Opticians, Dispensing
SOC: 29-2081.00


Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with inserting, removing, and caring for contact lenses. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames. Includes contact lens opticians.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
75,200 employed

Projected (2024):
93,000 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Certified Optician
  • Contact Lens Fitter
  • Contact Lens Technician
  • Dispensing and Measuring Optician
  • Dispensing Optician
  • Dispensing Optician Apprentice
  • Eyeglass Fitter
  • Licensed Dispensing Optician (LDO)
  • Licensed Optical Dispenser
  • Licensed Optician
  • Ophthalmic Dispenser
  • Optical Assistant
  • Optical Dispenser
  • Optical Manager
  • Optical Technician
  • Optician
  • Optician Apprentice
  • Optometric Assistant
  • Optometric Technician

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media

  • Tasks:

  • Measure clients' bridge and eye size, temple length, vertex distance, pupillary distance, and optical centers of eyes, using measuring devices.
  • Verify that finished lenses are ground to specifications.
  • Prepare work orders and instructions for grinding lenses and fabricating eyeglasses.
  • Assist clients in selecting frames according to style and color, and ensure that frames are coordinated with facial and eye measurements and optical prescriptions.
  • Maintain records of customer prescriptions, work orders, and payments.
  • Perform administrative duties such as tracking inventory and sales, submitting patient insurance information, and performing simple bookkeeping.
  • Recommend specific lenses, lens coatings, and frames to suit client needs.
  • Sell goods such as contact lenses, spectacles, sunglasses, and other goods related to eyes in general.
  • Heat, shape, or bend plastic or metal frames to adjust eyeglasses to fit clients, using pliers and hands.
  • Evaluate prescriptions in conjunction with clients' vocational and avocational visual requirements.
  • Instruct clients in how to wear and care for eyeglasses.
  • Determine clients' current lens prescriptions, when necessary, using lensometers or lens analyzers and clients' eyeglasses.
  • Show customers how to insert, remove, and care for their contact lenses.
  • Repair damaged frames.
  • Obtain a customer's previous record, or verify a prescription with the examining optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Arrange and maintain displays of optical merchandise.
  • Fabricate lenses to meet prescription specifications.
  • Grind lens edges, or apply coatings to lenses.
  • Assemble eyeglasses by cutting and edging lenses, and fitting the lenses into frames.
  • Supervise the training of student opticians.
  • Order and purchase frames and lenses.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Angling pliers
  • Autorefractors
  • Bracing pliers
  • Bushing pullers
  • Cash registers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Cold-bend pliers
  • Contact lens thickness gauges
  • Contact lens tweezers
  • Credit card processing machines
  • Desktop computers
  • Dial calipers
  • Digital calipers
  • Digital pupilometers
  • End piece pliers
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Focimeters
  • Frame warmers
  • Half-round files
  • Hex wrenches
  • Hollow snipe pliers
  • Laptop computers
  • Lens aligning pliers
  • Lens analyzers
  • Lens clocks
  • Lens files
  • Millimeter rules
  • Nose pad adjusting pliers
  • Optical cutting pliers
  • Optical screwdrivers
  • Optometric lensometers
  • Personal computers
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Pickup screwdrivers
  • Pupillometers
  • Screw-holding tweezers
  • Snellen eye charts
  • Snipe nose pliers
  • Straight screwdrivers
  • Compulink Eyecare Advantage
  • Cygnet Infotech Optifocus
  • Diversified Ophthalmics Practice Maximus
  • EMRlogic Systems ENTERPRISE Visions
  • EZ-Zone Optizone Enterprise
  • First Insight MaximEyes
  • HealthLine Systems Eyecom
  • Insight Software My Vision Express
  • Intuit QuickBooks software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word
  • OfficeMate Software Solutions OfficeMate
  • Point of sale POS software
  • Specialist Data Solutions OctoPlus

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800