Careers in optometry

These include the abilities to make decisions and instruct customers, a sense of fashion, and strong hand-eye coordination.

You should be able to make decisions quickly and easily.

Your ability to make decisions will come into play in two main ways: when you are making adjustments to eyeglasses, and when you are selling eyeglasses to customers. As far as the first way is concerned, you will have to make a lot of decisions if you are asked to take on the responsibilities of an ophthalmic technician. Some eyewear places and eye doctors have separate technicians on staff, but if not, you will likely be asked to fill the void. You will need to make decisions about what kinds of adjustments to make to eyeglasses, such as tightening or loosening the frames, or labeling frames as irreparable. When you are selling eyewear to customers, you will have to help them make a number of decisions. For example, you will need to discuss with them their wants and needs and then make recommendations about different options. You might recommend daily disposable contacts, contacts that they can keep in for a month, or prescription sunglasses. You should also make recommendations about the shape of eyeglass lenses and the style of frame.

You should have some fashion sense.

To build on the point about decision-making, you will have to help customers make decisions about the type of glasses and sunglasses they purchase. Many customers will probably already have an idea of what they are looking for, but some may ask for your guidance about what type of frames to purchase. You should try to educate yourself about what types of frames look good on different face shapes or with different haircuts. You should also keep up with certain trends so you can effectively help someone who is very style-conscious. You might also push eyeglasses more when they are “in” style, and focus more on contacts when they are not.

You should develop dexterity.

If you have the responsibilities of an ophthalmic technician also, you will need to have good hand-eye coordination and strong motor control. This is because you will spend a lot of time working with mall hand tools and making fine movements as you repair frames and lenses. A lot of customers will want their repairs done quickly, so you should be sure to develop the ability to work quickly without sacrificing quality. In fact, some places may have a guarantee about finishing repairs in only an hour or so. You should also be dexterous because you need to be very careful about handling frames. Particularly with the more fragile pairs, any slip on the hand or rough movement could damage them more, or even break them beyond repair.

You should have some instructional ability.

One of your job responsibilities includes teaching your customers how to do things like care for their eyeglasses and contacts and how to insert contacts. You will need to know how to teach people to take on these tasks and keep their attention while you are doing so. You may need to have patience and think of creative ways to present information to people who are struggling to understand. This may be especially true when instructing people how to insert contacts, as this can be difficult for some – especially children.


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