What does an Optician do?
Opticians help people who have prescriptions from Optometrists and Ophthalmologists. They are often the first point of contact for people with concerns about vision. They provide advice to customers and help them feel more confident in their decisions about eyewear. Opticians help people at all stages of their eyewear journey, from providing new glasses or contact lenses and performing adjustments to carrying out repairs. Their knowledge and friendliness encourage customers to return to the same Optician store or practice. A good Optician can promote brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth publicity.
Optician skills and qualifications
Opticians use a combination of technical and customer service skills to help their customers. A successful Optician candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, that typically include:
- Technical ability using ophthalmic tools such as a focimeter, tonometer or retinoscope
- Strong verbal communication skills which include active listening for advising and educating customers
- Confidence working as part of a team
- Mathematics skills for calculating vision angles and distances
- Computer literacy for updating customer records and placing orders
Optician experience requirements
Experience working in optician shops or eye clinics is preferable, but not essential. Working in an optician store as an Optical Assistant, a Sales Assistant or a Receptionist helps aspiring Opticians become familiar with eye care processes because these roles can help develop customer service skills. Some employers prefer Opticians who gain experience through work placement programs. These programs are part of diploma courses approved by the General Optical Council. They oversee students working under the supervision of qualified Opticians.
Optician education and training requirements
Aspiring Opticians need 5 GSCEs at grades 9 to 4 in English and Mathematics and one or two A levels in science. These subjects are prerequisites for enrolling in courses approved by the General Optical Council. Aspiring Opticians can complete a two-year diploma course, followed by a one-year work placement program. Alternatively, people in eligible employment could complete a three-year day release or distance learning course. After completing their education, graduates must pass the professional qualifying examinations from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians Professional.
Optician salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Optician in the UK is £27, 929 per year. Salaries vary according to experience, location and area of speciality.
Job description samples for similar positions
If you do not have a vacant Optician position, a similar job description may suit you better. Here are some related job description samples to consider: