Dispensing optician essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $33,330
- 2011, number of jobs: 64,930
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 29 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Dispensing opticians; what they do:
How individuals look in their glasses affects their first impressions on everyone they meet; a dispensing optician plays a major role in which glasses people use. Dispensing opticians help people select the eyeglass frames or type of contacts best suited for their needs and style preferences. They also fit the eyewear according to prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists.
While fitting glasses, dispensing opticians measure customers’ eyes, specifically the width or thickness of their corneas.
Dispensing optician careers include creating work orders for ophthalmic laboratory technicians and describing the required type of lenses. When a customer arrives to pick up their new glasses, a dispensing optician makes any last minute adjustments needed for optimal comfort.
A dispensing optician career includes fixing broken eyewear and explaining proper care for glasses and contacts.
Dispensing optician careers also involve performing business maintenance tasks, such as maintaining sales records, organizing customers’ prescriptions and ordering inventory.
Receive Free Info about a Matching
Online Degree for this Career
Dispensing opticians job titles:
- Licensed Optician
- Optometric Assistant
- Certified Optician
- Licensed Dispensing Optician
- Ophthalmic Dispenser
- Optometric Technician
- Optical Technician
- Contact Lens Technician
Dispensing Opticians Education, Certification and License Requirements
People seeking a dispensing optician career typically need at least a high school diploma; they learn the specifics of their profession through formal on-the-job training. Some community colleges and technical schools also offer an Associate of Opticianry degree or a one-year certificate in opticianry.
Dispensing opticians programs cover subjects such as:
- Eye physiology
- Sales and business management practices
- Basic anatomy
Dispensing opticians need a license in 23 states. Licensure generally requires graduating from an approved program or completing an apprenticeship. In addition to licensure, dispensing opticians need to pass one or more of the following: a state written exam, a state practical exam, or certification exams. Dispensing opticians must take continuing education courses to renew their licenses in most states.
Certification is voluntary for dispensing opticians; they become certified in eyeglass dispensing, in contact lens dispensing, or both. In most states, opticians must pass exams from both the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contract Lens Examiners (NCLE) in order to gain certification.
Begin a Rewarding Career
Learn about an Online Optician Certificate
Dispensing Opticians Job Outlook
Forecast: 29 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for dispensing opticians, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The aging population increases the demand for dispensing opticians. The increasing number of eye exams increases the number of people seeking services from dispensing opticians.
People interested in a dispensing optician career may find more work available in group medical practices, as optometrists and ophthalmologists increasingly offer glasses and contact lenses to their patients.
Dispensing Opticians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $33,330
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $42,700
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $25,930
- Offices of optometrists
- Health and personal care stores
- Offices of physicians
- General merchandise stores
- Department stores