Allied Health Professions/
Dispensing opticians fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists. They examine the prescription to determine lens specifications and recommend eyeglass frames, lenses and lens coatings after considering the prescription and the customer's occupation, habits and facial features.
Dispensing opticians measure clients' eyes, including the distance between the centers of the pupils and the distance between the eye surface and the lens. For customers without prescriptions, dispensing opticians may use a lensometer to record the present eyeglass prescription. They also may obtain a customer's previous record or verify a prescription with the examining optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Dispensing opticians work indoors in attractive, well-lighted and well-ventilated surroundings. They may work in medical offices or small stores where customers are served one at a time or in large stores where several dispensing opticians serve a number of customers at once.
Opticians spend a lot of time on their feet. Those opticians who prepare lenses must take precautions against the hazards associated with glass cutting, chemicals and machinery.
Most dispensing opticians work a 40-hour week, although some work longer hours. Those in retail stores may work evenings and weekends. Some work part time.
About a Career as a Dispensing Optician
About Health Care Careers
Note: The National Federation of Opticianry Schools reviewed this career profile.
Save money and earn your bachelor's in health sciences or healthcare management more quickly with maximum credit transfer at Excelsior. Our low tuition makes it affordable for you to earn your degree from accredited college while you earn a living. Receive up to 32 credits for your health-related occupational license. Learn more about Excelsior College ...
Part 4: How to Attend College Without Going into Too Much Debt
Part 2: How to Attend College Without Going into Too Much Debt
Criminal Background Check? But, I’m Not A Criminal!
How to Finance Your Health Sciences Education
Part 1: Accreditation Matters
Applying for Financial Aid (Part II)
Why Diversity Matters in the Health Professions
Start Preparing for Your Health Care Career in High School
Healthcare Reform 101
Keep Past Mistakes from Limiting Your Future Health Care Career
Top 10 Reasons to Pursue a Health Career Now
Job Corps Lets You Earn While You Learn
Most dispensing opticians receive training on the job or through apprenticeships lasting two or more years. Some employers, however, seek people with postsecondary training in opticianry.
Formal opticianry training is offered in community colleges and a few colleges and universities. In 2013, the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation began accrediting programs that award two-year associate degrees in opticianry. There are also shorter programs of one year or less. Search for schools that provide training for this career.
Search for funding opportunities related to this career
Search for enrichment programs related to this career
Search for academic degree and certificate programs related to this career
Allied Health Professions
Last updated: May 26, 2016
©2012 American Dental Education Association