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Thread: Back to the frame board....current salary information for optical managers.

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    Confused Back to the frame board....current salary information for optical managers.

    Hello all, I am just trying to get an idea about what compensation to "ask" for as a optical manager. I was out of the dispensary for several years as an ophthalmic technician, so I am out of touch with the current salary rates. I edge lenses as well as dispense and manage frame boards. I am in the Alabama area. HELP please.
    Thanks

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    Independent Owner kcount's Avatar
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    Hold on! on another thread you stated you were a one man shop. So who exactly do you manage? You want more money for doing board management? isn't that part of your job description now?


    Just my thoughts, take what you will, leave the rest.
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    First, you are worth, what you are worth, not what someone else is worth - so don't be looking at industry averages to determine what you "should" get paid. That could be higher, that could be lower. Second, what is your definition of "optical manager". What is that? Someone that sits around and tells everyone else what to do while doing nothing themself? That should be considered a below industry average paying job - sorry to say, this economy has no room for slackers. Or, are you actually mentoring people, while doing the job, picking up slack in tech, answer phones, handling computer work in the office and keeping it clean and presentable for the public, while learning new info in the field and taking initiative to grow the office among many other things. Are you mistake free or are you making mistakes that are costing the office in both time and money? Are you really all of this or do you just think your are?? Better make sure your perception of reality matches the perception of reality of the person paying you. If you can handle all that, then you may be worth more than industry average. Its a loaded question, and there is no easy answer. Only you know the answer, somewhere deep in your heart.

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    Well actually I do not manage other people, just everything in optical including board management, styling, dispensing, edging, repairing, ordering, electronic med records, filing insurance, accounts payable and receivable, cross training other employees, answering phones when needed and back up certified ophthalmic assistant. I had just been out of the optical portion of the eye industry for a while and was hoping to get a general idea of what people are making. I would say thanks for the replies, but as they were patronizing and not really helpful, I won't. the industry average would have been helpful.

  5. #5
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    It all depends on the market, a high paying market like Southern California or New York will have one pay rate and small town South or Midwest might have a going rate that the New York guys would not even get out of bed early for. So in short, it's what you think you are worth, for myself, I know I make less than the COA's ans COT's, but more than the receptionists. I work for an MD's office and when I was laid off from a Essilor Partner lab, I applied at several OD offices just to have them basically laugh at my salary requests, the MD hired me at a greater rate than what I was making as a Journeyman at the lab. so, too many factors to say "this is what you should be making"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoOne View Post
    Well actually I do not manage other people, just everything in optical including board management, styling, dispensing, edging, repairing, ordering, electronic med records, filing insurance, accounts payable and receivable, cross training other employees, answering phones when needed and back up certified ophthalmic assistant. I had just been out of the optical portion of the eye industry for a while and was hoping to get a general idea of what people are making. I would say thanks for the replies, but as they were patronizing and not really helpful, I won't. the industry average would have been helpful.
    Get the interview first, you can worry about the salary later. After the interview, the company hiring you will let you know what they want to pay you. We're pretty skeptical about hiring people who have left the field and now want to come back. Not saying you have done that, but if you have.... Staff turn-over is costly in so many ways.

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    Thank you so much for the polite general information. I really appreciate it.

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    Already have the position. I have worked in the eye industry for 20 solid years. Previous to this position I was a COA for a pediatric ophthalmology practice for many years. I started out in optical and was a ABO certified optician for many years before I started teching. It was just going from teching in that setting to running the optical in this optometry practice that had me seeking information about salary. Thanks for the input.

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    There are a number of reputable websites giving AVERAGE salaries for
    opticians and several state and federal government agencies collect and
    publish salary information by occupation.

    In Alabama in May 2009 the annual mean pay for opticians was $30,430.

    Nationwide in May 2009 the median annual pay was $32,740 with the lowest
    10% earning less than $21,120, and the top 10% earning over $50,560.

