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  • #16
    Licensure has become it's own worst enemy. There's so much variance state to state, none of them agree whatsoever on any form of educational or practical standard. There is no national basis they've chosen as a minimum for entry.

    ABO seems to be less and less valued with each passing year as well, as a growing number of employers scrape by trying to directly compete with big box, and on-liners, all the while accepting worse and worse terms from the big "insurance" companies in the fear that if they don't no one will ever darken their doors.

    And of course you get all the various legislators with huge chips on their shoulder because their precious little daughter Suzie was told she couldn't just wear whatever contact she wanted...or was denied a PD to buy online glasses. So they push for more and more deregulation. It's happening here in Utah too (the asinine fight over CL deregulation in this years session has been mind blowing to be sure).

    Nationally, licensure is dead. You'll never see all 50 states adopt anything close to uniformity or increased dispensing requirements. That cat is never going back in the bag.

    Comment


    • #17
      Licensure is done by state governments to ensure a minimum knowledge of whichever specialty or trade (in many of the casese on these forums, opticianry) to ensure public safety. Personally, I don't feel that licensure restricts me in any real meaningful way other than I can't legally refract :banghead:. I think the positives easily outweigh the negatives.

      Comment


      • #18
        I started in this field in 1972 in Pennsylvania until relocating to Az in 82. Back then we did have some old timers that were good at training, and I passed the OAA test for certification, but I was shocked at how much I didn't know when I moved to the licensed state and had to take the state boards.
        I guess I'm glad I'm at the age where it won't mean too much to lose the licensing in AZ. It's just sad to see the profession continuing to be going in the direction where education and qualification means less and less.
        I miss the days where we had to actually fit the frames with the proper eye, bridge, and temple size, unlike today where it's all one size fits all.
        Out of over 800 licensed opticians in Arizona only 15 were in attendance at the house meeting to oppose the deregulation of licensing!
        After it was put on hold, I tried to convince some licensees to at least stop into the capitol and register so they can oppose the bill when it comes back to review, but they seem disinterested. Opticians have no one to blame but themselves.

        Comment


        • #19
          Licensure doesn’t dictate pay rate. #1, location, #2 demand for your particular skill set….

          There was a poster here years ago complaining about making 14 an hr in upstate NY. How nobody around payed more, he had a license and all that. Well the nobody’s he mentioned were the 3 other opticals in the area…No competition for Opticians in the area. I mentioned you may need to re-locate to an area that had more competition for talent…Oh, he couldn’t do that! His extended family all lived close!…Well there you go..Don’t complain if you’re not willing to relocate or work on the other side of town because it’s too far or a tough commute. Same goes with not trying to learn more, expand your portfolio, which leads to….

          Demand for skill set….Hey! You’re great at taking PD’s and you can sell ice cubes to Eskimo’s! But how good at Rx troubleshooting are you? Can you refract? Can you determine prismatic needs, direction and amount? Can you find and help retain talent? Can you negotiate your company’s health insurance plan to save money?….You have to seek out this knowledge, or luck into it. Then you seek a place to use all this acquired knowledge.

          Licensed state or not, believe me, you can earn 6 figures a year. I would recommend, today, learn ophthalmic administration. There’s serious money in the position. Get into multi-location management, ( preferably a small local chain ). It can be done, I lived it…

          Comment


          • #20
            I'm not involved with the board lobbying to keep the Az licenses for myself. I'm 72 yrs old and winding down my career, but I still feel passionate about opticians being required to have at least some training and education even if it's basic requirements. I left the field back in 2000 and became an Az licensed general contractor. I just think it's bad for the profession and the public to deregulate the board and licenses. I only went back to work part time for my mental well being after my adult daughter passed. Just today we had a pt who refracted at +24 diopters, if this was you or your family would you not want a qualified optician to do the fitting?

            Originally posted by optical24/7 View Post
            Licensure doesn’t dictate pay rate. #1, location, #2 demand for your particular skill set….

