Optician Assistant Training and Degree Program Information

Optician assistant certificate programs are vocational programs offered through community colleges and technical schools. They are primarily designed to provide students with the practical training necessary to help clients pick frames or contact lens.

Essential Information

Students enrolled in an optician assistant certificate program examine the basics of eye anatomy and physiology. They learn to take instruction from opticians and provide customer assistance. Many programs include courses in sales and customer relations. Specific tasks may include recommending lens coatings, frames and types of lenses.

  • Program Levels in Optician Assisting: Certificate
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: High enough scores on the SAT or ACT

Optician Assistant Certificate Programs

These programs are likely to include courses with practical, step-by-step instruction for working in a laboratory, fitting frames and working with customers. Some specific courses include:

  • Ophthalmic optics
  • Ocular anatomy
  • Optical laboratory techniques
  • Contact lens instrumentation
  • Frame fitting and selection
  • Glasses components

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Opticians are responsible for selling glasses and contact lenses. According to PayScale.com, optical assistants made a yearly salary ranging between $18,592 and $32,905 in September 2015. The job outlook for opticians and ophthalmic laboratory technicians is projected to grow by 23% from 2012-2022. A large percentage of the population is entering their senior years and will need assistance (eyeglasses) in order to see properly, creating jobs for opticians and ophthalmic laboratory technicians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

To move up in the field from optician assistant to optician, individuals might consider completing an associate's degree program in opticianry. Additionally, 22 U.S. states require opticians to gain licensure by passing either a state examination or an examination given by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO).

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