View Poll Results: Minimum Starting wage for an apprentice optician/student

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  • $7.50 to $8.50

    7 15.22%
  • $8.50 to $9.50

    13 28.26%
  • $9.50 to $10.50

    15 32.61%
  • $10.50-12.50

    6 13.04%
  • Over $12.00

    5 10.87%
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Thread: Starting wage for apprentice optician/student optician

  1. #1
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Starting wage for apprentice optician/student optician

    I am working on a project to determine the average starting wage for an apprentice optician or a student enrolled in a 2 year degree program. For the purposes of this excercise, consider them equal at the start. Bear in mind this wage will be increased at regular increments, in either 6 or 3 steps (not important which) to arrive at a journeyman's wage by the end of the training or education period. To avoid skewing the study please do not respond if you are outside the country. Thank you for your assistance.
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Can a single person live on the Cape at $12.00 an hour?

  3. #3
    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    I don't know how to answer this, really. Marybeth started at $7.50 when she was in high school as a part timer. When she left to go to pre-OD she was making $12.50 as a full time. She was exceptionally quick to learn the lab work.

  4. #4
    Master OptiBoarder Striderswife's Avatar
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    For purposes of conversation, does anyone want to post what they made back when they started out??? ;) ;)
    It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

  5. #5
    OptiBoardaholic
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    What about commission? I would gladly work for minimum wage if I were able to make 10% commission but I wouldn't work for $10 an hour if I didn't make any commission.

    Eyemasters used to be 6 an hour plus commission but I started off at 8 an hour(because I had prior tech experience at an OD's office) and ended up making an average of 13-15 an hour, depending on the week. Walmart wanted to start everyone off at 8 an hour, with no experience and no commission. Private office wanted me to work for them for 11 flat and were offended when I told them that I was making more at a chain. Of course, those are Texas prices. If you were in a license state, those numbers may be different.

    Sorry, dude, but this is a bad question as there are too many variables.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by striderswife View Post
    for purposes of conversation, does anyone want to post what they made back when they started out??? ;) ;)
    2.25

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Tough poll Harry.

    I am finding those listed wages, the going rate for experienced folks. Here in PA, we do not have student or apprentice situations. Sad as it may seem, I would say those wages are for all levels of experience and not much more.

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striderswife View Post
    For purposes of conversation, does anyone want to post what they made back when they started out??? ;) ;)
    $1.65 AN HOUR, 1976 Right off the street!

  9. #9
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Rbaker and Fezz- I'm talking about someone- age not important- with absolutely no experience whatever. Entry level only- Probably would change after 90 day evaluation period. What would the pay be to start in your area?

    Gemstone et al:
    I started off in 1959 at the minimum wage which was $1.00 per hour. After taxes and SS withholding, the check was $31.00 and change. I paid my grandmother $10.00 a week for room and board (which she ALWAYS took, but found a way to get it back to me in any number of ingenious ways), leaving about 20 bucks for spending money and bus fare to get to evening school! My dad owned the business but took a hands off attitude when it came to my "adjustment" to the real world. The folks that brought me up in this industry we tough but gem's of the earth. I never have regretted that time.

    PS thank you all for taking the time to participate. I'll tell you why after the next MA Board mtg.
    Last edited by hcjilson; 11-23-2009 at 07:12 PM. Reason: addition PS
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  10. #10
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    Voted over $12.00, but that would be for a thoroughly screened individual, well dressed, articulate, people person, skills with mathmatics, skills with science, and the ability to adapt. Our office would do much better off spending a few more dollars for a quality individual than just wasteing payroll on low wage disgruntled workers. Low wages can create a cancer which we've seen time and time again ruin an otherwise great business.

  11. #11
    opti-tipster harry a saake's Avatar
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    wage

    B@L 1965 1.87 an hour

  12. #12
    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    AO 1969 $2.00 hr. Plus benefits!!

  13. #13
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YrahG View Post
    Voted over $12.00, but that would be for a thoroughly screened individual, well dressed, articulate, people person, skills with mathmatics, skills with science, and the ability to adapt. Our office would do much better off spending a few more dollars for a quality individual than just wasteing payroll on low wage disgruntled workers. Low wages can create a cancer which we've seen time and time again ruin an otherwise great business.
    Right on YrahG.

    My hiring philosophy evolved over the years from that of paying average wages to paying the highest wages in town. From a humanistic point of view I came to believe that as an entrepreneur and business owner I had a moral obligation to provide my employees with a decent standard of living. From a practical point of view I always tried to find the most talented and industrious individuals to train rather than trying to save a few dollars by hiring someone with a poor work ethic or an attitude that did not fit my organization.

    Today, if I were to suffer a mental lapse and return to the eyecare business I would probably stare an apprentice optician at at least $600.00 (take home) a week. In return, I would require fluency in the English language, fluency in math through trigonometry, no tats or piercings, no criminal record, a friendly outgoing personality and the belief that the road to achievement is through learning. I would also require that the apprentice take a few courses in accounting, business administration or nursing each semester at a local college or university (I'll pick up the tab.)