    Staff managers average about $10,000 more than a base optician.

    Average salaries have decreased since 2009.

    Averages really don't mean much since some opticians earn $12,000 while
    others earn $65,000.

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    Alabama? 65-85 K. No less.

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    Alabama must have the highest paid managers in the country.

    The 2010 wage data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the
    62,200 optical managers employed nationwide have a median hourly wage
    of $16.73 (median annual wage $34,800).

    PayScale, Inc. of Seattle, a market leader in compensation data who
    claims to have the world's largest database of individual employee
    compensation profiles, says the national annual pay scale for an
    optical manager ranges from $27,442 (including average bonus of $412,
    commissions $986 and profit sharing $402) to $60,390 (including average
    bonus of $10,033, commissions $9,993 and profit sharing $2,483). 61%
    get health insurance, 43% get dental insurance and 41% vision
    insurance. PayScale's figures may be inaccurate and incomplete but
    they're widely used by employers.

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    Bad address email on file kelanor's Avatar
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    I'll take home around 30K after taxes, plus a very generous benefit package. I'm ABO certified, working on my state license, and have been doing this for about 10years. I'll make more once I get my license, and my boss has also very generously offered to help me pay for everything I need to get licensed...once I figure out what that is.

    I could probably make more; could probably have even asked him to pay me more, but the incentives plus the amazing work enviroment easily balance out.

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    an Honest answer

    Originally Posted by SnoOneWell actually I do not manage other people, just everything in optical including board management, styling, dispensing, edging, repairing, ordering, electronic med records, filing insurance, accounts payable and receivable, cross training other employees, answering phones when needed and back up certified ophthalmic assistant. I had just been out of the optical portion of the eye industry for a while and was hoping to get a general idea of what people are making. I would say thanks for the replies, but as they were patronizing and not really helpful, I won't. the industry average would have been helpful.

    Alright, you want a straight answer I'll give you an honest review of this position. In Illinois (unlicensed state) the above individual is a typical optician. This peson is not considered a manager do to lack of staff. Yes you 'manage' a department but you don't handle hiring and firing or set budgets for operations. Thus in Chicago you would make between $15 - $20 per hour. The further from the city the less your going to recieve dropping eventually to ~$10 per hour in collar counties or way west.
    If you wanted to break above this you would need to enter a management position in a large office, probably a large OD's or a typical MD's office. These are highlu sought after postitions and those in them never die and rarely retire. So, there you have it annual gross pay $30 - 40K per year.

    If you wanted to make more I would say go get your COT and work for a hospital backed ophthalmology department, then get into management. Top out at $100K per annum and enjoy life.
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  14. #14
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    don't you think that any salary/compensation discussion should be pm'd rather than "out there" for non opticals to read???

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    Do you think that anyone interested can't find an occupational wage
    scale? Any competent high school vocational counselor can furnish the
    salary range for optical personnel or any other occupation. Many state
    agencies, such as the employment service, can and do give wage ranges
    in the local area. All the opticianry schools give salary ranges to
    encourage enrollment. A simple phone call to Costco, Walmart or a
    Luxottica store is all it takes to learn their starting wage. What's
    the big secret? I can see reluctance to give out personal information
    but no one asked for that. Other than people looking for a job or an
    employer looking to hire an optician who really cares? Do you imagine
    an eyeglass salesman's wages are that much different from a shoe
    salesman? The nationwide range for a shoe salesman is $30-45K but a
    good clothing salesman can easily top $80K. Top notch car salesmen can
    make even more as I know personally since my wife is a CPA who audits
    the books of a car dealership group.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by skt View Post
    don't you think that any salary/compensation discussion should be pm'd rather than "out there" for non opticals to read???
    Do I care that my customers might find out I make 30-40 grand a year? No. That's not an extraordinary income. Sometimes customers say to me "Oh..I thought you were the doctor" and I reply "No, if I were the doctor I'd be driving a better car".

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