            There was a poster here years ago complaining about making 14 an hr in upstate NY. How nobody around payed more, he had a license and all that. Well the nobody’s he mentioned were the 3 other opticals in the area…No competition for Opticians in the area. I mentioned you may need to re-locate to an area that had more competition for talent…Oh, he couldn’t do that! His extended family all lived close!…Well there you go..Don’t complain if you’re not willing to relocate or work on the other side of town because it’s too far or a tough commute. Same goes with not trying to learn more, expand your portfolio, which leads to….

            Demand for skill set….Hey! You’re great at taking PD’s and you can sell ice cubes to Eskimo’s! But how good at Rx troubleshooting are you? Can you refract? Can you determine prismatic needs, direction and amount? Can you find and help retain talent? Can you negotiate your company’s health insurance plan to save money?….You have to seek out this knowledge, or luck into it. Then you seek a place to use all this acquired knowledge.

            Licensed state or not, believe me, you can earn 6 figures a year. I would recommend, today, learn ophthalmic administration. There’s serious money in the position. Get into multi-location management, ( preferably a small local chain ). It can be done, I lived it…

            Comment


            • #21
              I understand varmint. I retired in 2020 and don’t have a dog in the fight either, but I spent years trying to get licensure in Texas. I spent thousands of my own dollars and went to Austin for hundreds of hours working towards it. We got “voluntary licensure “ and had it for a number of years. Then we went to work on Mandatory licensure. I finally had a bill go all the way to legislative council only to be killed after a large chain started spreading money around. About a year later, the state dropped our voluntary licensure. When they got rid of it, we had about 42 Opticians registered with the state……42 out of well over 1000 ABO opticians in the state. Think about that…….A fraction of eligible Opticians would bother to register…

              Optician apathy has been around forever. The only Opticians that weren’t apathetic were the ones a hundred years ago that started Optometry training. Look where they are today and where we are currently. It surprises me not the small number of Opticians in Az that even give a rip about their own licensure. After my jaded experience trying to elevate our profession I have zero sympathy for 99% of Opticians plight, that’s about the percentage that don’t give a rip about their own profession. Oh, I feel sorry for the public. Folks with serious eye conditions have a heck of a time finding someone qualified to help them with their Rx needs when 99% of whom they seek out don’t have a clue.

              My previous post was more of how to elevate oneself in optics, licensure or not. And if you’re after money, you have to go where the money is and have marketable skills, and those marketable skills come from training, whether formal or self education.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by optical24/7 View Post
                Licensure doesn’t dictate pay rate. #1, location, #2 demand for your particular skill set….

                There was a poster here years ago complaining about making 14 an hr in upstate NY. How nobody around payed more, he had a license and all that. Well the nobody’s he mentioned were the 3 other opticals in the area…No competition for Opticians in the area. I mentioned you may need to re-locate to an area that had more competition for talent…Oh, he couldn’t do that! His extended family all lived close!…Well there you go..Don’t complain if you’re not willing to relocate or work on the other side of town because it’s too far or a tough commute. Same goes with not trying to learn more, expand your portfolio, which leads to….

                Demand for skill set….Hey! You’re great at taking PD’s and you can sell ice cubes to Eskimo’s! But how good at Rx troubleshooting are you? Can you refract? Can you determine prismatic needs, direction and amount? Can you find and help retain talent? Can you negotiate your company’s health insurance plan to save money?….You have to seek out this knowledge, or luck into it. Then you seek a place to use all this acquired knowledge.

                Licensed state or not, believe me, you can earn 6 figures a year. I would recommend, today, learn ophthalmic administration. There’s serious money in the position. Get into multi-location management, ( preferably a small local chain ). It can be done, I lived it…
                I don't think people should HAVE to relocate to earn a liveable wage in this field. Yeah, you won't get top dollar working for big box opticals because they just don't care. But independents don't either. My point is if were are expecting people to want to learn and be better, there needs to be a financial incentive. Are McDonalds employees spending time studying burger-ology and ways to improve customer service? No. So why bother getting your ABO in states like Pennsylvania, especially if you won't even receive a pay raise?

