An optician helps other eye professionals to arrive at correct eye disorder diagnosis and then help arrange for devices that will correct these disorders. A dispensing optician fills eyewear prescriptions which are ordered by an ophthalmologist. Opticians also help ophthalmic lab technicians to accurately fill prescriptions by writing work orders. They also help people choose appropriate frames and lens that are the most suitable for their eye care as well as products that are most suitable to enhance oneself cosmetically.
Opticians usually work in a well-lit environment, usually at a medical office or many times in an eye products retail outlet. For optician training, one needs to first have a high school diploma or GED after which, a one or two year certificate, diploma or associate degree program need to be completed.
An optician’s work is very interesting as they help people to select eyeglasses and their frames which suit their facial features etc. Habits and occupations are also taken into consideration while choosing glasses. When they help ophthalmic technicians by preparing work orders, they give precise information on the lenses that need to be inserted into the eye glass frame. The eye prescription is detailed out and characteristics of the frame also mentioned on the work order. Sometimes opticians also help in refitting of eyeglass frames and doing up frame which have been broken.
Optician jobs are likely to increase in the next few decades. Corrective lenses are required among the rapidly ageing population. The growth of this career is expected to be around 13% per year. This segment of the population is also expected to live longer as life expectancy has now generally increased. Hence the need for opticians is projected to be increasing in the future.
A number of occupational hazards also may limit a person’s visual capacity. These dangers also include exposure to UV rays and excessive stress on eyes due to the continuous work on computer systems. This is also the reason for more and more people using glasses these days.
Opticians tend to spend a large part of their working hours standing on their feet and this could give rise to some occupational hazards. Some other dangers that they are exposed to include cuts from glasses cutting of the lenses and certain chemicals and machinery used in the production of eye glass lenses.
Optician training also includes getting a license to practice the trade. About half the states of the US require that practicing opticians have a license. Optician training with a license may require a written exam, a practical exam and a certification exam to be passed from the ABO or the American Board of Opticianry. An exam conducted by the National Contact Lens Examiners Association (NCLE) completes the requirements of optician training.
A practicing optician can expect to get a salary of around $26,000. Experienced opticians with established career can even get $50,000. The average median salary across the nation is around $32,820 per annum.
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