What Does an Optician Do?
Opticians typically work for vision care businesses, healthcare facilities or retail stores to provide customers with lenses and frame options that suit their needs. They work closely with other Opticians to maintain updated inventory records, assist customers and process payments. Their job is to use their knowledge of optometry to provide customers with helpful feedback about which types of glasses or contact lenses would work best for them. They may also be responsible for using specialized devices to fit lenses to frames for customers.
Optician Skills and Qualifications
Licensing and accreditation requirements for Opticians vary by location. There is no universally recognized certification program. In some places, you don’t have to be licensed or accredited in order practice as an Optician. Employers need to check their local requirements to ensure that job candidates have the proper training and certification.
The following skills are helpful:
- Training and certification in fitting contact lenses
- Excellent attention to detail, particularly for interpreting prescriptions and checking lenses
- Strong communication skills and the ability to explain technical information clearly to customers
- Familiarity with optical products
- The ability to work effectively as part of a team
Optician Salary Expectations
The average Optician’s wage is $15.43 per hour, but it varies depending on skill level and experience. Opticians with substantial experience and good customer feedback and reviews can command higher hourly rates, but there are some entry-level, lower-paying positions available at which there’s potential for growth and more responsibility.
Some Opticians begin as apprentices, where they learn the profession through on-the-job training, usually at a low wage. For some accreditation programs, hours worked as an apprentice can be substituted for classroom credits, which makes apprenticeship a desirable way to enter the profession.
Optician Education and Training Requirements
Successful candidates will need at least an associate degree in opticianry. Employers look favorably on bachelor’s degrees and extra training. Positions in some geographic locations require Opticians to be certified through an appropriate trade association. Additionally, some locations have their own accreditation systems with specific requirements, and certifications may have to be renewed periodically through continuous professional development.
Optician Experience Requirements
Although previous experience working as an Optician is ideal, retail experience is also an asset because Opticians deal with customers directly and need excellent customer service skills. Some retail optical businesses offer programs that let people who want to become Opticians gain experience in a real workplace. On-the-job experience is a great way to learn about the realities of the profession and also shows enthusiasm and commitment.
Previous sales experience or business administration training is also desirable because many Opticians are responsible for maintaining accurate patient records, doing inventory checks and predicting demand for products based on sales data and market trends.
Job Description Samples for Similar Positions
If this guide Optician job description guide is not exactly what you’re looking for, try this job description sample for a similar position: