A Day in the Life of an Optician
So, what’s it like to be an optician? If you are thinking of becoming an optician you may want to find out what an average day is like before you commit to training and education. After all, if this is what your life is going to be like for the next ten or more years, it’s a good idea to find out ahead of time whether you will enjoy your work. Otherwise you may be in for a nasty surprise, although there aren’t too many surprises when it comes to being an optician.
Opticians generally work normal 9 to 5 days in an office environment so your day will start with you arriving at the office. You may be the first person there, or you may have an assistant who opens the office for you. Each day will vary, as some days you will have a very busy schedule and other days you may not. That’s part of the fun and variety of being an optician.
Most of your day will be spent helping people find eyeglasses to suit their needs. You’ll meet with patients who have received prescriptions from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. You may also show people how to put in and take out contact lenses. Some patients may need to be fitted for specialty lenses, like bifocals, while others may want prescription sunglasses or reading glasses. It all depends on what they plan to use their glasses for, and what type of lifestyle they lead. Occasionally you may need to fit people for specialty items like swim or ski goggles so they can see during sports.
Throughout the day you will meet many people of all walks of life, and you will get to help them see better. Once the patient has selected their glasses you will have the task of fitting the lenses into the frames. This takes some talent – as all frames are different and require a different sizing method. Through your optician training you will be taught how to use all the equipment needed to cut and shape the lenses to fit the frames.
Additionally you may need to order in specialty items that your office cannot make like the goggles mentioned above. You will have to give clear and precise instruction so that the customer receives exactly what they want.
When the patient returns to pick up their glasses, you will meet with them again to see how they feel. You may need to make some small adjustments to the frames to help them fit better, but you will have all the equipment necessary to do this on hand. When the patient is satisfied with their glasses, you may not see them for a while other than to make small adjustments to their frames, or to replace the lenses should there be an issue. If they choose to go with contact lenses you may meet with them periodically to ensure that they still like the brand they are using, and order more product so they have the contacts they need on hand.
As an optician you will have lots of opportunity to interact with the public, and every day will be different. You may also have responsibilities to keep the office running smoothly, such as ordering supplies or paying invoices – if you are in a smaller office. If you are part of a larger organization you may merely do the tests, and other staff members will take care of the rest.
All in all a career as an optician is rewarding and challenging, and it could be a perfect career for you.