                We had a patient take their script to Costco the other week. The Costco optician told them that he can't fill their script because the prescriber "wrote it wrong." We're ophthalmology and our MD writes scripts in plus cyl. Would you trust that employee to make good choices about other things if they don't even understand how astigmatism works and how to do flat transposition? They could be telling people that having poly in their dress ophthalmic lenses makes them safety glasses. If they don't know about plus cyl, do they know that people with only one eye should be fit in poly or Trivex to protect the good eye? No one is probably going to die from their errors, but still. There is value in having some minimum competency requirement to do this job. People are going out in the world and driving and operating heavy machinery with the glasses we make for them. They need to RIGHT. But here we are with at least half of the people selling glasses that don't know anything other than how to upsell and get the most money from the patient. We should care more and strive to be experts in our field, but people aren't going to do that if the pay doesn't reflect that. People need glasses everywhere. You should have to leave your state to work in a field like opticianry. But bottom line profits reign supreme and so quality is inevitably going down.
                :spin:Krystle:spin:

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by KrystleClear View Post
                  I don't think people should HAVE to relocate to earn a liveable wage in this field. Yeah, you won't get top dollar working for big box opticals because they just don't care. But independents don't either. My point is if were are expecting people to want to learn and be better, there needs to be a financial incentive. Are McDonalds employees spending time studying burger-ology and ways to improve customer service? No. So why bother getting your ABO in states like Pennsylvania, especially if you won't even receive a pay raise?

                  We had a patient take their script to Costco the other week. The Costco optician told them that he can't fill their script because the prescriber "wrote it wrong." We're ophthalmology and our MD writes scripts in plus cyl. Would you trust that employee to make good choices about other things if they don't even understand how astigmatism works and how to do flat transposition? They could be telling people that having poly in their dress ophthalmic lenses makes them safety glasses. If they don't know about plus cyl, do they know that people with only one eye should be fit in poly or Trivex to protect the good eye? No one is probably going to die from their errors, but still. There is value in having some minimum competency requirement to do this job. People are going out in the world and driving and operating heavy machinery with the glasses we make for them. They need to RIGHT. But here we are with at least half of the people selling glasses that don't know anything other than how to upsell and get the most money from the patient. We should care more and strive to be experts in our field, but people aren't going to do that if the pay doesn't reflect that. People need glasses everywhere. You should have to leave your state to work in a field like opticianry. But bottom line profits reign supreme and so quality is inevitably going down.
                  The crook, Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks. He replied, “Because that’s where the money’s at”. People have relocated for better jobs, better fields to plant in, and on and on for millenniums. It makes no difference what field you work in, if you are located somewhere with little need of your expertise, you’re simply not going to make as much as if you were in a location with greater need of what you do. Just like rural workers make less, doing the same thing a city slicker is doing. Supply and demand is king in a capitalist, market based economy.

                  I have no doubt about what you said Costco told your patient, but normally, they don’t employ non-ABO Opticians, ( at least that’s what I was told by an employee). But the basic is just that…basic and relatively simple to pass. Which leads to the below.

                  And I’ll tell you right now, seeking more knowledge will lead to better jobs. The ABO is a great start. It’s not just the initials after your name, but the knowledge you gain going trough the process of acquiring them. Basic ABO should also be considered just the start. Studying for the AC and then the M will give you way more knowledge than you realize, as the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. I thought I knew a cr@p load of optics, till I started studying for my AC, then researching and writing my Masters paper.

                  Those initials didn’t get me a raise where I worked, but it helped me land a fantastic job. Knowledge is your club to beat the world with. If you’re using a matchstick instead of a baseball bat you’re not gonna do much world beating.

                  And Krystle, this wasn’t directed at you personally, but for the masses out there that run across this thread…

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Barry Santini View Post
                    Counterpoint: Welcome licensure removal. Why? Then all regulations that keep opticians from earning their true potential as individual entrepreneurs go away. If online business vendors can enjoy such advantages, why not opticians and stylists within a state.

