H.O.T. GUIDE
Health Occupations
& Technology

Optician

To be a successful Optician you should…

  • have good eye/hand coordination
  • be tactful, pleasant, and communicate well
  • be able to see details and slight differences
  • have excellent listening skills
  • have the ability to be accurate using numbers in calculations

What will my job be like?

Opticians order, prepare, and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses for patients, based on a prescription from an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. Opticians grind lenses and shape them to fit an eyeglass frame and adjust the finished product to the customer. They help their customers select the best eyewear in terms of comfort, usefulness, and appearance. Opticians also repair eyewear and replace lost or damaged lenses or parts.


Where could I work?

About 50 percent of opticians work for ophthalmologists or optometrists who sell glasses directly to patients.

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.

Other workplace settings:
  • Retail Stores

What is the average annual salary?

$38,500


What is the future of this career?

Employment of opticians is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the BLS.

About 5,900 openings for opticians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


What type of education and/or training do I need?

Training requirements vary by state with a high percentage of Connecticut opticians receiving 2-year associate degrees. Some dispensing opticians receive on-the-job training or apprenticeships lasting two to four years under a licensed optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist.


Where can I get the education and/or training?

  • Middlesex Community College, Middletown

Do I need a license or certification for this career?

Licensure is required in the State of Connecticut. Prerequisite: Four years of approved apprenticeship or an associate’s degree in Opthalmic Dispensing from an approved school; American Board of Opticianry’s National Opticianry Competency Examination; National Contact Lens Examination; Connecticut Practical Examination.


Where can I get more information?

National Academy of Opticinry
8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 605
Landover, MD   20785
(800) 229-4828
www.nao.org

Opticians Association of America
4064 E Fir Hill Drive
Lakeland, TN   38002
(901) 388-2423
www.oaa.org