Dispensing Optician apprenticeship

Description of an apprenticeship as a Dispensing Optician

Table of Contents

Dispensing Optician apprenticeship

DOT code: 299.361-010

Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook for a detailed description of this trade. Type the trade name in the search box and hit enter.


Fills ophthalmic eyeglass prescriptions and fits and adapts lenses and frames, utilizing written optical prescription: Evaluates prescription in conjunction with client's vocational and avocational visual requirements. Determines client's current lens prescription, when necessary, using lensometer or lens analyzer and client's eyeglasses. Recommends specific lenses, lens coatings, and frames to suit client needs. Assists client in selecting frames according to style and color, coordinating frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Measures client's bridge and eye size, temple length, vertex distance, pupillary distance, and optical centers of eyes, using millimeter rule and light reflex pupillometer. Prepares work order and instructions for grinding lenses and fabricating eyeglasses. Verifies finished lenses are ground to specification. Heats, shapes, or bends plastic or metal frames to adjust eyeglasses to fit client, using pliers and hands. Instructs clients in adapting to, wearing, and caring for eyeglasses. Sells optical goods, such as binoculars, plano sunglasses, magnifying glasses, and low vision aids. Repairs damaged frames. May be required to hold license issued by governing state. May fabricate lenses to prescription specifications. May select and order frames for display. May grind lens edges or apply coating to lenses. May manage one or more optical shops. May compute amount of sale and collect payment for services. May fit contact lenses only and be designated Optician, Contact-Lens Dispensing (optical goods; retail trade).

Work process schedule

Task Hours
A. General optical training 2500
B. Contact lens familiarization 1000
C. Optical-fitting of eyeglasses 1300
D. Contact lenses 800
E. Administrative work 400
(Every 2,000 hours = one year) total hours: 6000

Related technical instruction

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires 150 hours each year of related technical instruction which must be mastered by the apprentice in order to successfully complete the program. The following is a general listing of instruction topics for this trade. To download a complete description of this trade click on the work process folder shown above. For further information, please call the Division of Apprentice Standards at (617) 626-5409.

Additional Resources