Dispensing Opticians

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    The Work
    Dispensing opticians should have good basic math skills, a talent for precise work, steady hands and a good sense of color. As their work involves close, personal contact, they should really enjoy interacting with people. Cheerfulness, tact, and good communication skills and the ability to inspire customer/patient confidence are other important personal qualities. Opticians also need the ability to read and follow instructions exactly, and to write legibly. Opticians must be able to make decisions using industry standards that can be checked with precise measurements of accuracy. They use small hand-held instruments, as well as larger instruments and machines.

    Working Conditions
    Dispensing opticians work indoors in attractive, well lighted, comfortable surroundings. They work in retail optical offices that may be single unit or multiple unit locations. Depending on the size of the optical store, there may be just one or several opticians available to serve customers/patients. Dispensing opticians can also be found in ophthalmic clinics of varying sizes, working closely with ophthalmologists or optometrists. They interact with customers/patients most of the time and may spend a lot of time on their feet. Opticians usually work eight hours per day, which may include evenings and weekends.

    The Apprenticeship
    This program requires a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 6 years (6000 hours) of training. Additionally, all apprentices under the L&I program are required to attend 144 hours of formal education. Currently these classes are schedules in the evening. online classes are being developed.

    Apprenticeship Entry Requirements
    • At least 18 years old.
    • High school diploma or equivalent.
    • US citizen.

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