One of our most important senses is our vision.
Through our eyes, we can perceive and observe everything around us.
Yet their high complexity demands regular examinations in order to prevent or detect diseases or injuries that could cause great damage.
Several healthcare professionals concentrate on the study and treatment of the eyes, such as Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Dispensing Opticians.
In the next few sections, we’ll discuss some of the most basic facts about Dispensing Opticians, what they do, and how much a Dispensing Optician program costs.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Dispensing Optician?
- What Is the Difference Between a Dispensing Optician and an Ophthalmologist?
- What Is the Difference Between a Dispensing Optician and an Optometrist?
- Is Being a Dispensing Optician the Right Choice for Me?
- What Is a Dispensing Optician Program?
- What Do I Need to Become a Dispensing Optician?
- How Long Does a Dispensing Optician Program Last?
- How Much Does a Dispensing Optician Program Cost?
What Is a Dispensing Optician?
A Dispensing Optician is a professional that assists clients with the type of eyeglasses, frames, or contact lenses they need after receiving a prescription from an Ophthalmologist or an Optometrist.
Dispensing Opticians also offer recommendations to clients about how to properly care for their glasses or contact lenses.
What Is the Difference Between a Dispensing Optician and an Ophthalmologist?
An Ophthalmologist is a doctor in medicine that specializes in the structure, functions, injuries, and diseases of the eyes.
Their educational background is quite extensive since they must attend medical school and then continue with their specialization in order to obtain their degree.
What Is the Difference Between a Dispensing Optician and an Optometrist?
An Optometrist is a healthcare professional that focuses on evaluating the eyes, diagnosing and treating diseases, injuries, or visual problems.
They can additionally prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Even though Optometrists hold a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree, they are not trained in medicine, so their educational background differs from Ophthalmologists and Dispensing Opticians, as well.
Is Being a Dispensing Optician the Right Choice for Me?
This is mostly going to depend on your personal preferences and the time and money you can spend on your education.
If you are passionate and curious about the vision, if you are empathetic, enjoy helping others, and give great customer service to people of all ages, then being a Dispensing Optician might be the perfect fit for you.
What Is a Dispensing Optician Program?
A Dispensing Optician program offers the education and training to later become a Dispensing Optician and start your professional career in the optical area.
Most of these programs also offer the chance of becoming certified with one of the available national certifications.
However, you should first check the requirements in the state where you aspire to work since it’s not necessary to obtain certification to work in every state.
What Do I Need to Become a Dispensing Optician?
The requirements to become a Dispensing Optician, as previously mentioned, can greatly vary according to the state where you live.
It’s not mandatory to have a graduate degree in order to work as a Dispensing Optician.
Depending on the state, you can gain the knowledge and practice by training directly on the job.
Certificate or Associate’s Degree
If you wish to enroll in a Dispensing Optician program, you must have a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) diploma.
These programs are offered by technical schools, community colleges, and universities, where you could obtain a certificate or an Associate’s degree.
The American Board of Opticianry (ABO) offers an examination to certify the qualification of the Dispensing Optician.
In some states, it could be required, but even when it’s not legally required in order to work, it’s a good complement to your educational background and something employers might prefer.
How Long Does a Dispensing Optician Program Last?
A certificate program generally lasts one year, and an Associate’s degree, two years when studying full-time.
How Much Does a Dispensing Optician Program Cost?
The cost of attending a Dispensing Optician Program is going to depend mostly on the type of degree you want to obtain, the institution, and the city where you live.
On average, you could spend from $2,000 to $15,000 to become a Dispensing Optician.