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Opticians, Dispensing
SOC Code: 29-2081.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Optician, Contact Lens Technician, Dispensing Optician, Licensed Dispensing Optician (LDO), Licensed Optician, Ophthalmic Dispenser, Optical Technician, Optician, Optometric Assistant, Optometric Technician

Tasks

  • Evaluate prescriptions in conjunction with clients' vocational and avocational visual requirements.
  • Recommend specific lenses, lens coatings, and frames to suit client needs.
  • Verify that finished lenses are ground to specifications.
  • Measure clients' bridge and eye size, temple length, vertex distance, pupillary distance, and optical centers of eyes, using measuring devices.
  • Sell goods such as contact lenses, spectacles, sunglasses, and other goods related to eyes in general.
  • Assist clients in selecting frames according to style and color, and ensure that frames are coordinated with facial and eye measurements and optical prescriptions.
  • Heat, shape, or bend plastic or metal frames to adjust eyeglasses to fit clients, using pliers and hands.
  • Show customers how to insert, remove, and care for their contact lenses.
  • Determine clients' current lens prescriptions, when necessary, using lensometers or lens analyzers and clients' eyeglasses.
  • Maintain records of customer prescriptions, work orders, and payments.
  • Fabricate lenses to meet prescription specifications.
  • Instruct clients in how to wear and care for eyeglasses.
  • Prepare work orders and instructions for grinding lenses and fabricating eyeglasses.
  • Assemble eyeglasses by cutting and edging lenses, and fitting the lenses into frames.
  • Obtain a customer's previous record, or verify a prescription with the examining optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Order and purchase frames and lenses.
  • Repair damaged frames.
  • Perform administrative duties such as tracking inventory and sales, submitting patient insurance information, and performing simple bookkeeping.
  • Supervise the training of student opticians.
  • Arrange and maintain displays of optical merchandise.
  • Grind lens edges, or apply coatings to lenses.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Intuit QuickBooks
  • Data base user interface and query software - EZ-Zone Optizone Enterprise
  • Medical software - EMRlogic Systems ENTERPRISE Visions; First Insight MaximEyes; HealthLine Systems Eyecom; Specialist Data Solutions OctoPlus (see all 9 examples)
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Point of sale POS software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Calipers - Dial calipers; Digital calipers
  • Cash registers
  • Combination refractor keratometers - Autorefractors
  • Desktop computers
  • Eye charts or vision cards - Snellen eye charts
  • Half round file - Half-round files
  • Hex keys - Hex wrenches
  • Lens measuring equipment - Contact lens thickness gauges; Lens analyzers; Lens clocks
  • Magnetic stripe readers and encoders - Credit card processing machines
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Ophthalmic lensometers - Focimeters; Optometric lensometers
  • Opticians tools or accessories - Millimeter rules; Pickup screwdrivers; Pupillometers; Snipe nose pliers (see all 20 examples)
  • Personal computers
  • Screwdrivers - Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
  • Tweezers - Screw-holding tweezers

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Interests

  • Interest code: ECR
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Context

  • Telephone - 93% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 85% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 78% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 74% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 48% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 74% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 37% responded “Very important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 33% responded “Important results.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 89% responded “40 hours.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 44% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 30% responded “Very important.”
  • Level of Competition - 33% responded “Slightly competitive.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 69% responded “About half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
42%Associate's degree
27%Post-secondary certificate
23%High school diploma or equivalent

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $17.43 hourly, $36,250 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 78,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 7,000

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