Opticians, Dispensing

opticians.format
$39,610 Median Wage (2022)
6,400 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
2.70% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with inserting, removing, and caring for contact lenses. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames. Includes contact lens opticians.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)

Related Work Experience: N.A.

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-the-Job Training: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

Detailed Work Activities

  • Order medical supplies or equipment.
  • Measure the physical or physiological attributes of patients.
  • Fabricate medical devices.
  • Fit eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other vision aids.
  • Recommend types of assistive devices.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Process medical billing information.
  • Merchandise healthcare products or services.
  • Instruct patients in the use of assistive equipment.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Gather medical information from patient histories.
  • Verify accuracy of patient information.
  • Train medical providers.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Repair damaged frames.
  • Arrange and maintain displays of optical merchandise.
  • Measure clients' bridge and eye size, temple length, vertex distance, pupillary distance, and optical centers of eyes, using measuring devices.
  • Verify that finished lenses are ground to specifications.
  • Evaluate prescriptions in conjunction with clients' vocational and avocational visual requirements.
  • Recommend specific lenses, lens coatings, and frames to suit client needs.
  • Assist clients in selecting frames according to style and color, and ensure that frames are coordinated with facial and eye measurements and optical prescriptions.
  • Maintain records of customer prescriptions, work orders, and payments.
  • Heat, shape, or bend plastic or metal frames to adjust eyeglasses to fit clients, using pliers and hands.
  • Show customers how to insert, remove, and care for their contact lenses.
  • Determine clients' current lens prescriptions, when necessary, using lensometers or lens analyzers and clients' eyeglasses.
  • Prepare work orders and instructions for grinding lenses and fabricating eyeglasses.
  • Obtain a customer's previous record, or verify a prescription with the examining optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Sell goods such as contact lenses, spectacles, sunglasses, and goods related to eyes, in general.
  • Fabricate lenses to meet prescription specifications.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as tracking inventory and sales, submitting patient insurance information, and performing simple bookkeeping.
  • Assemble eyeglasses by cutting and edging lenses, and fitting the lenses into frames.
  • Instruct clients in how to wear and care for eyeglasses.
  • Supervise the training of student opticians.
  • Order and purchase frames and lenses.
  • Grind lens edges, or apply coatings to lenses.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.