The practice of opticianry in Oklahoma is regulated by the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry. Preparing for the profession in Oklahoma involves meeting educational requirements and taking licensure exams. In meeting the educational requirement, the board stipulates that all training programs must be from accredited schools. The steps involved in meeting the educational and licensure requirements are outlined below.
In order to join an optometry school in Oklahoma, you must have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited school. Most optometry schools prefer applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, preferably majoring in natural sciences. Suitable courses to study at the undergraduate level include college algebra, biology, calculus, chemistry, and physiology. Optometry schools in Oklahoma instruct students in various areas of opticianry, including eye physiology, optics theory, and lens maintenance. The training also incorporates business knowledge and office management practice. In addition, students undergo training in technical aspects of opticianry, which involves using specialized instruments in adjusting and repairing eyeglasses. Most optometry schools in Oklahoma have a practicum requirement which allows students to apply knowledge and skills gained through training in an established optical facility.
Certification for the opticianry profession in Oklahoma is achieved by taking licensure exams. The Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry uses the exams administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) to certify qualified opticians. Besides the NBEO certifying exam, you may also want to earn certifications awarded by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE). The ABO-NCLE credentials are industry-standard certifications which will significantly enhance professional growth.
OKLAHOMA STATE LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Candidates for licensure must have completed an undergraduate degree program from an accredited school. It is mandatory to take the certification exam administered by the NBEO to assess the competencies of applicants who have completed formal training in opticianry. Applicants must have attained a pass score in Sections I, II and III of the exam, as well as passing the Injections Skill and TMOD exams. As a prerequisite to taking the Oklahoma board exams, candidates are required to complete an optometry course offered by designated state education institutions , namely, the Laser Therapy for the Anterior Segment Course.
MAINTAINING PROFICIENCY THROUGH CONTINUING EDUCATION
A practicing license for opticians in Oklahoma is valid for one year. Thereafter, it must be renewed annually. In order to maintain active licensure in Oklahoma, opticians must meet a continuing education requirement. This involves completing 18 hours of continuing education annually. At least five of these hours must be therapeutic hours, with at least one hour of judicious prescribing. Additionally, not more than three hours must be in practice management, and another three hours can be completed by correspondence, including online education. The Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry maintains a list of approved providers for continuing education.
JOB PROSPECTS AND POTENTIAL PAY
Job prospects for opticians in Oklahoma are bright, especially with the growing vision care needs of the US population. The median annual salary for opticians in Oklahoma City is about $40,000, with most professionals earning between $37,000 and $48,000 annually. In Tulsa, most opticians earn a salary of between $37,500 and $49,000 annually, while in Norman and Moore, the annual salary for opticians ranges between $37,000 and $48,000. In smaller cities, such as Muskogee, the annual salary ranges between $37,500 and $49,000.