Does a career as an optician sound like something you can see yourself doing?
Opticians are a part of the medical field.
Their main job is to provide vision care to patients.
Some opticians assist the optometrist directly while having very limited patient contact.
Other opticians deal with patients as their primary duty.
Either way, a job as an optician may or may not be a good fit for you.
The only way to tell is to thoroughly research the career before you take the leap.
This guide will inform you of the advantages and disadvantages of a career as an optician.
In doing so, you can better understand if this is a career path that you would like to pursue.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being an Optician
- 2 Cons of Being an Optician
- 3 Pros and Cons of Being an Optician – Summary Table
- 4 Should You Become an Optician?
Pros of Being an Optician
A career as an optician comes with many advantages.
Here is a list of several pros of being an optician.
1. Patient Interaction
One of the biggest advantages of being an optician is that you will have plenty of patient interaction.
If you consider yourself a social butterfly, this may be the perfect opportunity to help others and serve the public.
Your main duty as an optician will be to ensure the needs of your patients are met.
As you interact daily with patients, you will have the opportunity to form new connections.
2. Job Isn’t Very Stressful
Working as an optician is perfect for those who can do without the added stress.
Many jobs in the medical field are stressful, with the exception of this one.
From time to time, you may have to face customer service issues that may create a challenge for you.
But for the most part, this is a profession that is rather gratifying.
Overall, the working environment is calm and laid back.
3. Flexible Schedule
The good thing about being an optician is that you can benefit from flexibility in your schedule.
This enables you to have a nice balance between your work life and your personal life.
Opticians typically work during the day, so you won’t have to worry about ever working crazy shifts.
This also means that you will have the chance to spend time with your loved ones later in the day.
If a career with a foreseeable schedule sounds like a good fit, this career may be a winner for you.
4. Fulfilling Career
Becoming an optician means that you can benefit from a rewarding career.
There are many people who have vision problems.
A career as an optician enables you to assist your patients through appropriate vision care so that they can enjoy living a high-quality life.
It is entirely satisfying to have a career where you are helping people conquer their obstacles.
5. Opportunities for Advanced Learning
The world of optometry offers professional workers plenty of chances to involve themselves in additional educational programs.
These programs are designed to educate you further about the industry.
You can expand your knowledge while working.
This can benefit you by making you more appealing if you decide to look for a new career in the future.
It also helps with your daily duties as an optician.
6. Very Little Qualification Times
Hands-on training is essential when you’re on the road to becoming an optician.
This training can last anywhere between one and three years.
After training, you will need to pass a test to earn the necessary certification.
This proves you are qualified to work as an optician.
During this time, you will still receive a check.
Your career will start off with a probationary period, as with most jobs.
7. Flexible Responsibilities
A career as an optician can lead you to a variety of settings.
Opticians may work in a clinical environment, directly assisting the optometrist.
Other opticians may work directly with the patients, helping them find the best-fitting glasses and contact lenses based on their needs.
Opticians that work with optometrists may help patients but in a non-direct way.
This ultimately depends on your skills, preferences, and the available openings you come across.
8. Good Job Outlook
The job outlook for opticians is expected to increase by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This is much higher than the average for all other careers.
This can be an excellent thing if you’re going to be looking for future employment as an optician.
This means that you’ll be able to find plenty of job openings to give you a wide range of options to choose from.
Cons of Being an Optician
1. Some Patients May Be Difficult
As with any other job that deals directly with the public, you will come face-to-face with challenging patients, some of whom may even be demanding.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how pleasant you are.
If you’ve ever worked in other customer service positions, such as retail, you may have already developed the skills necessary to cruise through these situations.
Before you devote yourself to this type of career, make sure you know how to deal with different types of personalities.
2. Face Pressure with Selling
Part of your job as an optician involves selling certain services and products to patients you encounter throughout the day.
These selling tactics are mainly done to push out older inventory and make room for updated, newer products.
So, what does this mean for you?
As an optician, you must be comfortable selling products to your patients depending on their needs.
You must do this all while maintaining a pleasant attitude.
If you aren’t too fond of selling products, a career as an optician may not be for you.
3. Communicate with Insurance Companies
Becoming an optician means you must ensure that insurance companies pay on time and accurately.
The business’s pay will largely depend on the insurance company’s promptness to pay for every patient.
As an optician, you will be required to take care of a lot of paperwork and other administrative tasks.
This means that you will have to communicate directly with the insurance companies.
These additional tasks can be tedious but must be performed.
4. Physically Demanding
Becoming an optician means that you’ll be required to stand for long periods of time throughout your shift.
If you aren’t in good physical shape, this could be a challenge for you.
Optometry offices frequently receive new shipments.
You will be required to move these boxes around and unpack them, some of which may be heavy.
This could be a huge disadvantage for those looking to work in this field.
5. Tedious Tasks
Working as an optician can be a rewarding career.
It can also be fulfilling to know that you are doing your best to help others.
But you will soon learn that your tasks will be repetitive.
Most of what you do on a daily basis will typically be the same.
Any administrative tasks that you are responsible for can quickly become boring.
6. Limited Benefits
Most opticians have limited vacation and sick time.
Also, any additional time off won’t be paid.
It’s essential that you understand what your benefits will be prior to becoming an optician.
Not every clinic is the same, so it’s critical that you ask questions during the interview process.
At the end of the day, working for an employer that provides great benefits is a huge plus.
7. Income May Vary
Not every optician gets paid the same salary.
Ultimately, your final pay will be dependent on the number of patients you see daily.
This means that your income may fluctuate, making it extremely unstable compared to other careers.
If you are truly committed to becoming an optician, you must plan for your financial future as you deal with these ups and downs in your income.
Pros and Cons of Being an Optician – Summary Table
|Pros of Being an Optician||Cons of Being an Optician|
|1. Patient Interaction||1. Some Patients May Be Difficult|
|2. Job Isn’t Very Stressful||2. Face Pressure with Selling|
|3. Flexible Schedule||3. Communicate with Insurance Companies|
|4. Fulfilling Career||4. Physically Demanding|
|5. Opportunities for Advanced Learning||5. Tedious Tasks|
|6. Very Little Qualification Times||6. Limited Benefits|
|7. Flexible Responsibilities||7. Income May Vary|
|8. Good Job Outlook|
Should You Become an Optician?
Opticians must have good communication skills, love working with people, and have the ability to follow prescriptions from the optometrist.
If you are looking for a career with a flexible schedule and duties with very few qualifications, you may succeed as an optician.
However, you must also consider the downsides of the job.
Working as an optician can be physically demanding with very few benefits.
The work that you conduct on a daily basis may be repetitive.
Sometimes opticians may even have to deal with difficult patients.
This is a career that requires you to work with the public, possess certain sales characteristics, and multitask.
If you can successfully balance the good and bad parts of the job, this could very well be a rewarding career for you.