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.
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.
Employment of opticians is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. An aging population and increasing rates of chronic disease are expected to lead to greater demand for corrective eyewear.
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.
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.
National Academy of Opticinry
8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 605
Landover, MD 20785
Opticians Association of America
4064 E Fir Hill Drive
Lakeland, TN 38002