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Dispensing Optician

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What Does it Take to Be a Dispensing Optician?

Job Description & Duties Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with inserting, removing, and caring for contact lenses. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames. Includes contact lens opticians.

Life As a Dispensing Optician

  • Assist clients in selecting frames according to style and color, and ensure that frames are coordinated with facial and eye measurements and optical prescriptions.
  • Determine clients’ current lens prescriptions, when necessary, using lensometers or lens analyzers and clients’ eyeglasses.
  • Show customers how to insert, remove, and care for their contact lenses.
  • Fabricate lenses to meet prescription specifications.
  • Instruct clients in how to wear and care for eyeglasses.
  • Obtain a customer’s previous record, or verify a prescription with the examining optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Skills Needed to be a Dispensing Optician

When polled, Dispensing Opticians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

  • Licensed Dispensing Optician (LDO)
  • Contact Lens Technician
  • Dispensing Optician
  • Certified Optician
  • Optical Dispenser

Dispensing Optician Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 77,600 jobs for Dispensing Optician in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 15.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 11,700 new jobs for Dispensing Optician by 2026. The BLS estimates 7,000 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Dispensing Opticians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Dispensing Optician are Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Kansas, or Rhode Island. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Dispensing Optician Make?

Dispensing Opticians make between $24,670 and $60,030 a year.

Salary Ranges for Dispensing Opticians

Dispensing Opticians who work in New Jersey, Massachusetts, or New York, make the highest salaries.

How much do Dispensing Opticians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $32,660
Alaska $45,500
Arizona $37,990
Arkansas $36,940
California $42,760
Colorado $39,510
Connecticut $52,980
Delaware $36,770
District of Columbia $46,230
Florida $40,290
Georgia $36,330
Hawaii $44,780
Idaho $32,130
Illinois $37,360
Indiana $30,720
Iowa $33,560
Kansas $30,770
Kentucky $40,340
Louisiana $32,310
Maine $37,690
Maryland $44,290
Massachusetts $60,240
Michigan $35,910
Minnesota $39,510
Mississippi $31,990
Missouri $39,170
Montana $33,050
Nebraska $35,290
Nevada $40,520
New Hampshire $41,540
New Jersey $56,780
New Mexico $32,160
New York $54,730
North Carolina $42,200
North Dakota $33,900
Ohio $40,480
Oklahoma $31,770
Oregon $42,660
Pennsylvania $36,300
Rhode Island $46,660
South Carolina $37,910
South Dakota $30,490
Tennessee $37,720
Texas $34,690
Utah $30,750
Vermont $46,360
Virginia $46,700
Washington $44,750
West Virginia $32,640
Wisconsin $35,460
Wyoming $30,840

What Tools do Dispensing Opticians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Dispensing Opticians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Point of sale POS software
  • First Insight MaximEyes
  • HealthLine Systems Eyecom
  • Insight Software My Vision Express
  • OfficeMate Software Solutions OfficeMate

How do I Become a Dispensing Optician?

Are there Dispensing Opticians education requirements?

Dispensing Optician Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Dispensing Optician?

Dispensing Optician Work Experience

Where Dispensing Opticians Work

Dispensing Optician Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Dispensing Optician Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Are you already one of the many Dispensing Optician in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Robert Barnett via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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