Is Optician a Good Career?

is optician a good career

Opticianry is a healthcare profession that involves helping individuals to achieve clear and comfortable vision by fitting and dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses. It’s a unique and rewarding career that blends healthcare, retail, and technical skills. However, if you’re considering a career as an optician, you might be wondering if it’s a good choice. In this article, we’ll explore the career prospects for opticians and answer the question, is optician a good career?

Key Takeaways

  • Opticianry is a unique and rewarding healthcare profession.
  • Opticians help individuals to achieve clear and comfortable vision by fitting and dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses.
  • The career prospects for opticians are positive, and the demand for these professionals is expected to grow in the coming years.
  • Becoming an optician requires training and certification, and different educational pathways and programs are available.
  • Opticians earn a competitive salary, and the job satisfaction associated with the career is high.

Becoming an Optician

If you are considering becoming an optician, it is important to understand the necessary training and certification requirements to enter the field.

Optician training programs are typically offered at community colleges, technical schools, and some universities. These programs can range in length from six months to two years, depending on the level of education desired. During your training, you will learn about ocular anatomy and physiology, optics, and how to assist patients with choosing and fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses.

After completing the training program, you may need to obtain optician certification depending on your state requirements. The American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) offer nationally recognized certifications that demonstrate your proficiency in optics and dispensing eyewear. Certification exams typically cover topics such as spectacle and contact lens fabrication, optics, dispensing procedures and regulations, and ophthalmic standards of practice.

It is also worth noting that there are various educational pathways to becoming an optician, depending on your career goals and interests. For example, some opticians may choose to pursue further education and become licensed optometrists or ophthalmologists.

optician training

Available Optician Training Programs

Training Program Duration Required Credentialing
Community college optician program 2 years ABO/NCLE certification
Technical school optician program 6 months to 1 year ABO/NCLE certification
Apprenticeship Varies ABO/NCLE certification

Job Outlook for Opticians

Opticians are in high demand across the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of opticians is projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

This growth can be attributed to an aging population, which requires more optical care, and an increased focus on eye health as part of overall healthcare in the United States. As a result, there will be more job opportunities and higher demand for opticians in the coming years.

Opticians can find employment in a variety of settings, including optical stores, healthcare facilities, and private practices. Optical stores are the most common workplaces for opticians, as they specialize in selling eyewear and providing eye exams. Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, also offer job opportunities for opticians, where they can work alongside optometrists and ophthalmologists to provide comprehensive eye care services.

optician job outlook

Private practices offer a more personalized and intimate work environment, where opticians can develop closer relationships with patients. They can work alongside eye doctors and assist with patient care, including prepping patients for exams, recording medical history, and educating patients about eye health and proper eyewear.

Job Opportunities for Opticians

Workplace Setting Job Description Estimated Salary
Optical Stores Sell eyewear and provide eye exams $37,840 per year
Healthcare Facilities Assist optometrists and ophthalmologists with patient care $42,070 per year
Private Practices Assist with patient care and provide personalized eyewear solutions $43,630 per year

Overall, the job outlook for opticians is bright. With a projected growth rate that is much faster than average and a variety of job opportunities available across different settings, opticians can expect a stable and fulfilling career.

Optician Salary

One of the most critical factors when deciding whether to pursue a career as an optician is salary. The median annual salary for opticians in the United States as of May 2020 was $38,640, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent of earners made less than $25,020, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $59,840.

The salary range for opticians can vary depending on various factors such as geographic location, the type of employer, and years of experience. Opticians working in metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas. Similarly, those with more work experience and certifications may earn higher salaries than those who are just starting.

The table below shows the average salaries for opticians in various states:

State Average Salary
California $49,630
Florida $35,400
Texas $38,850
New York $40,950
Ohio $37,270

Overall, opticianry can be a rewarding and financially viable career choice. With the potential for career growth and increasing demand, opticians can enjoy job security and opportunities for professional development.

Job Satisfaction as an Optician

Opticianry is a fulfilling and rewarding career that allows individuals to improve the lives of others. Opticians play a critical role in helping people enhance their vision and overall well-being by providing expert guidance on selecting and fitting eyewear.

One of the most satisfying aspects of being an optician is working directly with people. By actively listening to their needs and concerns, opticians can create a comfortable and enjoyable experience that leaves clients satisfied and confident with their eyewear.

Additionally, opticians get to witness first-hand the positive impact their work has on people’s daily lives. From helping kids see the chalkboard to assisting seniors with reading glasses, opticians provide a valuable service that improves the quality of life for countless individuals.

While the work of an optician can be highly rewarding, it can also come with specific challenges. Opticians may encounter clients who are hard to please or difficult to work with. Additionally, opticians must remain up to date on the latest trends and technological advancements, which can be challenging at times. However, the overall sense of fulfillment that comes with being an optician overrides any difficulties or challenges encountered on the job.

Key Takeaways

  • Opticians have a rewarding job that allows them to help people enhance their vision and quality of life.
  • Working directly with individuals allows opticians to create a comfortable experience, leaving clients satisfied and confident.
  • Opticians must stay up to date with the latest trends and technological advancements, which can be a challenge at times.


In conclusion, opting for a career in opticianry can be a great choice for those interested in the field of vision care. As we have explored in this article, opticians have promising career prospects, with a growing demand for their services across different settings.

Becoming an optician requires the completion of both training and certification requirements, which can vary depending on the state or educational program chosen. However, the educational pathways and programs available offer flexibility and diverse options for aspiring opticians.

In terms of job outlook, opticians are expected to see stable growth in the coming years and have an array of job opportunities available to them, with competitive salaries available in different geographical locations.

Job satisfaction as an optician can be high, given the rewarding nature of the work involved in helping people improve their vision and overall quality of life. However, it is important to note that certain challenges, such as managing difficult customers or working long hours, can impact job satisfaction for some individuals.

By weighing the career prospects, training requirements, job outlook, salary, and job satisfaction aspects, individuals can make an informed decision about pursuing a career in opticianry. Overall, opticianry can be a fulfilling and lucrative career path for those willing to put in the necessary effort and dedication.


Is optician a good career?

Yes, opting for a career as an optician can be a rewarding choice. Not only is there a growing demand for opticians, but the field also offers job stability and a competitive salary. Moreover, being an optician allows you to contribute to improving people’s vision and overall well-being.

What are the career prospects for opticians?

The career prospects for opticians are promising. With an aging population and an increased awareness about the importance of eye care, the demand for opticians is expected to grow. Job opportunities can be found in various settings, including optical stores, healthcare facilities, and private practices.

How do I become an optician?

To become an optician, you will need to undergo training and obtain a certification. This typically involves completing a formal opticianry program, which can range from one to two years in duration. After completing the program, you may need to pass a state licensing exam or obtain national certification to practice as an optician.

What is the job outlook for opticians?

The job outlook for opticians is positive. Due to factors such as an aging population and increased awareness of eye health, the demand for opticians is projected to grow in the coming years. This means there are ample job opportunities available for individuals pursuing a career in opticianry.

How much do opticians earn?

The salary of opticians can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the specific work setting. On average, opticians in the United States earn a competitive salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for opticians was $38,010 as of May 2020.

What is the job satisfaction like for opticians?

Job satisfaction as an optician can be high. Many opticians find fulfillment in helping people improve their vision and quality of life. Furthermore, the dynamic nature of the job, which involves interacting with patients, conducting eye exams, and fitting eyewear, can make the work engaging and enjoyable.

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