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Dispensing Optician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Designs, measures, fits, and adapts lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assists client with inserting, removing, and caring for contact lenses. Assists client with selecting frames, measuring for size of eyeglasses and coordinating frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepares work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames and verifies exactness of finished product. Adjusts frame and lens position to fit client, shaping or reshaping frames as necessary. Includes contact lens opticians.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Evaluates prescriptions in conjunction with clients' vocational and avocational visual requirements.
  • Verifies that finished lenses are ground to specifications.
  • Recommends specific lenses, lens coatings, and frames to suit client needs.
  • Measures clients' bridge and eye size, temple length, vertex distance, pupillary distance, and optical centers of eyes, using measuring devices.
  • Sells goods such as contact lenses, spectacles, sunglasses, and other goods related to eyes in general.
  • Assists clients in selecting frames according to style and color, and ensures that frames are coordinated with facial and eye measurements and optical prescriptions.
  • Heats, shapes, or bends plastic or metal frames to adjust eyeglasses to fit clients, using pliers and hands.
  • Shows customers how to insert, remove, and care for their contact lenses.
  • Determines clients' current lens prescriptions, when necessary, using lensometers or lens analyzers and clients' eyeglasses.
  • Maintains records of customer prescriptions, work orders, and payments.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Optician -- Fits clients with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, assists clients in the selection of eyeglass frames, arranges for the production of eyeglasses or contact lenses and mounts lenses in eyeglass frames.
  • Contact Lens Technician -- Fills a doctor’s prescription for contact lenses. Responsibilities include contact lens handling, fitting and follow up care.
  • Dispensing Optician Apprentice --
  • Ophthalmic Dispenser --