Opticians order and design eyeglasses and contact lenses according to prescriptions given by optometrists and ophthalmologists. They help patients select the style, size and shape of frames and measure the patient’s face and eyes to decide where to place the lenses. Opticians make sure the glasses fit correctly and advise customers on the proper care of contact lenses and eyeglasses.
Opticians work in private practices, clinics and retail stores. They may work with ophthalmic laboratory technicians and under the supervision of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Most opticians work 40 hours a week, but those in retail stores may work longer hours, evenings or weekends depending on when the store is open.
Opticians can complete either a one-year certificate program or two-year associate's degree from a community college.
Currently, there is no school in Iowa that offers a degree or certificate in opticianry. There are 21 opticianry programs in the United States, with the closest ones being in Michigan and Indiana.
Licensure and Certification
Certification for opticians is optional and is available through the American Board of Opticianry by passing an exam.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
With a growth rate of just 9%, the job outlook for opticians is slightly below average across the state of Iowa. However, the outlook is a bit better in the Des Moines metro area and surrounding region.