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Optician

License required in 22 states

11th most burdensome licensing requirements among moderate-income occupations

63rd most heavily regulated occupation among moderate-income occupations

What They Do

Opticians, also known as dispensing opticians, design, measure, fit and adapt lenses and frames for clients according to written optical prescriptions or specifications; assist clients with selecting frames; and measure customers for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. They also prepare work orders for optical laboratories containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames; verify the exactness of finished lens spectacles; adjust frame and lens position to fit clients; and may shape or reshape frames.

Licensing

Twenty two states require a license to work as an optician. On average, these laws force aspiring opticians to pay $449 in fees, demonstrate nearly two years (714 days) of education and experience, and pass around two exams—the 11th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. However, because less than half of states license opticians, the occupation ranks as the 63rd most widely and onerously licensed.

While almost every state requires a minimum age of 18 years and at least a high school diploma, other license requirements vary greatly. (Duties also vary by state—see Appendix B for details.) Education and experience requirements vary from none in California and New Hampshire to more than three years (about 1,118 days) in Nevada. Similarly, exam requirements vary from none in New Hampshire to four in Connecticut, and fees range from $110 in New Hampshire to $943 in Florida.

License to Work

The data and information here come from IJ’s License to Work report, released in November 2017.

States Ranked by Average Licensing Burden for 102 Lower-Income Occupations

More Burdensome Less Burdensom
Based on data released in November 2017

State Licensing Requirements

Select a chart to view:
Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Nevada 22 $900 1118 2 years 1 years and 100 clock hours 3 12 18
2 Arizona 22 $650 1095 3 years 3 12 18
3 Arkansas 22 $260 1095 3 years 2 12 21
4 Rhode Island 22 $255 1095 2 years 1 years 2 12 18
5 North Carolina 22 $225 912 2 years 6 months 1 12 18
6 New Jersey 22 $420 851 2 years 4 months 2 12 17
7 Florida 22 $943 731 6 clock hours and 2 years 3 12 18
8 Connecticut 22 $650 730 2 years 4 12 18
9 Tennessee 22 $758 730 2 years 3 12 18
10 Massachusetts 22 $509 730 2 years 3 12 18
11 Kentucky 22 $500 730 2 years 3 12 18
12 South Carolina 22 $545 730 2 years 2 12 18
13 Hawaii 22 $536 730 2 years 2 12 18
14 Washington 22 $200 731 2 years and 4 clock hours 3 12 18
15 Virginia 22 $350 730 2 years 2 12 18
16 New York 22 $333 730 2 years 2 12 18
17 Vermont 22 $325 730 2 years 1 12 18
18 Ohio 22 $321 730 2 years 1 12 18
19 Alaska 22 $550 420 1800 clock hours 1 12 18
20 Georgia 22 $115 365 1 years 3 12 18
21 California 22 $424 0 1 12 18
22 New Hampshire 22 $110 0 0 0 0