An optician is a technician who designs, fits, and distributes eyeglasses and corrective lenses to improve individuals’ eyesight. In the US, an optician earns about $42,500 compared to its North American neighbor, Canada, where the average annual salary is nearly C$45,000 ($36,730 USD). Earnings converted to the US dollar in New Zealand are similar to Canada at NZ$53,000 ($38,678 USD) per year, followed by the UK at £26,000 ($31,515 USD) per year.
Based on US dollar conversion, opticians in Australia earn the highest annual salary of about AU$63,000, or $51,125 USD while those in India and South Africa are on the lower end of the pay range at about Rs239,000 ($3,735 USD) and R133,000 ($10,254 USD), respectively. Annual salaries for opticians are influenced by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting with further details provided in this guide.
How Much Does an Optician Make Per Year?
Average annual salaries with US dollar conversions and hourly wages for opticians in select countries worldwide are found in the chart below.
|Optician Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Optician Salary
Geographic region, professional experience, and work setting impact overall earnings, bonus potential, and benefits. Additional information on select countries is provided in this guide.
1. Geographic Area
Optician Salary in the US
Opticians in the US earn about $42,500 annually, equating to about $20 per hour. The average annual salary for entry level opticians is about $34,000, increasing over the course of one’s career to more than $51,000 for senior level opticians. There are opportunities for bonus income with the average pay at about $500 in additional earnings.
Optician Salary in Canada
In Canada, an optician earns, on average, nearly C$45,000 per year, while those earning an hourly wage receive about C$21 per hour. The average starting salary for entry level opticians is about C$35,500 per year, increasing to about C$54,000 annually for senior level professionals. More than C$500 in additional income can be earned through bonus pay opportunities.
Optician Salary in the UK
Entry level opticians in the UK can expect an average starting salary of about £21,000 per year while experienced opticians earn more than £26,000 per year, on average. Senior level opticians with the most experience earn nearly £32,000 per year. Hourly wage earners make about £13 per hour. While bonus potential is light at under £500 compared to some other healthcare positions, there is opportunity to earn some additional income each year through bonus pay.
Optician Salary in Australia
On average, opticians in Australia earn more than AU$63,000 per year, or AU$30 per hour. The average starting salary for entry level opticians is about AU$50,500 per year while senior level professionals earn nearly AU$77,000 per year. Nearly AU$1,000 in bonus income is possible each year.
Optician Salary in New Zealand
Opticians in New Zealand earn an average annual salary of about NZ$53,000 while those who receive an hourly wage receive about NZ$26 per hour. Overall income can be further increased through bonus pay with the potential of earning nearly NZ$1,000 each year. The average starting salary for opticians in New Zealand is more than NZ$42,000 per year while senior level professionals earn more than NZ$64,000 annually.
Optician Salary in India
In India, opticians earn about Rs239,000 per year, or Rs115 per hour. Entry level opticians can expect a starting salary of about R193,000 per year compared to a salary of more than Rs293,000 per year for senior level positions. The average bonus for opticians in India is about Rs3,200 in additional income.
Optician Salary in South Africa
Entry level opticians in South Africa earn an average starting salary of about R106,500 with incomes increasing with additional experience to more than R161,500 for senior level positions. On average, opticians earn more than R133,000 per year while those receiving an hourly wage receive about R64 per hour. Nearly R2,000 in additional pay can be received through bonus opportunities.
Experience strongly influences income for opticians worldwide, illustrated by growth between 50% and 54% in annual income for senior level positions compared to entry level positions. Canada experiences the greatest growth at 54% while annual salaries increase 50% in the US despite the highest salaries offered in this region. South Africa, India, New Zealand, and Australia all see increases of about 52% in annual salaries for senior level pay compared to entry level pay.
Opticians work in physician or optometrist offices or retail stores that specialize in optical products. Those employed by physicians or opticians may receive higher salaries and have greater potential for bonus income compared to those who work in retail establishments where pay is often hourly. To work as an optician, a high school diploma or equivalent is required as well as on-job training; however, those with an associate’s degree may receive higher starting salaries and be more competitive for open positions.
While most opticians work a full-time schedule, there are opportunities for part-time employment and flexible scheduling. Physician and optometrist office hours are typically Monday through Friday during normal business hours while retail businesses often offer weekend and evening hours, including some non-major holidays. Opticians who receive an hourly wage may also receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 36 to 40 hours per week, allowing additional opportunity to boost overall earnings.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Full-time opticians typically receive full healthcare benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage as well as paid time off for vacations and sick time. Some opticians may also receive paid holiday pay. Those employed part-time may not be eligible for these benefits or may receive a lower level of coverage. Some employers may also offer allowances for ongoing training or conference attendance if necessary to maintain licensure as required in some US states or geographic regions.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a much faster than average growth rate of 24% for opticians. This growth is due to an aging population, an increase in chronic diseases like diabetes that may lead to loss in eyesight, and advancements in medical technology to treat eyesight issues in patients of all ages. This increase in expected job growth should continue to support income levels and provide sufficient job opportunities for those entering this career field.
Opticians earn solid salaries that are a good return on the limited level of educational investment required for this career. Those who work full-time schedules typically receive a comprehensive level of benefits that include healthcare coverage and paid time off as well as bonus income potential. Future job opportunities are expected to remain strong in the coming years with a much faster than average anticipated growth rate.