Wanna know about a stable career that's connected to more than half of the people on the planet?

A lot of people need vision correction, so a career as an optician might be a good one for your future!

Elton John wearing piano glasses

What Does An Optician Do?

  • Work in a retail sales environment or in an eye doctor's office

  • Follow doctors’ prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses

  • Use measuring devices to measure client specifications

  • Help customers select frames that look good and work well

  • Instruct customers on how to insert, remove, clean, and store contact lenses

  • Adjust the fit of new glasses and repair damaged glasses

  • Keep records of prescriptions, payments, orders, and inventory

  • Do simple bookkeeping

  • Sell related items like lens cleaners and wipes

Glasses on a wall display in a storeA person preparing contact lenses

What Kind Of Skills And Education Do I Need?

Minimum Level

Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum high school education

AND

  • 1 to 2 years of on-the-job training.

Max level

Usual Qualifications

  • Post-secondary certificate

OR

  • 2-year Associate’s Degree

❗❗ Licensing and/or certification are required by most states and all provinces.

You Should Consider Becoming An Optician If you....

💖 are patient and enjoy working with and helping people

📣 are a good communicator

🤑 have an entrepreneurial attitude

🎓 embrace continuous education and life-long learning

🖐 have good manual dexterity

🛒 have a background in retail sales

But NOT if you...

  • Are looking to make a lot of money to start

  • Don't like being indoors all-day

  • Dislike serving others

Can I Make A Good Living Doing This?

Salaries are comparatively lower than other healthcare professions but there is potential for higher earnings as you gain more experience.

Canada FlagAverage Salary in Canada:

C$ 47,500 per year

ranging from C$ 12.00 to 40.00 per hour (depending on experience and province.)

United States FlagAverage Salary in the US:

US$ 38,530 per year

ranging from US$ 12.00 - 29.00 per hour (depending on experience and state)

What Does The Future Look Like For Opticians?

What bodes well for the industry?

  • More than half of Americans and Canadians wear some type of corrective lenses

  • Both the US and Canada have rapidly aging populations

  • Both Canadian and US labor authorities project an increasing and steady need for opticians

Eye glasses shop neon sign

AND...

If you're a true entrepreneur and dream of owning your own business, eyeglasses are needed everywhere, so selling them is a good, stable business.

What are possible industry disruptions?

  • An increase in online retailers could result in fewer direct sales jobs

  • Inexpensive corrective surgery (like LASIK and implants) could result in less need for eyeglasses

Quiz: Should They Become An Optician?

Which of these two people you would recommend to become an optician?

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Gina is graduating high school soon. She worked at a clothing store in the local mall for the last 2 years. She loves helping people and her manager has given her increasing responsibilities at the store. She wants to get an associate's degree but isn't sure what to study.

Flaticon Icon

Donald has a bachelor's degree in business. He wants to start a business and make a 6 figure salary before his 30th birthday. He's good with numbers and has an entrepreneurial spirit. He doesn't really like school and wants to start work right away.

Quiz

Who would you recommend to become an optician, Gina or Donald?

Gina

Donald

Take Action

A cat putting on sunglasses, over the text

So you think you'd like to become an optician? What next...

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This Byte has been authored by

DG

Donald Glass

ESL Instructor/Learning Designer/EdTechie