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Why Become an ABO Certified Optician

Become an American Board of Opticianry (ABOC) Optician

Optician definition

According to the ABO-NCLE:

There are several ways that certification will benefit you and your career. Most of them fall under four main topics: public recognition; employment opportunities and increased earning power; job mobility; and the potential role of certification under managed care.

Public recognition

ABO and NCLE certification demonstrates to the public, your co-workers, and the industry that you are qualified and competent. It proves you take pride in your profession and in maintaining up-to-date skills and knowledge. In particular, it identifies you to the public as a dispenser who will handle their eye wear needs with competence – someone who can be trusted to provide the quality care they want and deserve.

Employment opportunities and increased earning power

Certification is recognized by employers as a standard of competence, and it can offer tangible rewards such as increased earning power and job opportunities. According to the responding employers in a recent survey:

  • 28% required certification of their employees
  • 75% gave preference in hiring to certified applicants
  • 75% paid higher beginning salaries to certified personnel
  • 40% gave preference for promotions to ABO or NCLE certified employees
  • After 10 years in dispensing, certified employees earn approximately $6,000 more per year than noncertified employees

​Job mobility

ABO and NCLE certification is a national standard, not a state license and is recognized in every state and many foreign countries. In non-licensing states, certification is especially important; it is your only credential – your professional distinction. It’s also interesting to note that:

  • 90% of state licensing boards use the ABO and NCLE exams as the basis for state licensing
  • 23% of licensing states require current ABO/NCLE certification for move-ins who apply for licensing​

Potential role of certification in future health care systems

No one ever knows for sure what the future will bring, but the experts are betting that managed care is the future of health care. Credentials, such as ABO and NCLE certification, will play a key role in determining who will be accepted by managed care as a provider of services. Without certification, you could be locked out of the health care system.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

2017 median pay for Opticians was $36,250 annually/$17.43 per hour. Local wages can be found here

Job outlook is projected to increase by 15% between 2016-2026 (must faster than average) and is listed as the 15th fastest growing occupation. An aging population and increasing rates of chronic disease are expected to lead to greater demand for corrective eyewear.

States requiring a license if you do not have an ABO Certification:

Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Kentucky
Massachusetts
Nevada
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Puerto Rico