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.
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 also possible to gain employment with a high school diploma or equivalent and receive on the job training. Some aspirants may receive an apprenticeship that usually lasts approximately two years.
Half of the states have license requirements and necessary testing by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE).
Job Description of an Optician
An optician is 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 needs to adjust glasses for proper fitting and educate a customer on how to clean their lenses or other maintence for their eyewear. An optician must provide ophthalmic laboratory technicians with accurate work orders.
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.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics project a 24 percent growth rate in 2014-2024 in this occupation which is faster than average.