Dispensing Optician

Pros


  • You will be helping people in this type of work to see better as well as feel comfortable wearing corrective lenses.
  • There are expected to be very good job opportunities in this field over the long term.
  • As this work requires dispensing opticians to use specialized diagnostic equipment, this is good work for those who like working with their hands.

Cons

  • You must be a people person to work in this job. A large portion of time in this field requires working with people.
  • Many in this occupation must work hours that are outside of the normal workday in order to service clients.
  • Because of the various attributes that are required to be measured in order to get the best possible corrective lense for clients, attention to detail is required.

Overview

Dispensing opticians work with people who come to them in order to see better. Many people who need corrective lenses also want to make sure that they feel comfortable wearing them as well, and they want to look good too. Therefore, the expertise that dispensing opticians can offer their clients is very helpful as they are familiar with measurements and general style trends that allow them to properly select frames and lenses that will look good on their clients.

Along with reviewing a client’s past lense prescriptions, dispensing opticians use sophisticated equipment in order to get the best possible fit for their clients. Many features of the eye must be taken into account which can include surface topography, width and curvature. A dispensing optician will take this information and prepare a work order to be sent over to an ophthalmic laboratory technician so that they are able to prepare the lenses to be placed into a frame. Once a prescription has been prepared by the laboratory technician the dispensing optician will make sure that the frames properly fit and rest comfortably on the client’s face.

Dispensing opticians work under the supervision of ophthalmologists or optometrists. This can either be in a private practice or a franchise optical store. Along with the duties described above, many dispensing opticians become specialized in order to further advance their careers.

Education

The minimum requirement for this type of work is a high school degree in order to gain employment. However, many dispensing opticians have some college or even a degree. There are community college programs that train for this field, and there are even a few four year programs at universities. Many states require that those who wish to work in this field to become properly certified. States that do not require this usually have some sort of apprenticeship program to help train future dispensing opticians.

Job Prospects

Job growth in the field of dispensing opticians is expected to grow in the future. This can be explained by the growth of an aging demographic that require corrective lenses in order to see properly while they drive and do other intensive tasks. Also, a majority of employers offer eye care insurance along with medical care, and this drives a demand for dispensing opticians to use their expertise to help people to see better.

Advancement Opportunities

There are some opportunities for advancement for dispensing opticians, although those who have the most experience and training usually fare the best when it comes to promotions. Those who have the right combination of work ethic and leadership skills can expect to move into positions of more responsibility such as a supervisor or office manager. Many dispensing opticians become certified in fitting people for contact lenses, which are becoming increasingly popular for people who do not want to fuss with wearing eyeglasses.