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Optician Salary

Median pay for Opticians in the United States is around $14.80 per hour. Total cash compensation to Opticians bottoms out near $22K and approaches $49K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $4K from bonuses and almost $5K from profit sharing. While career duration and the particular employer impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. The majority of Opticians claim high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, a little less than half have medical insurance and one-fourth receive dental plans. Female Opticians make up most of the survey respondents at 77 percent. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$25,886 - $57,322
(Median)
$26K
$39K
$57K
MEDIAN: $39,111
10%
50%
90%

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$10.07 - $20.95
(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
$25,886 - $57,322  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,989  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $5,000  
Commission
$0.00 - $6,504  
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).
)
$21,689 - $48,630  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 361
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
$10.07 - $20.95  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.70 - $6.06  
Overtime
$12.80 - $30.96  
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 - $3,989  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $6,504  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $5,000  
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).
)
$21,689 - $48,630  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,872

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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 $93K per year. 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 U.S. Vision, Inc. are all popular places to work. Although Visionworks heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $35K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $20K to $49K. Opticians can also look forward to large paychecks at National Vision, Inc. ($35K), LensCrafters Inc. ($35K), and Sears Optical ($31K).

Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Wal-Mart Stores, Inc ($25K), Shopko Eyecare Center ($26K), and Eye Care Center ($28K).

Popular Skills for Optician


Opticians report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Sales Management, optician, Sales, and Billing are correlated to pay that is above average. It is often found that people who know Customer Service are also skilled 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. The average beginner in this position makes around $26K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $32K. For Opticians, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $36K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $40K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Opticians in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 46 percent above the national average. Opticians will also find cushy salaries in New York (+29 percent), Orlando (+25 percent), San Diego (+17 percent), and Philadelphia (+12 percent). Opticians in Indianapolis report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 20 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include San Antonio (15 percent lower) and Houston (13 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Optician Salaries



National Average
$32,000



Skills That Affect Optician Salaries

Sales Management
up arrow 19%

optician
up arrow 15%

Sales
up arrow 1%

Customer Service
0%

Optometry
0%

Billing
0%

National Average
$32,000

Insurance
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 386 votes.

Gender

Female
77 %
Male
23 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

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