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How to Become an Optician

Geeta Dhavale
Working as an optician is one of the most exciting careers if you have the passion to help people with their vision problems. Here's more...
If you love to deal with new people and new tasks on a daily basis, then becoming an optician could be an exciting job, as it allows you to interact with different people everyday, and poses a challenge for you to work on the needs of new clients daily, which makes your work interesting.
But, for this, you must have good communication and interpersonal skills, so that you can deal with your clients effectively.
In this field, customer service also ranks high, as you have to help clients in various things, such as helping them choose the frame of the eye wear, making glasses or contact lenses for clients as per their choice, etc. So, keeping the clients happy makes the highlight of this career.

How to Become One

Given below are a few simple steps that would help you become a successful professional in this field.
  • Generally, a high school diploma is enough to enter the field. But remember to study science subjects, as they help you learn more about the field. It is also important to note that employers prefer professionals with formal training.
  • After high school, it is advisable to enroll for a two-year associate degree in ophthalmic dispensing or optometric technology, where the coursework generally includes physics, biology, algebra, geometry, geometric optics, ophthalmic optics, etc.
  • Once you complete your degree or diploma, you have to acquire a certificate from the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners. This certificate needs to be renewed every three years. It is suggested to go through the rules and regulations of your own state regarding certificates.
  • Once you get certified, you need to look for a job. You may also choose to take an internship or work with a local optical store as a trainee for few weeks or months. This training or internship would help you gain hands-on experience in the field. After that, getting a dream job is much easier.
  • You also have the option to work as a full-timer or part-timer. As mentioned above, if your qualification is only a high school diploma, then you have the chance to work and study simultaneously.
These were the simple steps that would help you have a satisfying and successful career. Opticians generally work in the retail environment, and work around five days a week. This job is pretty relaxed and flexible, as a professional can adjust timings as per the appointments by the clients.
An average starting salary is around $46,000 per year, which increases up to $56,000 with three years of experience, and keeps increasing after that, depending on your performance and customer service.