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Optician Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

Opticians, or Oculists, are health professionals who review written prescriptions by Optometrists to provide the correct eyewear to patients. Their duties include helping their clients pick the proper glasses suited for their needs, adjusting eyewear when necessary, and repairing broken frames or lenses.

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Optician duties and responsibilities

On a typical day, an Optician designs, measures, and corrects lenses and frames for patients according to the specification or prescriptions they obtain from relevant doctors. Optician duties and responsibilities include:

  • Pre-screen clients by inquiring about their vision issues
  • Evaluate prescriptions from Optometrists and Ophthalmologists in conjunction with patients’ vocational and avocational visual requirements
  • Take accurate details of each customer’s optical and facial details to arrive at the best fit and style preference before procuring frames
  • Work with machinery to adjust or design custom contact lenses and frames for clients
  • Complete additional daily office tasks such as keeping records of clients’ prescriptions, preparing paperwork for customers’ insurance payments, maintaining order inventory, and tracking requests in the system
  • Sell vision assistive equipment and other gadgets such as sunglasses, spectacles, and contact lenses
  • Create work orders for lab technicians and provide relevant information for them to make new lenses
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What does an Optician do?

An Optician is a vision care provider who is responsible for helping patients choose and use contact lenses and eyeglasses. This professional assists customers who have obtained prescriptions written by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist. They may also repair and replace eyeglass frames to ensure a good fit. Besides this, Opticians educate customers about lens treatment and eyewear. For instance, a customer might need to know how to care for their eyeglasses.

Optician skills and qualifications

The ideal candidate for the optician job possesses excellent communication skills. A candidate who is good with children is also preferable, since sometimes opticians may interact with children who need eyewear. Some of the top skills and qualifications needed for this job may include:

  • Guiding customers through the process of purchasing the correct eyewear
  • Taking accurate measurements of customer faces and eyes to get the right fit
  • Knowing how to match the lens specifications to the prescriptions
  • Updating the in-house system, handling appointment scheduling, and following-up with customers to remind them of upcoming appointments
  • Talking to customers in a shop or clinic to suggest eyeglass accessories like lens cleaners and cases

Optician experience requirements

Successful Opticians usually have at least three years experience. This type of optical professional can operate lensometers and other optics equipment. Someone with experience in both glasses and contact lenses can make a good Optician. They need to be able to read and understand optical prescriptions. In addition to this, the right candidate needs to be proficient with computers, especially office applications. Lastly, an Optician with any experience in a retail setting would be considered an asset.

Optician education and training requirements

Opticians must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. In some cases, you may consider candidates without high school education if you provide on-the-job training. Many Opticians today study a one-year certificate in opticianry or a two-year associate’s degree.

Give priority to candidates who have completed relevant coursework in opticianry programs such as eye physiology, optics, administration, mathematics, and business administration. You also need to make sure that students with certificate programs or associate’s degrees have completed a period of supervised clinical work and passed their opticianry licensing examinations.

Optician salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, an Optician in Canada earns an average yearly salary of $40,869. This amount is subject to change depending on a company’s location and size, and the applicant’s previous experience, education, and training.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Optician job description FAQs

Are Opticians Doctors?

Opticians, Ophthalmologists, and Optometrists are all medical professionals who specialize in eye care. While Opticians are generally not medical Doctors, they help patients fit contact lenses, eyeglasses, and other vision correcting gadgets. They act according to prescriptions given by Ophthalmologists and Optometrists. Opticians also advise customers on the characteristics and styles of eyewear that are most suitable for their needs.

Who do Opticians work with?

Most Opticians work with Optometrists and Physicians, especially if they are in an eye clinic or hospital. However, they can also work in a retail setting, advising customers on the best eyewear according to their prescriptions. In such environments, Opticians work with Lab Technicians, Administrative Assistants, and other Sales Staff.

How long do Opticians work during the week?

Opticians typically work from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm for 40 hours a week. Oculists who work in retail or large chain shops usually end up working through the weekend and longer hours than those in smaller stores.

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