Dispensing opticians are qualified to dispense and measure spectacles and other optical equipment. They operate based on the prescriptions that are presented by the patient, which is usually written by ophthalmologists and optometrists. A dispensing optician is also qualified to provide guidance and advice to patients with regards to the different kinds of lenses and frames to perfectly suit their individual case. These tips and advice include the color, dimensions and style of the optical equipment. Patients may also seek assistance from dispensing opticians if they are first-timers or is having trouble when wearing and maintaining their spectacles in good condition. They can also train an individual on how to wear and care for their contact lenses.
A high percent of dispensing opticians can mostly be seen in high street avenues working for big chain optician shops while some practice the job independently. The work of a dispensing optician necessitates wide utilization of technical mastery and great customer service capabilities. Sales is also an essential part of a dispensing optician’s work.
Dispensing Optician Job Responsibilities
The usual day-to-day job activities of a dispensing optician include delineating prescriptions that are given by ophthalmologists and optometrists, providing assistance and advice to clients with regards to the kind and style of lens and frames and, with proper training, fits contact lenses and provides guidelines on how to correctly care and utilize the lens. Furthermore, dispensing opticians measures frames and facial dimensions to ascertain that the contact lens perfectly fits on the patient. Another task of a dispensing optician is to guide partially-sighted clients on how to utilize low vision aid devices. They are also in-charge of choosing, managing and purchasing a wide range of optical equipment. They also buy lenses from prescription facilities and checks on the order deliveries to make sure that they meet the needed attributes. Dispensing opticians also arrange and take care of the displays in the ophthalmologist store. They also liaise with business representatives as well as vision care merchandise providers. They also monitor and train newcomers who also want to achieve a career as a dispensing optician. A dispensing optician can also opt to take extra load by taking store management tasks. These activities include recruiting and predicting the expert improvement of employees, managing and planning the enhancement of the company, keeping precise patient and company records and engaging in marketing operations.
Dispensing Optician Training and Education Requirements
In order to be qualified and recognized as a dispensing optician, one should be enlisted with GOC or General Optical Council. To get enlisted, you should be able to finish a course that is authorized by the organization. Furthermore, you will have to pass a professional qualifying examination that is given by ABDO or Assoc. of British Dispensing Opticians.
The General Optical Council allows three ways on how you can qualify for this kind of career. One is through a full two-year diploma course, which is succeeded by one year training under a supervisor. The second one is through a 3-year day shift release course that is perfect for currently employed applicants. The last one is through a 3-year distance learning training, which includes a 4wk local block provided by ABDO for those in standard employment. Regardless of the choice you make, expect to take a final test from the ABDO after the course is complete.
After you’ve completed the course, you may opt to take a wide array of post-enlistment training courses in various areas including the improvement in mastery of contact lens practices.
Dispensing Optician Salary and Wages
The average income of a dispensing optician can reach from as low as £15k to £25k annually. For dispensing opticians that specialize in other operations or manage other tasks, they earn as much as £35k per year. For an independent dispensing optician, they can earn much higher income than compared with those who work in agencies or ophthalmologist stores.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Dispensing Optician Certifications
There are various programs that applicants and career hunters can take in order to achieve the necessary qualifications and certifications they need. Some of which were mentioned earlier. Others include RDO or Registered Dispensing Optician programs. It is mainly comprised of 4 parts including registered dispensing opticians, registered spectacle lens dispenser, registered contact lens dispenser and registered non-resident contact lens providers. To verify the legitimacy of the program as well as your enlistment on it, you can contact the medical board’s consumer information unit.
Dispensing Optician Professional Associations
The primary professional association for dispensing opticians in the UK is ABDO or Assoc. of British Dispensing Opticians. Another known organization is ADONZ or Association of Dispensing Opticians of New Zealand. Depending on the registrant’s or applicant’s country, the main organization may vary as well as the standards for each course and program. This is why it is ideal that you do some research first prior to taking any tests or registering for any course.