What does an Optician do?
An optician assists people with choosing and fitting frames for eyeglasses and contact lenses. They follow prescriptions given by optometrist or ophthalmologists in order to properly sell the appropriate eyeglass or contact lens. They also give advice on the best style of glasses or contacts and take into consideration the customer’s need for tinting, sports, or other special requirements. They are educators in the proper care and maintenance of eyewear for the client and carry out various business duties in the office.
Opticians work in a variety of places such as physician’s offices, stores, or larger retail establishments typically on a full time basis.
How to Become an Optician
An employer would most likely give first consideration to a prospective employee that carried an associate’s degree or certificate from a community college that has provided both classroom and clinical experience. These programs have coursework in math, business management, optics, and eye physiology. They are provided with experience in clinical work under supervision and are exposed to the use of optical physics, precision measuring instruments, and optical math. It is possible to enter this occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent and receive on-the-job training.
Half of the states require opticians to be licensed. Some opticians complete a 2-year apprenticeship. Education programs usually include classroom instruction and clinical experience. Coursework in these programs include math, business management, optics, and eye physiology. Students also acquire skills under supervised clinical work to learn optical physics, optical math, and precision measuring instruments for hands-on experience. Programs may also include distance-learning options.
Job Description of an Optician
Opticians are responsible for following prescriptions given by an optometrist and/or ophthalmologist and helping a customer select the best eyewear or contact lens. This would include measuring the client’s eyes, face, and distance between their pupils.
Opticians need to determine appropriate eyewear in the case of sports needs, work environment, and style preference. He or she prepare work orders for ophthalmic laboratory technicians. They adjust the eyewear to the customer and replace or repair broken eyeglass frames. An optician educates the customer on eyewear, for instance, proper cleaning or contact care. They also have business tasks such as ordering and maintaining inventory, maintaining sales records, and keeping track of customer’s prescriptions. Some dispensing opticians working in smaller shops may cut lenses and insert them into frames.
Opticians are also involved in maintaining inventory, keeping sales records, and precise records of a client’s prescriptions. An optician should be skilled in business, communication, and customer service. They should have dexterity and have decision making skills as well.