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Thread: Becoming a certified optician in NY from out of state

  1. #1
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    Becoming a certified optician in NY from out of state

    Hello, OptiBoard! I plan to move to NYC by the end of 2020 and am starting to gather some precursory information. I know that unlike my current state of Texas, New York requires all practicing Opticians to be certified with the ABO. I'm not ABO certified right now because there is practically no reason to be except bragging rights where I am now, but at one point I was, so I don't need advice on taking the test at all. What I need help with is the bureaucracy of getting it done. Can I take the ABO test in Texas, and complete the rest of the application either remotely before I leave or once I move there, or can I only take it once residing there? Seems like I should be able to, but I also don't trust the process to be anything but as clunky and frustrating as possible.

    Thanks in advance!

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    The State of NY goes well beyond the ABO. It requires a state license. It will take a number of years for you to accomplish that in NYS. You can find a plethora of information on this link: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/od/odlic.htm.

    I am never quite sure what is s confusing to people about the ABO (AMERICAN BOARD OF OPTICIANRY) exam. It is a national certifying agency not a state agency, so it can be taken anywhere in the country, but the education requirements from the link above are spelled out in the link above n require either an approved Associate Degree, or very specific apprenticeship. If you come from another as you are it can be satisfied but it is my understanding it requires letters from those who trained you documenting your training and that it must be equal to that required in NY.......also spelled out above.

    Good luck in NY. If you successfully achieve a license, you will make an solid salary and be surrounded by excellent professional Opticians that all had to pass rigorous standards to use the professional title versus a state where it requires a pulse. I wish you the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmcdonald View Post
    The State of NY goes well beyond the ABO. It requires a state license. It will take a number of years for you to accomplish that in NYS. You can find a plethora of information on this link: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/od/odlic.htm.

    I am never quite sure what is s confusing to people about the ABO (AMERICAN BOARD OF OPTICIANRY) exam. It is a national certifying agency not a state agency, so it can be taken anywhere in the country, but the education requirements from the link above are spelled out in the link above n require either an approved Associate Degree, or very specific apprenticeship. If you come from another as you are it can be satisfied but it is my understanding it requires letters from those who trained you documenting your training and that it must be equal to that required in NY.......also spelled out above.

    Good luck in NY. If you successfully achieve a license, you will make an solid salary and be surrounded by excellent professional Opticians that all had to pass rigorous standards to use the professional title versus a state where it requires a pulse. I wish you the best.
    Thanks for your fast and helpful input. I found that site when searching, but hate that type of almost-legalese found on government websites and decided to just ask informally first. I'm seeing some stuff, on that site and others, about a training permit... is that the same as what you mean by apprenticeship? And do you know if many places of employment in the city actually offer this?

    Good to hear about the NYC standards. I've only been an optician 4 years, but since starting out I've prided myself in being "one of the good ones". What is a ballpark for this solid salary you speak of? I assumed it would pay better than down here just due to being in the city, but you're making it seem like it may be more than I'm anticipating, which would certainly be a much welcomed surprise.

    Thanks again!

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    Texas is one of the worst paying states. Opticians in NYS, once licensed, are in the 50-60K range, and even higher if in management roles. I do not mean to burst your bubble, but the good ones do not drop the only kind of recognition they have, and see no value in it. You will see when you get to a state that requires something to use that title what it means. Most in the state go to school and have degrees, but some to take on apprentices and that requires...….a training permit, which is what an apprentice is doing, right? You indicate you have been an Optician for 4 years, but I am not sure what that means. You go on to mention practicing...……and I hope you understand what that means.

    To enter and practice ANY profession requires something. Apprenticeship has been around since medieval days, and all the true professions in the US were trained that way initially. All others eliminated it many years ago (MDs in the early 1900s, for example). It is one-on-one training with an expert. Opticianry allows that in states where licensure is required. That is what I mean by apprentice and the word is ubiquitous, so I assumed you would understand. I am sorry I did not explain it. There are also schools for Opticians, which is the best route if you truly wish to learn the material, typically in community colleges at the Associate Degree level (usually AAS degrees- technical, non-college transfer although some schools do accept them on a limited basis). I assume from reading your questions you just walked in one day and "poof" you were hired and began as a "practicing" optician (note the lower case usage). That does not cut it in many places, as you will soon find out.

