What Do Dispensing Opticians Do?
Dispensing opticians are largely responsible for identifying and obtaining the appropriate lenses for their ophthalmology patients. They fit, measure, design and adjust lenses based on their clients’ specifications or prescriptions. They go through the process of measuring clients for their lenses and help them pick out optimal frames. They then verify that the lenses have been manufactured to the exact original specifications. These positions are expected to grow significantly in upcoming years, and it has been estimated the job availability will increase by 23%. This will provide approximately 3,530 new positions annually.
Dispensing Opticians Skills and Abilities
In this position, you will be working closely with clients to find the perfect pair of glasses. As such, you will need strong customer service skills that allow you to provide customers with what they need. Additionally, because you are selling lenses to clients, you will need to also possess strong sales and marketing techniques to ensure that the organization is profiting. Math is essential in the position in and ensures appropriate fit. You will need to perform a range of clerical tasks and you will be expected to record information using a variety of technology.
Dispensing Opticians Duties
Much of your time on the job will be spent interacting with the public and working with customers to assess their vision needs based on a variety of factors including vocation and lifestyle. During the process, you will need to listen carefully and gather important information. You will frequently be expected to work with clients to effectively solve problems efficiently, and will need to make quick decisions. Clients will expect you to have up-to-date and relevant knowledge. Therefore, you will spend some of your time research and understanding trends in the field. Here are a variety of other tasks you may be expected to perform on the job.
Dispensing Opticians Tools and Technology
In measuring clients for the correct lenses, you will be expected to work with a range of diagnostic equipment. On a daily basis, you will utilize digital and dial calipers, lens measure equipment, ophthalmic lensometers, optician tools and various screwdrivers. You will need to understand maintenance and some basic repairs when working with the tools. You will also need to be familiar with medical specific computer software, point of sale software and database and query software. These will be important in tracking patient information and sales numbers.
Education and Training for Dispensing Opticians
To enter the field, you will need at least a high school diploma. However, most employees in the field have attended some postsecondary education. There are instructional programs available that specifically focus on opticianry/ophthalmic dispensing optician, and they can be helpful in preparing yourself for the job. Previous experience in the field is not required, but you will be expected to complete extensive long-term on-the-job training.
Dispensing Opticians Salary
Dispensing opticians make rather decent salaries. The median national salary for individuals in the field is $34,300. However after some time in the field, you can increase your pay. The top 25% in the field earn $44,500 and the top 10% earn $55, 200. Salary will greatly depend on your experience and location.
Dispensing Opticians Jobs by Geography
New Jersey and Massachusetts offer the highest salaries with median salaries above $50,000 per year. New York, along with a handful of other states, offer salaries in the $40,000 range. However, Georgia is expected to experience the most substantial growth of positions in the field at 36.7%. Ultimately, the availability of positions and median salaries will depend on the state that you live in.