Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Opticians order and design eyeglasses and contact lenses according to the prescriptions that Optometrists and Ophthalmologists have provided. They start by analyzing and interpreting the written optical prescription to determine the correct lens specifications. They do not examine patients, however, but do help them select the style and color of eyeglass fames and lenses by advising them of the size and shape best suited to both their facial features and their optical prescription. Although they are trained to operate machinery that grinds and polishes eyeglass lenses, most opticians have an ophthalmic laboratory technician that performs this portion of the work. Opticians may be trained to verify the power and surface quality of the finished lenses by use sophisticated optical equipment. Another important aspect of their job is to make sure that the finished eyeglasses fit the customer. They make adjustments by heating and shaping plastic frames, or by bending metal frames using pliers. Opticians might be called upon to perform follow-up services such as fixing broken frames, replacing temple screws, or refitting a pair of glasses. They also advise customers on the special care that is required to maintain the condition of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Individuals interested in this eye health care specialty should have excellent communication skills, be highly organized, and have good business sense.

Work Environment:


Opticians may operate their own business, work for optometrists or ophthalmologists, or work for owners of retail optical outlets. The typical workweek is 40 hours long and may include evenings or weekend depending on the patients’ needs.

High School Preparation:


High school students interested in becoming an optician should take courses in biology, physics, health occupations/medical professions education, computer skills, algebra, mechanical drawing, trigonometry, English, literature, geometry, and social studies.

College Requirements:

Individuals interested in this optical specialty should have a high school diploma or equivalent. Programs in optical technology are usually offered at community colleges and technical schools. Some employers require completion of an optician program, while others may provide on-the-job training to individuals with no formal background in opticianry. Certification is available through the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners. 

Students should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:


Employment opportunities for opticians should be very good over the next decade. There is an expected 10%-20% increase in the number of new job openings through the year 2012. The demand will continue to increase because of the growing middle-age and elderly population in this country. As the baby boom generation grows older, more vision care specialists will be needed to keep up with demand created by this surge. Employment opportunities will also become available as people within the profession retire or leave the workplace for other reasons.




Average Annual Salary



Salary Range

$22,700 - $40,100


Professional Organizations:

American Board of Opticianry

6506 Loisdale Rd., Suite 209

Springfield, VA 22150

Phone: (703) 719-5800

Fax: (703) 719-9144


Opticians Association of America

411 Carlisle Dr.

Herdon, Virginia 20170
Phone: (703) 437-8780

Fax: (703) 437-0727


Commission on Opticianry Accreditation

P.O. Box 3073
Merrifield, Virginia 22116-3073

Phone: (703) 940-9134



Mississippi Association of Dispensing Opticians
16383 South Swan Road

Gulfport, MS  39503
Phone: (228) 860-1825

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