                    Discussion.
                    Originally posted by optical24/7 View Post
                    yournobody
                    Originally posted by optical24/7 View Post
                    oneself
                    I have to agree strongly with these fine folks.

                    All licensing states should eliminate the need for an optician license/deregulate the trade. The cream will rise to the top.

                    There was a time that I was GUNGHO on trying to elevate this trade--no longer. This field is filled with lazy apathetic dolts that could care less about bettering themselves and the trade. Let them suffer!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by varmint View Post
                      Out of over 800 licensed opticians in Arizona only 15 were in attendance at the house meeting to oppose the deregulation of licensing!
                      Apathy at it's best.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Uilleann View Post
                        Licensure has become it's own worst enemy. There's so much variance state to state, none of them agree whatsoever on any form of educational or practical standard. There is no national basis they've chosen as a minimum for entry.

                        ABO seems to be less and less valued with each passing year as well, as a growing number of employers scrape by trying to directly compete with big box, and on-liners, all the while accepting worse and worse terms from the big "insurance" companies in the fear that if they don't no one will ever darken their doors.

                        And of course you get all the various legislators with huge chips on their shoulder because their precious little daughter Suzie was told she couldn't just wear whatever contact she wanted...or was denied a PD to buy online glasses. So they push for more and more deregulation. It's happening here in Utah too (the asinine fight over CL deregulation in this years session has been mind blowing to be sure).

                        Nationally, licensure is dead. You'll never see all 50 states adopt anything close to uniformity or increased dispensing requirements. That cat is never going back in the bag.
                        I'm picking up what you are dropping!

                        I do disagree slightly with the wording of your statement "Licensure has become it's own worst enemy"

                        No my friend.........opticians have become their own worst enemy!
                        Last edited by Fezz; 02-16-2024, 04:35 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Fezz View Post
                          ….

                          I do disagree slightly with the wording of your statement "Licensure has become it's own worst enemy"

                          No my friend.........opticians have become their own worst enemy!

                          No truer words have ever been said about Opticianry…..The ship has sunk, it’s become every man for himself. Too many self interests get in the way of uniting into a cohesive unit, and I’m not talking about the self interest of the OD lobby holding us down or the corporations. We, collectively hold ourselves back because there are too many out there that don’t want the hassle of getting involved in change, don’t want to adapt to change, or don’t want to have more education..Which would be all for their own good…

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The codification of the historical Opticianry curriculum is the issue.

                            We’re not training opticians with the skills needed for the 21st Century.

                            Barry

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Everything I read here makes me think that to a lot of the US an 'optician' is what the UK would call an optical assistant. Are qualifications and registration/licenses not a hard requirement be considered an optician? Do you just have to work in an optical practice?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Fezz View Post
                                I'm picking up what you are dropping!

                                I do disagree slightly with the wording of your statement "Licensure has become it's own worst enemy"

                                No my friend.........opticians have become their own worst enemy!
                                Originally posted by Barry Santini View Post
                                The codification of the historical Opticianry curriculum is the issue.

                                We’re not training opticians with the skills needed for the 21st Century.

                                Barry
                                I believe Barry is getting at the same angle I am, more or less - though more eloquently said. It's been decades, and all the oft vaunted licensed states still can't agree on any form of basic licensure requirement. It's more fractured than the unlicensed states, which - at the least - seem to use the ABO basic as some form of demonstration of entry level dispensing competence.

                                Again, online has been the final nail in the coffin. The genie can't be stuffed back in it's lamp. The public "knows" they can get whatever they want online - completely regulation* free. In the mind of the public, disposable commodities, which is all glasses and contacts are today, it makes little sense to pay for "expensive" brick and mortar expertise. There is no license nor level of ABO that will change that perception. You'll have the [increasingly] rare optician who goes above and beyond, and will be sought out for their expertise. But those who maintain that practical skill set, still must market themselves either to an employer, or to the public in their area if they're an owner. With a spot of luck, they'll do ok.

                                But it won't be due to any license, ABO rating, or such antiquated concepts in this field. While many of us wish it were a different reality we lived in, this is the current landscape we're in. *shrug*

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