    My approach is not very common in the eye care field but I believe that it is one of the reasons that eye care has declined the sad state that it is in today.

  14. #14
    OptiBoard Professional
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    Quote Originally Posted by YrahG View Post
    Voted over $12.00, but that would be for a thoroughly screened individual, well dressed, articulate, people person, skills with mathmatics, skills with science, and the ability to adapt.
    What normal person with those skills and abilities would work for anywhere near 12 bucks an hour?
    This may well be the lowest-wage professional board on the internet...Unless there's a "dude who drops the french fries into the oil" message board I'm unaware of.
    Thanks to technology and manufacturing progress, we don't really need opticians who can hand-craft a nose pad out of driftwood or whatever it is the "experts" here do. Frames are virtually disposable, just as a 600-dollar computer is disposable a few years after you buy it.
    Opticians will NEVER be paid like they used to be, and the sooner you all wise up to that, the better off you'll be.

  15. #15
    ABOC-NCLEC tigerlilly's Avatar
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    My company started all inexperienced new hires at one wage, and then with two years of experience it was supposed to jump up about $2 an hour. Naturally now that I have over two years in, they no longer offer that premium for experience. :hammer:

    So, is this poll for what one actually makes, or what we feel one should make?

  16. #16
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Blue Jumper Sallaries then...................

    Quote Originally Posted by Striderswife View Post
    For purposes of conversation, does anyone want to post what they made back when they started out??? ;) ;)

    First Year....................$ 20.00 Month
    Second Year................$ 40.00 Month
    Third Year...................$ 60.00 Month

    8 hour days, Sunday and Mondays off, 2 weeks holidays per year.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borysko View Post
    Thanks to technology and manufacturing progress, we don't really need opticians who can hand-craft a nose pad out of driftwood or whatever it is the "experts" here do. Frames are virtually disposable, just as a 600-dollar computer is disposable a few years after you buy it.
    Opticians will NEVER be paid like they used to be, and the sooner you all wise up to that, the better off you'll be.
    A good example of a disgruntled worker, we would have screened this person. Our office wages are fair and each optician makes commision allowing him/her to make as much money as they want. We are provided adequate support tools in the form of product literature and discretionary funds to make sure that the dispensary is above par, it's a great profession I don't understand why everyone wants to get rich in it.

  18. #18
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    Back in '73, started as apprentice out of Optical School at $1.36/hr at House of Vision Lab! Thought I was in the money then.

  19. #19
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    I started out brand new in the field 11 years ago making $7 an hour, a year later I was at $11 when I got my ABOC.

  20. #20
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    Resume please.....

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    Right on YrahG.

    Today, if I were to suffer a mental lapse and return to the eyecare business I would probably stare an apprentice optician at at least $600.00 (take home) a week. In return, I would require fluency in the English language, fluency in math through trigonometry, no tats or piercings, no criminal record, a friendly outgoing personality and the belief that the road to achievement is through learning. I would also require that the apprentice take a few courses in accounting, business administration or nursing each semester at a local college or university (I'll pick up the tab.)
    Dick, the only qualifying applicant would be yourself!! So when you have that "lapse" drop off your resume will you?!...:D

  21. #21
    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    .
    Today, if I were to suffer a mental lapse and return to the eyecare business I would probably stare an apprentice optician at at least $600.00 (take home) a week. In return, I would require fluency in the English language, fluency in math through trigonometry, no tats or piercings, no criminal record, a friendly outgoing personality and the belief that the road to achievement is through learning. I would also require that the apprentice take a few courses in accounting, business administration or nursing each semester at a local college or university (I'll pick up the tab.)
    If you need a lab tech, let me know.

  22. #22
    Doh! braheem24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CME4SPECS View Post
    $1.65 AN HOUR, 1976 Right off the street!
    There's a term for picking up a girl off the street for the $2.00 range. :p

  23. #23
    OptiWizard
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    I voted 9.50-10.50

    mostly because you dont know what you are going to get from the person. I think its a fair starting point, but you cant be afraid to give raises as you see fit.

    I wouldnt have a problem with a low starting point as long as the pay increase as the persons skills and abilities increase. I hate when companies buy low and stay low.

    It is nice to hear that some business owners put a high value on their employees and their employees lives outside the office.

  24. #24
    Master OptiBoarder Striderswife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetallgirl View Post
    I started out brand new in the field 11 years ago making $7 an hour, a year later I was at $11 when I got my ABOC.
    I was starting to think I was livin' the easy life, but you beat me. In 1996 I started at $5.00/hour (which was what I'd made as a pharmacy clerk for a year previously). I was pre-optometry in college, and I decided I needed to be working in the field I was (going to be) studying. I made it halfway through my Junior year, got married, and my priorities changed. I also decided I didn't want to be the doctor anymore. I love opticianry.

    In another town, I might could make $10,000 a year better than what I make now, as an Optical Manager, but we do okay as it is. I'm actually hoping to "retire" within the next couple years.
    It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

  25. #25
    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striderswife View Post
    I'm actually hoping to "retire" within the next couple years.
    What does "retire" mean ??

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