What is an optician?
An optician makes eyeglasses and other forms of eye correction devices. Opticians specialize in designing and fitting the appropriate prescription-strength device to aid in correcting a patient’s eye sight. Commonly called dispensing opticians, because they dispense prescription eye corrections, opticians are not to be confused with ophthalmologists or optometrists who test and measure a patient’s eyesight.
Dispensing opticians help patient’s choose the correct lenses, lens coatings and frames for their prescription eyeglasses by measuring a patient’s eye using diagnostic equipment. An optician will also question a patient as to their lifestyle and career when determining the type of coating and frames to order.
Educational Requirements to Become an Optician
Generally, opticians are required to have a high school diploma. However, those who have obtained an associate’s degree are more likely to find employment. Those who have studies with an emphasis in physics, chemistry, algebra, and computers are in high demand. In addition, there are currently twenty-two states which require that persons wishing to be opticians take and pass a licensing exam.
Skills Necessary to Become an Optician
Opticians must work with the public, so people interested in pursuing a career as an optician should be able to communicate well and be able to get along well with others. Opticians must also understand the structure of the eye as well as have the ability to solve any fitting issues that may arise.
Job and Career Outlook for an Optician
As the population ages, careers for opticians are expected to increase. People referred to as the “Baby Boomer” generation are approaching middle age and will need more vision care. Opticians holding degrees and licenses will be in higher demand. Advancement opportunities are also expected for such persons in eyeglass lab settings. Salaries for opticians range from $26,000- $42,000.