    Note there are many great Opticians in Texas, and I want to make it clear they are excellent, but they are also few and far between. Many of those from Texas are on this board are as good as anybody. There are also a few from Texas who come here and post who post regularly who clearly don't know what they don't know. My dear friend George and others started a voluntary state registration in the great state of Texas to help people stand out and show their pride in the profession, but unfortunately so few did, like you with the ABO, that the state eliminated it. In NY, most of the Opticians are solid and you will find resources at the schools who will help you achieve your goals. When you get there, and let me know where you are going. I have many former students there that are wonderful. They will mentor you and help you along if you really want to learn...….IF you really want to learn, and they can help you find a place. Join one of the Associations, and network. You will soon be a true Optician......note the capital O. NY has some of the very best Opticians in the world. They talk funny, unlike us Southerners. But they are damn good folks.

    I wish you the best when you arrive. Do not let the process seem insurmountable. It is not. But if you think you won't need help, you better think again. It is way more than you are anticipating.

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    Hahaha, I think my last post had the wrong tone, I fully recognize I am definitely still a novice and learning! What I meant was I know what you mean about opticians in Texas completely, and “one of the good ones” definitely came across as cocky- all I meant was I’ve worked with some truly gifted Opticians and truly believe I share their passion for the craft, it’s not just an easy job I landed in to me.

    I also know what an apprenticeship is- you mentioned the state of New York allowed participation in an apprenticeship program, and on the site you linked they don’t use the word but mentioned applying for a training permit to get on the job experience in lieu of enrolling in a school. Certainly sounded like an apprenticeship to me, was just making sure you and the website were both referring to the same thing- seems you were!

    Again, thanks for your advice. I’m traveling right now and a bit scatterbrained, probably a bad time to post a thread like this, but I understood what you meant better than I think I let on. Would you mind if I PM’ed you in the future regarding this?

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Hi Warren, good to see you posting. I'll differ with you a bit on Texas being one of the lower Optician wage states, especially compared to NY. I've seen plenty of Opticians, right here on Optiboard that live in upstate NY complain of $14 an hour wages. Just as in Texas, rural areas tend to pay substantially less than metro areas...That's nation wide. Metro NY City pays those 50-60k wages, but costs are also higher to live there, so it's relative.

    I've got Opticians that work for me that push 50k and one well over. It's tough to find a reasonably qualified Optician around here for less than around 42k (and our cost of living is much lower than NYC). Now, with saying that, there is an extremely small pool of what I consider qualified Opticians around here. The vast majority are really frame stylists. I can't tell you how many I've interviewed over the years that didn't grasp easy equations like Prentice Rule or even what yoked prism means....Even after being in this business 10+ years!

    To Will, I highly recommend you go through the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program the NAO offers (https://www.nao.org/cpp/). You can start that program immediately. It will be required if you go the apprenticeship route. You will also need something from your high school stating you took at least one year of advanced mathematics there (such as trig, algebra, or geometry, ect..). You may be able to shorten or even eliminate the 2 year apprenticeship if your prior experience in Texas meets the NY board's requirements. The only person qualified to submit this previous and level of experience in Texas will be an OD or OMD you work for ( Your Optician boss will not qualify as the provider of this info since Tx does not licences Opticians any more, as Warren stated above).

    Yes, hoops to jump through, but you will come out the other end of the journey a better, more knowledgeable Optician. Good luck to you!

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    How would you know they are gifted? How would you judge?

    You know, you have a great attitude. I want to help you. I want to see you succeed, because we need people who want to truly learn, and that starts with understanding the need. So many here consider themselves truly outstanding professionals but have difficulty with even basic optical theory. Go for it, and you will be as good as you want to be. Let me know where in NY. I have a couple of wonderful ladies and or gentlemen in mind that would help you, but caution......do not refer to Opticianry as a craft to them. They will eat you alive. Crafts are things people do at the county faid down South (yes a capital S, thank God!). Opticianry is a licensed health care profession in NY and 21 other states, and it is done right generally there. Let me know if I can help you.

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    George, that is good to know. If you listen to folks on Optiboard salaries are very low there, and in my travels......and you have been to most of these meetings. the major complaint has always been Texas was very low paying. So I am pleased to know it is improving. In my national research, it has always been one of the lowest states on average. But that last study is now relative old.

    The CPP is a good suggestion. I am not sure NY accepts it but I think it will help. Bob Russo or Laura or others will help her along when she arrives, and can help her find an operation that may accept an apprentice if needed. If not, they can help her study, etc.

    I wish you best.

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    Hi Warren, yes, NY accepts the CCP and requires it if you go the apprenticeship route. That's why I suggest Will enroll now. it's not unusual to take 2 years to complete it. Starting now will enable him/her to complete it about the time they are looking to move to NY.


    Best to you and family Warren!

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