Opticians, Dispensing

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Also known as:  Certified Optician, Contact Lens Fitter, Eyeglass Fitter, Licensed Dispensing Optician, Licensed Optical Dispenser, Licensed Optician, Optical Dispenser, Optician


Dispensing and measuring opticians help people see and look their best. Opticians help customers select eyewear that serves two needs: the doctor's prescription and the customer's self-image, so a fashion sense is needed, along with technical skill.

Opticians are trained to measure the client ...
's eyes so that the lenses are made to provide vision enhancement precisely suited to the individual. Some opticians also are trained to grind the lense, but many send the lenses and frames to technicians for preparation. When they return, the optician checks to make sure they have been made according to the prescription and the measurements. Then the optician uses instruments to adjust the frame to the client's face.

One important characteristic for people striving to become an optician is the ability to work carefully and precisely. Training requirements for opticians vary from state to state. Most training is available on the job, with apprenticeships that can last 2 to 4 years. Community colleges and a few universities offer training as well.

Some opticians are also trained to help clients select and learn to use, various kinds of contact lenses. You have to be comfortable working closely with customers and have to understand their needs. Their ability to see well and to look their best is in your hands.
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.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
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Supervise the training of student opticians.
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.
Repair damaged frames.
Instruct clients in how to wear and care for eyeglasses.
Obtain a customer's previous record, or verify a prescription with the examining optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Arrange and maintain displays of optical merchandise.
Order and purchase frames and lenses.
Assemble eyeglasses by cutting and edging lenses, and fitting the lenses into frames.
Grind lens edges, or apply coatings to lenses.
Evaluate prescriptions in conjunction with clients' vocational and avocational visual requirements.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.