An optician is a medical professional who provides vision care for individuals of all ages.
Not all opticians have the same job description, however.
Some opticians work in a primarily medical setting assisting the optometrist directly and having minimal contact on the customer services side of the business.
In contrast, some opticians deal primarily in the realm of customer services.
They can assist customers with various needs, such as helping them with their prescriptions.
They can translate them for the patient and help them find products that fit their needs.
There can be many aspects to this career with flexibility and benefits.
Consider the following information to help you decide if this is the right career path for your needs.
- Pros of Being an Optician
- Cons of Being an Optician
- Should You Become an Optician?
- Pros and Cons of Being an Optician Summary Table
Pros of Being an Optician
There are many pros to being an optician for the right person.
Although it has man desirable qualities, the ideal candidate would work well with the public and desire to assist them with their optical needs.
Consider these top pros related to becoming an optician.
A Chance to Interact With Patients
This is a big bonus if you like working with the public and helping them get the products and services they need to ensure they have a clear vision and get the best serves.
Interacting with people gives you the chance to be social and a professional setting and establish a connection with your customers.
This is part of the job with the most significant appeal for most opticians.
Being an optician is relatively low stress in a world with many high-stress careers.
Sometimes three may be a customer service issue that might challenge your skills; however, this type of career is pleasant most of the time.
The atmosphere in the office is also laid back and comfortable, but there can be challenges at times.
Most people are looking for a schedule that allows them to have a good work/life balance, and being an optician is the ideal daytime schedule.
This career is usually during normal business hours and gives people a chance to spend with their families in the evening.
Those who want to find a career with predictable hours find this a real benefit.
Most opticians make their schedules and find clinics looking for positions matching those hours and days.
Opportunities to Further Studies
There are many great opportunities to get on board with additional research programs to learn more about the field of optics.
It means you can increase your knowledge base while working and discover exciting new opportunities to work with renowned professionals in the field.
Short Qualification Times
This career field usually takes anywhere from two to three years to complete with the proper hands-on training.
After an adequate time working in the field, there is a test.
You will get your certification once you pass the qualifications test showing that you can dispense glasses and contacts correctly.
If you like to help others get the tools to improve their lives, this is a rewarding field.
Most people are having issues with their vision, and this career allows you to guide them through restoring their vision, so they can do the things they love.
Helping people overcome obstacles can provide great job satisfaction.
Flexible Job Responsibilities
The role of the optician can vary from clinic to clinic.
Some opticians work directly with the optometrist in a clinical setting to help with patients and other back-of-the-clinic issues.
However, some opticians work with the public to help them get the glasses and contacts they need to see correctly.
Depending on your skills and preferences, you can choose which setting you want to work in and how you approach your career.
Cons of Being an Optician
There are many pros of being an optician, but there are some drawbacks to knowing before deciding to pursue that career field.
Like any professional career, there are unique personality traits and expectations that must be met.
It’s important to understand the requirements and potential downsides of being an optician.
Consider the flowing before beginning the process of working in the field.
Pressure to Sell
In most scenarios, you need to know that there is pressure to sell products when you work as an optician.
Your sales are directly related to your pay and the number of customers in the area.
You need to be personable and offer the best products for each person’s needs, focusing on getting the sale.
If you have trouble selling products or offering people options, you might think twice before pursuing this career path.
Time to Build up a Clientele
You must take the time to build up your client base if you’re an optician.
It takes time and effort on your part and a desire to establish a good reputation over time.
A good optician tries to establish a relationship with the customer, so they want to return when they need more products and services.
Building a customer base is critical to creating a sustainable job.
While the job of an optician can be rewarding and has a definite social aspect, it can become repetitious.
You’ll likely be doing the same things daily in the same office.
It’s something to consider and isn’t for everyone.
If you’re okay with a repetitious job in the same location every day, then it might not be a drawback.
Your pay depends on your customer base and the number of patients you see through the day.
The income for an optician can fluctuate up and down and isn’t stable like other career fields.
This means you need to plan your for this financially and be prepared for these ups and downs through the years.
Before starting in this field, find out the median pay and average income for another optician in your area.
Dealing With Difficult People
Anytime you work with people while selling products, you’ll encounter difficult customers.
If you’ve worked at a business where you sold items, you might have some skills in place that help you navigate this situation.
Before committing to this career, make sure you know how to handle the situation accordingly properly.
Lack of Benefits
Many opticians don’t have vacation time or sick time.
Additionally, benefits might be lean or even non-existent.
It’s essential to plan for this drawback and know what you’re getting into before beginning this career path.
Remember that an optometrist is a self-employed contractor position, so you don’t have an employer offering insurance and benefits.
You’ll need to provide those yourself.
Remember that you also lose pay for sick days, and if you take a vacation, you don’t get paid for those days either.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
If you decide to become an optometrist, your pay depends on the insurance company’s pay for each patient.
You can’t charge more than they allow because then they won’t work with you, and you lose all your patients if you’re in their network.
So, unless the patient is paying out of pocket, you make what the insurance companies pay for a particular product or service.
Should You Become an Optician?
Before becoming an optician, there are many things to consider, and some features are very attractive.
Still, the downsides can be challenging to manage for those who want a traditional career.
While it is a rewarding and relatively low-stress career path, some things might prove difficult for some.
Do you like working with the public?
Are you able to handle demanding customers easily?
Some other things to consider before you choose this path is that there aren’t traditional benefits for this job.
If you work as an optician, you’re a self-employed contractor.
You work within the clinic’s office and get paid according to the number of sales you perform daily.
The prices for services are determined mainly by what insurance companies are willing to pay for those products and services.
While making your schedule and working with the public are some of the things that attract people to this role, it can prove challenging along the way.
These are just some things that factor into the decision, so you can make a solid career move that provides you with stability and job satisfaction.
Before becoming a professional optician, make sure you know what to expect as far as to pay and prepare yourself to compensate for things like pay fluctuation and the lack of benefits so you don’t have surprises and can plan accordingly.
Pros and Cons of Being an Optician Summary Table
|Pros of Being an Optician||Cons of Being an Optician|
|A chance to interact with patients||Pressure to sell|
|Low stress||Time to build up a clientele|
|Opportunities to further studies||Fluctuating income|
|Short qualification times||Dealing with difficult people|
|Rewarding career||Lack of benefits|
|Flexible job responsibilities||Dealing with insurance companies|