Optician Salary

Earnings for Opticians in the United States come in at around $15.10 per hour on average. Total cash compensation for Opticians runs from $23K to $51K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $5K and profit sharing that can reach almost $4K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the company, followed by career length and geographic location. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — two in five lack coverage. On the flip side, just under a half have medical insurance and slightly less than a third receive dental plans. Female Opticians make up most of the survey respondents at 78 percent. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$28,317 - $61,231
$28K
$41K
$61K
MEDIAN: $41,382
10%
50%
90%

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$10.72 - $22.56
$11
$15
$23
MEDIAN: $15.15
10%
50%
90%

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$0$61K
Salary $28,317 - $61,231
Bonus $303.04 - $5,366
Profit Sharing $154.56 - $4,203
Commission $503 - $8,047
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).
)
$23,106 - $51,327
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 15 Oct 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 339
Hourly Data $0$34
Hourly Rate $10.72 - $22.56
Hourly Tips $0.00 - $5.00
Overtime $15.62 - $34.72
Annual Data $0$51K
Bonus $303.04 - $5,366
Commission $503 - $8,047
Profit Sharing $154.56 - $4,203
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).
)
$23,106 - $51,327
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 15 Oct 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 2,332

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

  • Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses for patient according to written optical prescription.
  • Adjust frame and lens position to fit patient.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Optician


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At the upper end, Opticians who move into an Optometrist role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Optometrists is a much higher $96K per year. Becoming a Dispensing Optician or a Certified Optician is often the next step for an Optician.

Optician Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Optician


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, LensCrafters Inc., Visionworks, Sam's Club, and Pearle Vision Center are top-notch employers for Opticians in this area. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Costco Wholesale Company offers the most; Opticians earn $51K on average there. U.S. Vision, Inc., Visionworks, and LensCrafters Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Opticians earning around $39K, $35K, or $34K at each firm, respectively.

Other low-paying employers include National Vision, Inc. at $24K and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc at $26K, though some Opticians there earn up to $40K.

Popular Skills for Optician


Opticians report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Office Management, Optical Fabrication, and Inside Sales are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 32 percent, 17 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Optometry, Inventory Management, and Bilingual. Those proficient in Customer Service are, more often than not, also skilled in Insurance.

Pay by Experience Level for Optician

Pay by Experience for an Optician has a positive trend. An entry-level Optician with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $27,000 based on 1,094 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. An Optician with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $33,000 based on 669 salaries. An experienced Optician which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $36,000 based on 764 salaries. An Optician with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $42,000 based on 560 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $33,220

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

For those looking to make money, Opticians in New York enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 29 percent above the national average. Opticians will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+21 percent), Phoenix (+19 percent), Portland (+13 percent), and San Diego (+13 percent). Falling short of the national average by 10 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Chicago. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include San Antonio (10 percent lower) and Dallas (5 percent lower).

Optician Reviews

Q: What is it like working as an Optician?

Optician in Dearborn Heights:
"Good."
Pros: Flexibility and I make the choices and schedule.
Cons: Traveling in winter.

Optician in Hayward:
"It is nice to help people select eyewear & to see better."
Pros: I enjoy interacting with people and educating them on eyewear and contact lens options. There is a pleasant work atmosphere with the doctors, co-workers and patients. The doctors are are generous with lunches, treats and bonuses.
Cons: Sometimes the office is under staffed and it causes a little stress.

Optician in Madison:
"Work Flexibility."
Pros: The people I work with are amazing. I love interacting with patients and helping them pick out glasses.
Cons: The management is really passive and we never know what we are supposed to do.

Optician in Portland:
Pros: Diverse work environment, opportunities for challenging tasks, increased responsibility.
Cons: High stress, employer micromanagement tendencies, high staff turnover.

Optician in Houston:
"Opticians Pay."
Pros: The one on one time with customers.
Cons: Corporate culture, work flexibility, office conditions, stress level, the management.

Optician in Plano:
"Having the ability to ensure people see well through eyewear."
Pros: Educating patients on the importance of protecting their sight.
Cons: How insurance dictates people's decision on thier eyewear. How my boss can be difficult and cause stress.

Optician in Los Angeles:
"Fashionable and fun."
Pros: The people the styling the newness of everyday.
Cons: No dr and that sometimes optician are looked as retail salesman.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Optician

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 481 votes.
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
22%

Experience Affects Optician Salaries

▲27%

▲9%

▼0%

National Average
$33,000

▼18%

Skills That Affect Optician Salaries

Office Management
▲31%


Inside Sales
▲9%

▲6%


edging
▲2%

dispensing
▼0%

National Average
$33,000

Sales
▼2%

Medicaid & Medicare Billing
▼2%

▼3%


▼4%

Bilingual
▼4%

▼5%

Inventory Management
▼5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 481 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 47%
dental benefits
Dental: 32%
vision benefits
Vision: 39%
no benefits
None: 39%