With an ever-aging population, the need for trained optical professionals is higher than ever. As a result, optical technicians and optical assistants are in high demand. Optical technicians create eyeglass lenses, contact lenses and binocular lenses and fill prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists. Optical assistants provide chair-side assistance, conduct preliminary tests on patients, and instruct patients on proper contact lens and eyeglass use and care. Optical school teaches you the fundamentals to become a working professional as an optical technician or optical assistant.
Optical School Success Factors
Successful optical professionals display solid manual dexterity, work well as a team player, and are comfortable working in a subordinate role. They have working knowledge of computer systems and industry software.
Optical School Curriculum
An optical school curriculum offers training that prepares you for a career as an optical professional. Typical optical school courses include program objectives for optical assistant, theory of optics, theories and properties of light, anatomy and physiology of the eye, normal and abnormal vision, refractive errors, muscular imbalances, prescription analysis, client optical needs analysis, interpupillary measurements, lens types and materials, absorptive lenses and coatings, single vision lens fitting and measurements, multifocal lens fitting and measurements, progressive lens fitting and measurements, frame selection, frame types and materials, avocational and vocational specialized fitting, frame adjustments, alignment and repairs, lensometry, FDA requirements, ANSI standards, quality control, verification and inspection, and professional ethics.
Optical School Degrees
Optical technicians are expected to have a high school diploma with strong marks in math and science. Optical assistants typically complete a one or two year medical assisting program at an accredited vocational institution, technical school, or community college and earn certification prior to entering the field. They also receive on-the-job training.
Optical School Jobs
The field for optical technicians is expected to grow about 7% in the next decade, as the elderly population increases and the need for corrective lenses grows. Automated technology may slow overall job growth. The market for optical assistants who have training, experience, and certifications is expected to increase greatly in the coming years.