There are a number of benefits to being an optician, including fast job growth, the ability to graduate from school sooner, and the satisfaction of helping those in need.
The occupation is growing much faster than average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has suggested that employment of opticians will grow by about 23% in the time period from 2012 to 2022. This is much faster than the 11% expected as an average across all occupations, and about in line with the 24% expected from all health technicians and technologists. Part of the reason for this growth is that as the population ages, more and more people will need help from eye care professionals. Older people tend to have more eye problems than the general populace, so this will greatly increase the demand for opticians. There is also expected to be an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases that cause eye problems, such as diabetes. Opticians will be needed to fill prescriptions for these people, who will likely need eyeglasses and contacts. A lot of opticians will be able to find jobs in the coming years by looking to group medical practices. Specifically, this means that optometrists and ophthalmologists will be looking to expand their services to include glasses and contact lenses in order to expand their businesses, and thus will need the help of opticians. People who have an associate’s degree in optical dispensing will have the best job prospects.
You can spend less time in school.
Most people who study to be opticians either choose to earn a certificate or associate’s degree. This means that at the very most, you will likely be in school for two years or less! This means that you can graduate in less time, spend less on tuition, and find a job making a reasonable salary in less time. Some people even choose to forgo school entirely and find an apprenticeship program. Although these training programs sometimes take longer than two years to complete, you can make a portion of a full-fledged optician’s salary the entire time you are training! By going this route you don’t have to crack a textbook at all and can actually get paid to learn valuable career skills. And if you’d rather go to school, you can breathe easy knowing that when you graduate you will make an average of $33,330 a year, and the potential to earn over $54,740.
Feel good about yourself knowing that you are helping people.
One of the benefits to working in the healthcare industry is the knowledge that every day, when you go to work, you will be providing people with valuable services that will improve their quality of life. Imagine how many people would suffer if there were no opticians! It is very important for vision-impaired people to have access to the people who can help them with their eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts needs. Not only will you be helping them to see better, but you will have the skills and knowledge to make sure that they make the best selection for them, and that their final choice looks great on them!