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Opticians, Dispensing

Opticians, Dispensing
Quick Facts : Opticians, Dispensing*
2010 Median Pay$32,940
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201262,600
Job Outlook29% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change18,100

Dispensing opticians help fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists. They also help customers decide which eyeglass frames or type of contact lenses to buy. Some opticians work in stores that sell glasses, contact lenses, and other optical goods.

What Opticians, Dispensing Do

  • Take measurements of customers' eyes, such as the width or thickness of their corneas
  • Help customers choose eyeglass frames and lens treatments, such as tints or nonreflective coatings, based on their vision needs and style preferences
  • Create work orders for ophthalmic laboratory technicians, providing information about the lenses needed
  • Educate customers about eyewear?for example, showing them how to care for their contact lenses
  • Do business tasks, such as maintaining sales records, keeping track of customers' prescriptions, and ordering inventory

Work Environment

Some opticians work in stores that sell glasses, contact lenses, and other optical goods. These stores may be stand-alone businesses or parts of larger retail establishments, such as department stores. Other opticians work as part of a group optometry or medical practice.
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Job Outlook

Employment of opticians is expected to grow by 29 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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The average salary of opticians was $32,940 in May 2010.
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Opticians, Dispensing*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Opticians, Dispensing


Healthcare Occupations


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Opticians, Dispensing*
Percent Change in Employment

Opticians, Dispensing


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Becoming a Opticians, Dispensing

Most opticians have at least a high school diploma. Opticians typically learn job skills through formal on-the-job programs. This training includes technical instruction in which, for example, new opticians measure a customer's eyes or adjust frames under the supervision of an experienced optician. Trainees also learn sales and office management practices.
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