Optical dispensers interpret different optical prescriptions and fit frames and lenses. Their responsibilities include discussing eyewear needs with clients, as well as helping clients to choose an appropriate frame that meets prescription requirements. They are also in charge of discussing and recommending different types of lenses and lens enhancements, shaping lenses, fitting lenses to frames, and making sure that eyewear fits correctly on a client. Optical dispensers must be able to make minor repairs to damaged frames, clean the laboratory area, handle computer printouts, and maintain department logs. Other tasks include adjusting patient eyeglass frames, maintaining optical supplies, answering telephones, maintaining inventory and client records, and resolving any client complaints. Optical dispensers typically work alongside or under optometrists, ophthalmologists, and/or optical mechanics. They typically work indoors and may work part time or full time.
A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required for this position. A certificate of completion in optical dispensing from an accredited institution may also be necessary. Other requirements for optical dispenser positions include excellent communication skills, sales experience, good hand-eye coordination, and attention to detail. Employers may prefer knowledge of optical theory, practices, and lab-techniques, as well as of the eyewear fabrication process (including measuring, fitting, adjusting, and repairing).
Optical Dispenser Tasks
Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames.
Measure patient for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames and optical prescription.
Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses for patient according to written optical prescription.
Adjust frame and lens position to fit patient.