They usually work regular hours; although they may be required to work some of their shifts during the evening and on weekends in order to accommodate the schedules of customers. They must also be able to provide good customer service, work extensively with the public, sit or stand for long periods of time and must possess good manual dexterity.
With the growing popularity of the internet, there is a market for patients who may wish to purchase their prescription spectacles online. This practice will clearly have a much lower cost base and consequently the cost to the patient will be considerably lower. Of course, patients will still need to have eye examinations on a regular basis.
All the above factors, together with the increasing number of elderly in the population, will ensure good demands for these services.
Employment Prospects for Opticians
Employment prospects for this field include optical shops, department stores and offices for both ophthalmologists and optometrists. This profession is sometimes confused with the field of optometry; however the two professions are different.
Opticians & Optometrists
Opticians prepare, fit and sell corrective lenses and eyeglasses while optometrists examine patient’s eyes to diagnose vision problems. They are also usually required to make adjustments and minor repairs to frames as well as apply special coatings and make lenses to exact prescription requirements.
As an individual gains experience they may also wish to consider opening their own store. Those that do this, need to be aware of overheads that a practice is likely to incur:
- Qualified Staff for examinations & dispensing
- Experienced auxiliary staff
- Specialized & expensive equipment
- Overheads such as rent, electricity etc
Job Search for Opticians
Persons interested in finding work within this field should concentrate their job search using such methods as networking as well as checking the classifieds sections of local newspapers. If they have attended a professional training program the placement office at their school may also prove to be helpful in letting them know about open positions.
Cover Letters for Opticians
The cover letter used when applying for a position within this field should concentrate on the candidate’s formal education and experience; if either of those happen to be applicable. The candidate should also mention how they learned about the job and state the name of the person who referred them to the job opening; if they were referred.
Finally, they should focus on their people skills and ability to communicate well.
Resumes for Opticians
The chronological resume will work best when applying for a position within this field because it allows the candidate to focus on both their education and experience. Any experience that relates specifically to this field should be highlighted.
Training & Qualifications for Opticians
Most employers require at least a high school diploma; usually with some formal training and experience although it is possible to enter this industry without any experience. Math and science are strongly related to this occupation so persons interested in becoming an optician should concentrate on these subjects.
Management, sales and marketing may also prove to be beneficial. Candidates interested in this field should be aware that licensing is required by some States and licensing requirements vary.
Apprenticeship programs are offered by some employers in order to gain hands on experience.
These types of programs normally last anywhere between two to four years.
Other options to gain formal training include attending a technical school or two year college that offers an associate’s degree or certificate program within this field.