The salary of a dispensing optician can range from $22,000 to $53,000 per year as per the details provided by the US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s a job description and detailed look into the salary of such a professional.
The job of a dispensing optician involves dispensing as well as fitting spectacles as per the prescriptions given by the optometrists. The basic requirement of this job is to fully understand and interpret the optometrist’s prescription without which opticians will not be able to serve the patient. Once this is done, dispensing opticians can give vital advice regarding selection of frames which will suit the person. How much do these professionals earn? Let’s take a look.
The salary of a dispensing optician largely depends on educational qualifications, number of years of experience, skills and location of work of these professionals. As per the details provided by job market experts, the median salary is around $35,000 per year. Beginners in the field can earn around $22,000 to $25,000 per year in the beginning. On the contrary, those with more than ten years of experience can expect to earn in excess of $50,000 per year. However, the number of opticians earning more than $50,000 per year is just ten percent of the total opticians employed.
What to Dispense: Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses
Another interesting fact is that the salaries of opticians selling contact lenses is more than those advising on eyeglasses. Eyeglass dispensing opticians with one to five years of experience can draw anything between $20,300 to $35,000 per year whereas contact lens dispensing opticians having the same experience can draw between $30,000 to $40,000 per year. While salaries for people with more than ten years experience in the eyeglass category is $55,000, the salary for the contact lenses opticians is $66,000 per year.
With increasing number of people opting for contact lenses, opticians have the responsibility of explaining their types, uses and the ways to take care of the lenses. Opticians may also provide live demo for explaining the procedure to wear lenses for clear understanding of the patients.
Dispensing optometrists ensure that the spectacles for patients are made exactly as per the prescriptions. They have to also perform some managerial tasks such as ordering lenses and spectacle frames, stocking them properly and checking their quality before actually handing them over to the patients. They need to maintain cordial relations with sales and marketing professionals of vision care suppliers. Last but not the least, opticians keep a record of patients who visited them and preserve it for any kind of reference in the future.
To become a dispensing optician, you must complete a two year associate program and apprenticeship programs in opticianry. The basic qualification for these courses is your high school diploma with subjects such a mathematics, English and science. The training can be completed by all those candidates who have completed 18 years of age.
A career as a dispensing optician would be a very interesting and financially rewarding one for candidates who are really interested in this field. Excellent communication skills, an eye of the face types, detailed subject knowledge, ability of working hard and presence of mind are the qualities which you will need to make a mark in this field. So develop these skills, get the necessary qualifications and try to enter this field for a secure career.