Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Is ABO Certification Worth It?

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Apprentice
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    21

    Is ABO Certification Worth It?

    I've been in the optical/ophthalmics field my entire professional career (about 12 years) and am wanting a new optician/optometric/ophthalmic assistant position. While searching various job openings, I discovered many of them require ABO certification and I am looking into paying out of pocket to get this certification and increase my hiring prospects/salary expectations. To all the optometrists or opticians out there, can you tell me if it's worth it to get this certification? I have until July 8 to register, and if I hit the books I think I can pass the test in August. It's $225, so it's not cheap, but I will pay it myself if it will make me more marketable. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Maryland
    Occupation
    Optical Wholesale Lab (other positions)
    Posts
    904
    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby Snacks View Post
    I've been in the optical/ophthalmics field my entire professional career (about 12 years) and am wanting a new optician/optometric/ophthalmic assistant position. While searching various job openings, I discovered many of them require ABO certification and I am looking into paying out of pocket to get this certification and increase my hiring prospects/salary expectations. To all the optometrists or opticians out there, can you tell me if it's worth it to get this certification? I have until July 8 to register, and if I hit the books I think I can pass the test in August. It's $225, so it's not cheap, but I will pay it myself if it will make me more marketable. Thanks.
    Put it this way, it won't hurt, especially if you want to move into a management/leadership position. That piece of paper will open more doors for you, and keep them open. It will pay for itself.

  3. #3
    OptiBoard Professional Kujiradesu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY/ Northern, NJ
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    143
    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby Snacks View Post
    I've been in the optical/ophthalmics field my entire professional career (about 12 years) and am wanting a new optician/optometric/ophthalmic assistant position. While searching various job openings, I discovered many of them require ABO certification and I am looking into paying out of pocket to get this certification and increase my hiring prospects/salary expectations. To all the optometrists or opticians out there, can you tell me if it's worth it to get this certification? I have until July 8 to register, and if I hit the books I think I can pass the test in August. It's $225, so it's not cheap, but I will pay it myself if it will make me more marketable. Thanks.
    Anything to give yourself a leg up against the competition. In an un-licensed state I hear an ABO cert. is pretty good for landing yourself a job. Just remember, an ABO is very basic and the well of optical knowledge runs deep. Dont let this be the end of your education.
    Optical Cross: crucifixion apparatus used by the New Jersey State Board.

  4. #4
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    2,794
    Meh.

  5. #5
    Ghost in the OptiMachine OptiBoard Silver Supporter Quince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sebago ME
    Occupation
    Optical Laboratory Technician
    Posts
    1,054
    My office reimburses as long as we pass. I'm taking advantage of that now, because I know there will come a day where I am in a similar situation. Good luck!

    Also, you should be able to tack on an extra dollar or two for being certified.
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

  6. #6
    Optical Thingymajig OptiBoard Gold Supporter PartTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Landlocked
    Occupation
    Optical Retail
    Posts
    96
    You're in Texas, so yes, you should. Many corporate opticals lack a single certified staff member. I know because I worked at several of them when I was not certified. Many independents are without one, as well. Every independent OD in Texas posts "ABO" requirement, but they don't always get it. It can certainly up your value a couple of dollars an hour, sometimes more if the OD understands the value of skilled labor. Go for it, no doubt.

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Occupation
    Other Eyecare-Related Field
    Posts
    436
    Will it hurt? No. As another user observed, though, you are in Texas; and, while getting ABO certified will certainly increase your knowledge base and skills, it won't necessarily increase your pay. Texas is maybe one of the most competitive states in the country for good-paying optician jobs-- it isn't hard to find even independent ODs with staff they're paying minimum wage with no perks, commission, or bonuses. There ARE good jobs out there, but they're few-and-far between. Difficulty finding a job that paid me what I was worth, and also didn't want to turn me into a slave (I got an offer from a place that was going to pay me $12/hr plus commission, but I'd also have been working 46 hours a week), was one of the reasons I got out of the opticianry game and shifted gears to other areas of the optical field.

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central Texas
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    526
    Quote Originally Posted by PartTimer View Post
    You're in Texas, so yes, you should. Many corporate opticals lack a single certified staff member. I know because I worked at several of them when I was not certified. Many independents are without one, as well. Every independent OD in Texas posts "ABO" requirement, but they don't always get it. It can certainly up your value a couple of dollars an hour, sometimes more if the OD understands the value of skilled labor. Go for it, no doubt.
    I agree with PT. Your current employer may not think your certification is worth a pay increase. Yet if this is the profession you want to make a home--certification is the surest way to open doors for yourself with the employers who do.

  9. #9
    OptiGeek Wes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Earth
    Occupation
    Other Optical Manufacturer or Vendor
    Posts
    3,177
    Is ABO Certification Worth It? Yes.


  10. #10
    Master OptiBoarder
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    PA
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    1,177
    YES YES YES YES YES YES
    My office will not hire someone without ABO and if you do need to job search it will definitely give you the edge.

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter
    OptiBoard Silver Supporter

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    2,036
    I wish more of my employees would be passionate enough to not just take the ABO but really love and understand optics to the best of their ability (whatever that may be). Lol, honestly I'm just happy they show up and do a good job. An ABO is a start though and shows dedication to me.

  12. #12
    Rising Star
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    beautiful new england
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    98
    Is certification worth it? Yes! Continuing ed is required, and I have yet to leave any courses without having learned something.

  13. #13
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    1,111
    Hard to believe anyone who describes themselves as a 'Professional' asking such a question. Start with basic ABO and then work for your Advanced ABO.

  14. #14
    Master OptiBoarder tx11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    821
    The basic ABO is certainly worth attaining. That combined with ability to do finish lab will open doors for you. It also never hurts to hone your frame styling and skills.

  15. #15
    Master OptiBoarder Mizikal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    kansas city
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    512
    The ABO shows future employers that you know the basic's of optical. You will also learn a lot in studying and even more from CE. Now from a strictly financial standpoint not likely. Most employers in my area don't care. Get it for yourself though and you will never regret getting it.

  16. #16
    Optical Thingymajig OptiBoard Gold Supporter PartTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Landlocked
    Occupation
    Optical Retail
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by tmorse View Post
    Hard to believe anyone who describes themselves as a 'Professional' asking such a question. Start with basic ABO and then work for your Advanced ABO.
    To be fair, OP is in Texas. It's more a legit question than some might think. I know several certified people in TX who waited 5-7 years before getting basic cert, myself included. They ran labs, edged, "fit" and dispensed for years. OP may only be making $10-12/hr, and $225 isn't change in that situation, especially since it seems like nobody is helping with that cost. "Professional" can mean the mere act of being paid to do something as opposed to an unpaid amateur. Unfortunately in TX, all too often becoming a "professional" requires absolutely nothing beyond a name badge.

    I give credit to anyone who is at least entertaining the question of improving their knowledge base, as opposed to just giving up and going to another profession entirely.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. ABO advanced certification
    By schlemms in forum General Optics and Eyecare Discussion Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-11-2012, 03:54 PM
  2. abo certification examination
    By ampeyes in forum Just Conversation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-27-2012, 07:21 PM
  3. ABO Certification Tutoring
    By judyseyes in forum General Optics and Eyecare Discussion Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-15-2012, 02:47 PM
  4. Abo certification
    By lilmrsme in forum General Optics and Eyecare Discussion Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-23-2010, 10:21 AM
  5. ABO Certification and Salary
    By Senorwes1 in forum General Optics and Eyecare Discussion Forum
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 07-21-2008, 10:20 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OptiBoard is proudly sponsored by:
Younger Optics and Vision Equipment