Opticians measure and fit lenses and frames for people that wear glasses. They fill glasses and contact lens prescriptions written by ophthalmologists and optometrists. After communicating with clients as to their needs and preferences opticians make recommendations on glasses frames that clients will like but also will work best with the prescribed lenses and the clients’ facial features. They take measurements of distance between the clients’ pupils to make sure the prescription is properly placed into the lenses and they may suggest coating lenses so they are glare-proof. Opticians keep records on clients’ frames and prescriptions and in some cases they check with the clients’ ophthalmologist or optometrist to verify prescription information. They keep an inventory of glasses frames so they know when to order new frames. If people come in without prescriptions opticians may use a focimeter to record eyeglass measurements for the purpose of duplication. Opticians prepare work orders for the ophthalmic laboratories that will grind the lenses and insert them into frames although some opticians have the resources to do these tasks themselves. Once lenses are ground and inserted into the frame opticians reshape or bend the frame so it fits the customer properly. They also fix and adjust broken and bent frames and they instruct clients on caring for their glasses. There is no specific requirement for becoming an optician although some employers prefer to hire individuals with post secondary education including courses in mathematics geometry physics and anatomy. Some states require opticians to be licensed which is obtained by serving in a two-year apprenticeship and then passing a practical and written examination. However most employers require newly-hired opticians to have on-the-job training. According to the website www.careeroverview.com the median annual salary for opticians is approximately $26000.

Education Required: High School Diploma & Certification and/or License
Avg Salary: $26000
High Salary: $31000
Low Salary: $21000
Tasks: Dispenses glasses.
Fits glasses to a customer's face.
Follows prescriptions written by eye doctors.
Prepares work orders for ophthalmic laboratory technicians.
Also Called: Dispensing Optician
Eyeglasses Maker
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician
Eye Glasses Salesperson
Additional Resources: http://www.careeroverview.com/optician-career.html