Optician Salary

Pay for Opticians in the United States sits in the ballpark of $14.89 per hour. In the world of Opticians, total cash compensation can vary between $22K and $49K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $4K and $3K, respectively. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the particular firm, though the particular city and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. While more than a third report receiving no health benefits, close to one-half do receive medical coverage, and close to one-fourth have dental, as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Female Opticians make up most of the survey respondents at 77 percent. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took 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 experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Optometrist. The latter position pays an average of $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


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, LensCrafters Inc., Visionworks, Pearle Vision Center, and National Vision, Inc. are top-notch employers for Opticians in this area. For Opticians, comfortable salaries can be found at Kaiser Permanente; in fact, median earnings sit around $52K, the highest in the area. Other big spenders include LensCrafters Inc., U.S. Vision, Inc., and Visionworks, top-paying firms where Opticians see paychecks nearing $36K, $35K, or $35K.

National Vision, Inc. employees cannot expect much in terms of compensation — the median salary amounts to only $24K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Other low-paying employers include Shopko Eyecare Center at $25K and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc at $25K, though 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 pay less than market rate include Inventory Management and Customer Relations. The majority of those who know Customer Service also know Insurance.

Pay by Experience Level for Optician

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


Opticians with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $27K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $32K. Opticians claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $36K. Opticians who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $41K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $32,518

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

For Opticians, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 50 percent greater than the national average. Opticians will also find cushy salaries in New York (+31 percent), Orlando (+29 percent), San Diego (+16 percent), and Portland (+15 percent). With compensation 18 percent below the national average, Indianapolis is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in 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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