Career Detail

Optician, Dispensing
Helping people see better and look good at the same time is the job of a dispensing optician.
The Job
Dispensing opticians prepare work orders that give ophthalmic laboratory technicians the information they need to grind and insert lenses into a frame. (See the section on ophthalmic laboratory technicians elsewhere in the Handbook.) The work order includes prescriptions for lenses and information on their size, material, color, and style.
Work Environment
Dispensing opticians work indoors mainly in medical offices, optical stores, or in large department or club stores. Opticians spend a fair amount of time on their feet.
College Majors
A high school diploma is all that is required to get into this occupation, but most workers have completed at least some college courses or a degree.
Minimum Qualifications
Most workers entering this occupation receive their training on the job, mainly through apprenticeship programs that may last 2 years or longer.
Personality traits helpful for this career
high school
Quick Facts
  • Most dispensing opticians receive training on the job or through apprenticeships lasting 2 or more years, but some employers seek graduates of postsecondary training programs in opticianry.
  • A license to practice is required by 22 States.
  • Employment growth is projected to be average and reflect the steady demand for corrective lenses and fashionable eyeglass frames.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of dispensing opticians were $32,810 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $26,170 and $41,930. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,250, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,580
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Job Growth Outlook
Hyper growth industry Hyper growth industry
Average growth Average growth
Declining job market Declining job market
No growth No growth
Dead end profession dead end profession

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