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Thread: Optician in Florida

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Novice Trajohnnb's Avatar
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    Wave Optician in Florida

    Hi! I have been an Optician for over twenty years. Started my career in the lab and I have pretty much done everything from Prelim to billing insurance to fixing all the office equipment and computers. I also live in Indiana and have worked in Illinois quite a bit. My husband and I are relocating our family to Florida. First question: Do I need to take the time and money to ABO certify myself? Also, I'm kinda up in the air, and thinking I would really like to outside frame rep. What are everyone's thoughts on that?

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder
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    I do believe Florida is a licensed state for Opticians, Traj. I don't pretend to be an authority on the Florida job market for us, but I'd guess you'd be diminishing your earning potential by trying to get by without the state license. Getting ABO certified will be the first of your hurdles in getting that license ready for your big move.

  3. #3
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    I was a Licensed Dispensing Optician in Florida for the past 16 years (I finally didn't renew last year, because I doubt I'll find myself dispensing in Florida again).

    I believe Indiana is an unlicensed state. If so, to become licensed in Florida, you will need to:

    • provide documentation proving you were employed as an optician in Indiana for at least 5 years
    • take and pass the NOCE (ABOC) examination
    • take and pass the NCLE (NCLC) examination
    • take and pass the state board examination


    In some ways, it is easier to become licensed when you are moving in from out of state (if your experience was all in Florida, you would need to have completed either a 2 year associates program or an apprenticeship program).

    Is it worth it? Well, from a professional standpoint I'd say "Of course." From a financial standpoint, it depends where you plan to be employed. In Florida, a retail shop (e.g., WalMart, LensCrafters, etc.) is required to have a licensed optician on premises during all open hours. Therefore, a licensed optician can command a higher salary than a non-licensed optician for these employers. In private practices, however, there is no requirement to have a licensed optician on premises at all times (because the employees are operating under the Optometrist's license). You may get a bit extra if you are licensed, but- with your experience- a private OD may pay you the same regardless of whether you have your Florida LDO.

    Hope this helps,
    Pete
    Pete Hanlin, ABOM
    Sr. Director Professional Solutions
    Essilor of America

    http://linkedin.com/in/pete-hanlin-72a3a74

  4. #4
    OptiBoardaholic CNG's Avatar
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    The other value of a Florida licensed optician is self employment. Without the license you cannot. Don't cut yourself short if you are planning Florida, get the license. License gives you more value and it is relatively hard to get time wise and financially. Certifications can be obtained anytime unless they change the rules. The ones that don't have it wish it. Obviously you need the abo-ncle to get started as it is a prerequisite but after that there really is no use for them unless you wish to expand the letters after your name which I doubt will bring extra cash to your table. The license in Florida is a must.

  5. #5
    OptiBoard Apprentice
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    If you plan to continue being an optician, get your license. With that level of experience, you'd be undercutting yourself quite a bit financially long-term by not doing it. You'd have to find someone willing to play ball to come even close to matching your previous salary, and even then they'll still need an OD/LDO on-site to "baby sit" you 24/7. For reference, I came from Maryland as non-licensed (no licensing there) to Florida, and could barely find optician work -- I fell back on being a pretest tech before coming to Georgia after a year and a half! Now I'm back where I belong, in the showroom, and working on my GA license.

  6. #6
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Regardless of whether you ultimately decide to obtain a Florida license, you should seriously consider becoming a member of the Professional Opticians of Florida organization (http://www.pof.org). They have information on everything from job postings to educational events where you can earn the 20+ hours required to renew a license / certification every two years. They are one of the strongest state opticianry organizations in the country.
    Pete Hanlin, ABOM
    Sr. Director Professional Solutions
    Essilor of America

    http://linkedin.com/in/pete-hanlin-72a3a74

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder
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    You are going to need a license to call yourself an Optician in Florida. You can't call yourself an Optician even if you are ABO/NCLE certified. Get ready to jump through some hoops.
    Clinton Tower

    The intellect to live free is in short supply
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