Dispensing Opticians


Overview

Dispensing Opticians

Introduction

Dispensing opticians measure and fit clients with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, other low-vision aids, and sometimes artificial eyes. They help clients select appropriate frames and order all necessary ophthalmic laboratory work. Approximately 74,500 dispensing opticians work in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$37,010

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

Apprenticeship


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Experience

Experience as an assistant in an optical shop is preferable


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Skills

Interpersonal


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Personality Traits

Hands On

Earnings

In May 2018, the median annual income for dispensing opticians was $37,010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The lowest paid 10 percent, which typically included those beginning in the field, earned less than $24,670 a year. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $60,030. Supervisors and those with managerial duties typically earn more than skilled workers, depending on their ex...

Work Environment

An optician's work requires little physical exertion and is usually performed in a quiet, well-lighted environment. Customer contact is a big portion of the job. Some laboratory work may be required, especially if a dispensing optician works with a larger outfit that makes eyeglasses on the premises. The wearing of safety goggles and other precautions are necessary in a laboratory environment.

Outlook

Employment for dispensing opticians will grow faster than the average for all occupations from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. One reason for this steady growth is an increase in the number of people—especially the elderly—who need corrective lenses. Educational programs such as vision screening have made the public more aware of eye problems, therefore increasing the n...

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