What is an Optician

If you have ever asked yourself, “What is an Optician?” then you have come to the right place. In the most basic terms, an optician is an eye care professional that interprets prescriptions written by optometrists and ophthalmologists to provide clients with eye wear products and services that meet both their medical and stylistic needs. Though the job of an optician may sound straightforward, there are many factors that come into play to create an experience that keeps clients coming back time after time.


It is not uncommon for opticians to spend more time with clients than anyone else in the optical environment (even more than the doctor). Since opticians spend so much time with clients, it becomes vitally important that they possess a positive, people-friendly personality. If you’re not the type of person that enjoys dealing with people directly on a daily basis, then you’re probably not a good candidate for a career as an optician.

When considering what is an optician, one needs to realize that opticians have to be able to leave personal problems at home when they come to work. Clients are looking for an enjoyable eye care experience and it is your job, as the optician, to make sure you understand their needs and are able to use your technical and experiential expertise to deliver products and services that exceed their expectations. Qualities such as being a good listener, communicating at a level people can understand, empathizing with people who are dissatisfied, and being action-driven to correct errors are essential attributes of a successful optician.

Complementary to the personality traits mentioned above are the technical skills required to provide appropriate eye wear products. Opticians are responsible for helping clients select the proper size, style, and fit for their eyeglasses. In some settings, opticians are expected to be able to cut and alter lenses so that they fit into the desired frames. Tasks involved in this process might include blocking, fining, polishing, edging, hand beveling, safety beveling, heat treating, chemical tempering, tinting, mounting, and inspecting the lenses prior to dispensing the final product. When the eyeglasses are dispensed, they will need to be measured, adapted, and fitted to each client individually. These technical skills in conjunction with a good personality will give you a better idea of what is an optician.

As you can see, there is a lot more to being an optician than many people might think. Opticians must be able to keep track of many different processes that are happening simultaneously all while maintaining a calm and collected professional demeanor. This should not; however, scare you away from pursuing a career as an optician. As with any job, you will become more comfortable with your career responsibilities as you learn more about what is an optician.

Many states have established educational requirements that ensure that opticians have attained the technical and professional skills needed to provide superior products and services. You can find out if you will be subject to such requirements by clicking on your state in the drop-down menu found at the top of the sidebar just under the map of the United States.


A career as an optician is extremely rewarding. In general, clients are happy to see you and you will experience a great sense of satisfaction from helping people improve their vision and self-image. The requirements that answer the question, what is an optician, will depend on the state where you work. Though you may be required to complete a college degree and pass a few exams, we are confident that you will find the personal and financial satisfaction that comes with a career as an optician well worth the effort.

2 Responses

  1. bibowei edmond
    bibowei edmond October 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for the enlightenment. I just received admission into the higher institution to study optometry, and I was wondering what life as an optician would be like, but with this vivid explanation I have something to smile about. Thanks once again. I am from Nigeria.

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