How Do You Become an Optician?


Quick Answer

While no formal education is required, earning a certificate or associate's degree from a trade school helps an aspiring optician, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS reports that half of states require licensure as of 2014, which may include education and a formal apprenticeship.

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Full Answer

Opticians typically learn their roles through on-the-job training received during a formal apprenticeship, or during the first two years after hire. Between education and training, opticians learn about optics, physiology and math, according to the BLS. On the job, they also learn the operation of the eyecare clinic, including sales and customer service functions.

The American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners facilitate certification programs in eyeglass dispensing and contact lens dispensing for opticians, reports the BLS. Certification improves career options and the ability to take on significant job duties. Some states that have licensing programs require a state-based exam. An optician may also have to renew a license every one or two years in these states, according to the BLS.

In addition to the education and training requirements, the BLS notes that opticians need certain skills to achieve success. Qualities include excellent communication and service skills, manual dexterity, and strong business and decision-making abilities.

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