The Many Roles of a Dispensing Optician

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Optician examining correct fit of eyeglass frame for customer in optometrist's shop

If you are planning to pursue a career as a dispensing optician, it might interest you to know that professional opticians actually have a much wider range of duties and responsibilities than just dispensing glasses. Professionals working in the field of optometry know that opticians make up the backbone of every optical retail shop. Read on to discover the many roles that a single dispensing optician takes on daily.

Customer Service

Anyone who trains to become a dispensing optician will learn so much more than just how to dispense eyewear to customers. Apart from this obvious role, opticians are also responsible for providing excellent customer service. And, since people typically need glasses throughout their life, it’s important for opticians to build lasting relationships with their clients who will eventually require additional service – this could be a repair, an adjustment or even a new set of glasses.

Product Knowledge

One part of an optician’s job that is commonly overlooked is the fact that they have to maintain an extensive knowledge of all of the products that they have ever sold and those that they will sell. Products are always changing and this is no different where eyewear is concerned. Professionals holding a dispensing optician diploma understand that the optometry industry is always expanding and new lens technologies are always being discovered. Since people tend to keep the same pair of glasses for at least a few years, it’s important that an optician can tell what type of lenses a client has become accustomed to so they can better assist them.


Any dispensing optician school graduate knows that helping customers find the right frames to support their prescription is much more complex than simply choosing one that looks good. There are so many other factors that must be considered. For example, if a client has a prescription for progressives or bifocals, a trained optician will be aware that he or she is going to need a frame with a height large enough to support that prescription. However, if a client has a single vision prescription, smaller frames can be selected. Opticians are also able to immediately tell when a frame does not fit a client well, and they can easily suggest one that fits more comfortably.

Technical Support

It’s crucial for a dispensing optician to understand the technical aspects of glasses and contact lenses. Once a customer’s prescription has been reviewed and a frame has been selected, a certified optician is then required to fit and adjust the frames, as well as take the client’s pupillary distance measurements. This will ensure that the client will be able to see as clearly as possible with his or her new specs. Trained opticians are also experts in repairing glasses, and since they are normally working with tiny screws and other small parts it’s important that they have a steady hand.


Industry professionals know that once it’s time for a customer to pick up their glasses or contact lens order, an optician is the only person who can dispense the product to them. After the trained optician has verified the prescription and condition of the received order, he or she can help the client try the glasses or contact lenses on. If the glasses need any final adjustments, the optician will perform them at this stage. An optician will also teach the client how to care for their new set of glasses or contact lenses; this can include cleaning procedures as well as putting the glasses or contacts on and removing them properly.

Can you think of any other duties an optician might be responsible for?

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