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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming an Optical Technician

03/02/2020

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming an Optical Technician

Curious about a career that allows you to combine fashion with technology? Enter the role of an optical technician. Also known as ophthalmic lab technicians, these professionals are in high demand across the country. According to the California Employment Development Department, the employment rate among opticians is expected to grow by 17.6 percent by 20261. That number far exceeds the average growth rate tied to other fields.

Eye health is something people tend to ignore until they start experiencing problems. Fortunately, that’s beginning to change. As information abou eye exams spreads across age groups, the demand for opticians and optical technicians continues to rise.

Listed below are a few more factors that can help explain the rise in demand for optical technicians:

  • Lenses and Eyeglasses: Modern-day optometrists and ophthalmologists are responsible for fitting patients with eyeglasses and content lenses. They are also expected to provide advice and information pertaining to prescription drugs. This has created a need to hire qualified optical technicians across offices and clinics.
  • High Demand: As demand for high-quality eye doctors and eyewear increases, the easier it becomes for trained optical technicians to find full-time employment.
  • Fashion: New fashion trends in also dictate the demand for designer frames and contact lenses. This can also provide new opportunities for qualified optical technicians.

What does an optical technician do?

Optical Technicians typically work in optical facilities, optometrist/ophthalmologist offices or retail enterprises that deal in eyewear and are generally expected to:

  • Fill prescriptions from optometrists and ophthalmologists
  • Conduct basic eye examinations
  • Take customers’ eye measurements
  • Assist customers in choosing eyeglasses and frames
  • Help eye patients decide which lens types are apt for them
  • Keep customer prescriptions and records up to date
  • Track sales and manage the in-store inventory
  • Repair broken or damaged glasses and frames
  • Educate patients, customers, and store visitors about eye health and eyewear

Skilled individuals can receive entry-level positions as optical technicians, optical lab technicians or contact lens fitters. These jobs require a mix of clinical skills, manual dexterity, customer service skills, salesmanship and communication skills. Familiarity with data entry software and point of sale (POS) devices is a bonus.

How much do optical technicians make?

According to salary.com, the salary for optical technicians ranges from $37,324 to $48,719 per year. As is the case with any other career or profession, compensation depends on a variety of factors, including educational qualifications, experience, expertise, skills and your employer.

How to become an optical technician

The prerequisites for becoming an optical technician consist of formal education and practical training. If you are considering a career in optical technology, sign up for an optical technician program today. You can choose to pursue an associate degree, diploma or certificate course in the subject.

Here are a few things you should look for in an ideal optical technician training program:

  • Past record – Make sure you check the institute’s placement record before you enroll in their program. Most modern colleges offer placement assistance to students on the successful completion of their course.
  • Curriculum – Ensure that the course curriculum is up to date according to the latest industry trends and practices.
  • Practical training – Apart from theoretical knowledge, it is also important the institute provides you with practical exposure and hands-on experience. This will better prepare you for entry into the field.
  • Faculty – Who teaches you is jus as important as what you are taught. Being surrounded by experienced faculty means you have experts at your disposal to answer importan queries.

American Career College offers a dynamic optical technician program to help you prepare for the National Opticianry Competency Exam and Contact Lens Registry Exam (administered by the ABO/NCLE). This is an essential step for your Optometric Assistant certification.

Here are some of the key components of the institute’s syllabus:

  • Light and Single Vision
  • Multifocal
  • Optical Products: Frames and Lenses
  • Soft Contact Lenses
  • Rigid Contact Lenses
  • Anatomy / Physiology / Prisms
  • Optical Office Procedures
  • Dispensing Optician Externship

The institute’s accelerated optical technician training program allows students to complete their diploma in as little as nine months. Delivered in a blended learning format, the course combines classroom learning, practical training and online instruction. The program only requires you be on campus two days a week.

This accredited program is available at American Career College’s LA and Ontario campuses:

  • Los Angeles Optical Technician program
  • Ontario Optical Technician program

Begin your journey to becoming a optical technician now! Contact us to learn more about our diploma offerings.

1 https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/occguides/Detail.aspx?Soccode=292081&Geography=0601000000
https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/cgi/databrowsing/occExplorerQSDetails.asp?searchCriteria=&careerID=&menuChoice=occExplorer&geogArea=0601000000&soccode=519083&search=Explore+Occupation

ACC cannot guarantee employment.

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