If you go to the optician's office, you might think that everyone you encounter is an eye doctor - the person who checks you out, the person who interprets your eye exam, and the person who helps you find the best glasses for you. While it is true that some of the activities during your optical check-up are done by an eye doctor, a different professional handles the technical side of finding the best glasses for you. That person is none other than the optician!
The optician designs and releases eyesight corrective items, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses to clients. They assemble these eyeglasses, based on the prescription of the eye doctor and the aesthetic choices of the client. Opticians should be conscientious in their work. They need to be accurate because their work directly affects their clients.
Does that sound exciting? If you do not want to become a doctor but you're looking for a career in the healthcare sector, particularly in eye care, this might be a good choice!
Dispensing opticians help fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists. They also help customers decide which eyeglass frames or contact lenses to buy.
Opticians typically have a high school diploma or equivalent and receive some form of on-the-job training. Some opticians enter the occupation with an associate’s degree or a certificate from a community college or technical school. About half of the states require opticians to be licensed.Education and Training
Opticians typically have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn job skills through on-the-job training. Training includes technical instruction in which, for example, a new optician measures a customer’s eyes or adjusts frames under the supervision of an experienced optician. Trainees also learn sales and office management practices. Some opticians complete an apprenticeship, which typically takes at least 2 years.
Other opticians complete a postsecondary education program at a community college or technical school. These programs award a 2-year associate’s degree or a 1-year certificate. As of 2015, the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation accredited 22 programs in 14 states.
Education programs typically include both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Coursework includes classes in optics, eye physiology, math, and business management, among other topics. Students also do supervised clinical work that gives them hands-on experience working as opticians and learning optical math, optical physics, and the use of precision measuring instruments. Some programs have distance-learning options.
The National Academy of Opticianry offers the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program (OCPP), a program designed for individuals who are already working in the field. The OCPP offers opticians another way to prepare for licensure exams or certifications.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
About half of the states require opticians to be licensed. Licensure usually requires completing formal education through an approved program or completing an apprenticeship. In addition, opticians must pass one or more exams to be licensed. The opticianry licensing board in each state can supply information on licensing requirements.
Opticians may choose to become certified in eyeglass dispensing or contact lens dispensing or both. Certification requires passing exams from the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE). Nearly all state licensing boards use the ABO and NCLE exams as the basis for state licensing. Some states also require opticians to pass state-specific practical exams.
In most states that require licensure, opticians must renew their license every 1 to 3 years and must complete continuing education requirements.Important Qualities
Business skills. Opticians are often responsible for the business aspects of running an optical store. They should be comfortable making decisions and have some knowledge of sales and inventory management.
Communication skills. Opticians must be able to listen closely to what customers want. They must be able to clearly explain options and instructions for care in ways that customers understand.
Customer service skills. Because some opticians work in stores, they must answer questions and know about the products they sell. They interact with customers on a very personal level, fitting eyeglasses or contact lenses. To succeed, they must be friendly, courteous, patient, and helpful to customers.
Decisionmaking skills. Opticians must determine what adjustments need to be made to eyeglasses and contact lenses. They must decide which materials and styles are most appropriate for each customer on the basis of their preferences and lifestyle.
Dexterity. Opticians frequently use special tools to make final adjustments and repairs to eyeglasses. They must have good hand-eye coordination to do that work quickly and accurately.
As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, an optician can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as technician, progress to a title such as team leader and then eventually end up with the title assistant general manager.
Minneapolis, MN • Private
Stanford, CA • Private
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The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 37.3% of opticians listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.
Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Optician templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Optician resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.
After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:
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Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an optician. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, and California. Opticians make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $48,436. Whereas in Alaska and Oregon, they would average $46,359 and $44,921, respectively. While opticians would only make an average of $42,654 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.
|Rank||Company||Average Salary||Hourly Rate||Job Openings|
|7||Crown Vision Center||$35,995||$17.31||21|
|9||Clarkson Eyecare Inc||$35,876||$17.25||87|