Opticians in Utah are recognized within the field of optometry. Training for the field requires rigorous educational preparation at college level. In order to practice as an optician, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing has set a formal education requirement, as well as certification requirement, to be met by those preparing for practice. Below are steps to help you in your career preparation.
MEETING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing requires opticians to have earned a doctoral degree from a school of optometry. A few colleges in Utah offer optometry programs. Educational programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Professional Education (ACOPE). Entry into optometry schools requires completion of an undergraduate degree in an accredited school. Optometric education focuses on the visual system, hence areas covered by the curriculum include eye physiology, functions and disorders of the eye, primary care optometry, and ophthalmic optics. Programs require students to complete a residency in order to build advanced clinical skills in optometry.
Certification for the opticianry profession is a requirement set by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Opticians are assessed on their knowledge and skills by taking the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) exam. The NBEO exam is designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge of areas in applied basic science, and patient assessment and management. The exam also assesses the clinical skills of candidates. More information on the exam schedule and test dates is available on the NBEO website.
UTAH OPTICIAN LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Licensure for practicing as an optician in Utah is issued by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The department requires applicants to have graduated from a school of optometry accredited by ACOE. Applicants must have taken the NBEO exam, and attained a pass score in Part I, II and III, as well as the TMOD section. When submitting your application for licensure, current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or Basic Life Support (BCLS) certification should also be presented. In addition, applicants for licensure are required to take the Utah Optometry Law and Rules Examination. Once a license is issued, it remains valid for two years.
MAINTAINING PROFICIENCY THROUGH CONTINUING EDUCATION
Practicing opticians in Utah are required to renew their licenses every two years, by September 30th of each even-numbered year. Continuing education is a renewal requirement in Utah. Practicing opticians must complete 30 hours of continuing education or optometry-related courses. Continuing education must be approved by ACOE or the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
JOB PROSPECTS AND POTENTIAL PAY
Optician salaries in Utah vary from one city to the next. Salaries are generally higher in Utah’s largest cities, where the population ranges from 110,000 to 190,000. In Salt Lake City, the median annual salary for the profession is about $40,500. Most opticians in Salt Lake City and West Jordan earn between $37,400 and $49,000. In Provo, the annual salary for the profession ranges between $35,600 and $46,500. In smaller cities, with a population ranging from 82,000 to 88,000, the annual salary for the profession compares well with the larger cities. Opticians in Orem earn between $35,600 and $46,500, while those in Sandy earn between $37,400 and $49,000. The annual salary for opticians in Ogden falls between $36,200 and $47,300.