LensCrafters Inc., Visionworks, Pearle Vision Center, and National Vision, Inc., highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Kaiser Permanente leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $52K. Other leaders in compensation levels are LensCrafters Inc. at $36K, U.S. Vision, Inc. at $35K, and Visionworks, where Opticians annually earn $35K.

Considering that the median salary at National Vision, Inc. is a shallow $24K, it is not surprising that this employer ranks last in compensation relative to (and far behind) other companies in the same line of work — their median pay is less than half of the top paying company's rate. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Shopko Eyecare Center at $25K, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc where $25K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Opticians there earn up to $41K.

Popular Skills for Optician


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Sales Management, Office Management, and Troubleshooting are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 28 percent, 22 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Inventory Management and Customer Relations. Those educated in Customer Service tend to be well versed in Insurance.

Pay by Experience Level for Optician

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


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $27K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $32K. On average, Opticians make $36K following one to two decades on the job. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $41K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $32,518

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Opticians, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 50 percent above the national average. Opticians can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+31 percent), Orlando (+29 percent), San Diego (+16 percent), and Portland (+15 percent). Falling short of the national average by 18 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Indianapolis. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Chicago (10 percent lower) and San Antonio (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
$33,000


Skills That Affect Optician Salaries

Sales Management
up arrow 28%

Office Management
up arrow 22%

optician
up arrow 18%

Troubleshooting
up arrow 18%

Medicaid & Medicare Billing
up arrow 2%

edging
up arrow 2%

certified optician
up arrow 1%

Sales
0%

National Average
$33,000

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Billing
up arrow 1%

dispensing
up arrow 1%

Insurance
up arrow 2%

Optometry
up arrow 2%

Customer Relations
up arrow 4%

Inventory Management
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 447 votes.

Gender

Female
77 %
Male
23 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 48%
dental benefits
Dental: 27%
medical benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 38%
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