The role of an optician is usually based within retail units in shopping centres and high streets, where members of the public go to get their eyes tested and buy spectacles and contact lenses. Staff members usually work in practices which are either independent or belong to a national or regional chain.
Dispensing opticians are responsible primarily with working with customers and patients. They are the employed to fit glasses and contact lenses to the wearer and deal with prescriptions, working alongside eye surgeons and optometrists to ensure people are getting the right eye care and eye wear.
Recruitment agencies advertising for ideal opticians look for a variety of qualities in a candidate. Those looking for employment in this field should be a member of the General Optical Council and have passed the relevant exams from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.
Entry routes into the profession include full time education to obtain the qualifications or learning on the job alongside studying. Salaries for staff in these vacancies start at about £15,000 and go up to £25,000. Managers and higher qualified workers can earn up to £35,000. Hours of work are usually office hours and Saturdays and desirable skills include an ability to deal with mathematical and scientific information, good communication skills and attention to detail.