Dispensing opticians give advice on vision care, and supply glasses and contact lenses to suit their customers needs.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll need to complete a course approved by the General Optical Council (GOC).
Approved courses include:
- a 2-year, full-time diploma
- a 3-year day release or distance learning course (if you’re working in a related role)
You’ll need to pass the professional qualifying exams of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).
You’ll need to register with the GOC before you can work.
2. Skills required
- excellent communication skills
- skills in science and maths
- accuracy and attention to detail for frame fitting and keeping records
- practical skills to handle equipment
- selling skills
3. What you'll do
Using an optometrist's prescription you’ll be:
- calculating vision distances and angles
- providing advice and information on a customer's options for lenses
- measuring for spectacles or contact lenses
- using your sales and communications skills to talk to people about types of spectacle frames
- fitting, adjusting and repairing frames
You could also show customers how to use and care for contact lenses.
Starter: around £18,000
Experienced: up to £30,000
Highly Experienced: up to £40,000 (specialists and practice managers)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work 5 days a week, including Saturdays.
You'll be based in a retail chain or independent private practice.
6. Career path and progression
With experience, you could become assistant manager or become self-employed.
You could work as a consultant to a lens manufacturer, or as a sales representative selling ophthalmological instruments.
You could also work in a hospital, or in teaching.
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Last updated: 11 April 2017