Dispensing Optician Ngaio Mōhiti
Dispensing opticians interpret prescriptions from optometrists and ophthalmologists (eye specialists) for glasses or contact lenses, assemble and fit glasses, and sell customers frames and lenses.
Dispensing opticians need to be registered with the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board and hold a current practising certificate.
Dispensing opticians may do some or all of the following:
- recommend and sell suitable frames, lenses, sunglasses and eye care products
- fit, adjust and repair glasses
- order prescription lenses for customers
- shape and fit lenses to frames.
Dispensing opticians need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).
Useful experience for dispensing opticians includes:
- work as an optometrist's or pharmacist's assistant
- experience in an optical laboratory
- customer service work.
Dispensing opticians need to be:
- friendly and helpful
- polite and observant
- positive and supportive
- practical and organised
- good at sales and customer service.
Dispensing opticians need to have knowledge of:
- frames and lenses and how they can be combined to suit customer's needs
- fashion trends in frames and what frames suit each face shape
- optical products such as solutions for contact lenses, glasses, lenses, frames and sunglasses
- the eye and how it works.
Those running their own business need business management skills.
- usually work regular business hours, but may also work part time
- work in glasses retailers, workshops and showrooms.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a dispensing optician. However, biology, English, health education, physics and maths are useful.
Dispensing opticians may progress into management positions, or set up their own practices. With further training, dispensing opticians may progress to become optometrists.
Years Of Training1-2 years of training usually required.
To become a dispensing optician you need to:
- get a job working as a trainee dispensing optician
- complete the Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing New Zealand through the Australasian College of Optical Dispensing
- register with the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board and gain an annual practising certificate.