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Thread: Todays opticians

  1. #26
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    If opticians had style and fashion training, and mastery of repairs and adjustments, employers of all types would be glad to pay and employ them.

    B

  2. #27
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    That's a great idea, Barry. How would that training be obtained? I think a bona-fide "frame stylist" would be a big hit.

  3. #28
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    This is always the problem of this industry. Look at the national average pay it is 45k per year not enough to support a family and live a decent life style. Look at the expectations you all have for a good optician. High quality competent people have to be paid for their abilities and potential abilities. This is when worlds collide. Employers are never happy with their staff employees are never happy with their employers.

  4. #29
    OptiWizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lensman11 View Post
    This is always the problem of this industry. Look at the national average pay it is 45k per year not enough to support a family and live a decent life style. Look at the expectations you all have for a good optician. High quality competent people have to be paid for their abilities and potential abilities. This is when worlds collide. Employers are never happy with their staff employees are never happy with their employers.
    You get what you pay for, and there in lies the catch 22. Can't attract smart, conscientious people because of the pay. I'm an optician not because I dreamed of being one, it just kind of fell into my lap and I haven't left because I really don't know why, inertia? It really seems like a dying profession, not because it isn't needed, but just because we aren't adequately replacing the retiring opticians. This place is a goldmine of information that I am glad I have found, but I think I have to be one of the youngest people here at 35. Part of that is the what this place is, message boards are a relic of the 90's, but the other part of that is that we aren't replacing ourselves.

  5. #30
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Any truly good quality optician should be worth 80-100K salary today. Easy. Yes I'm deadly serious.

    Prove me wrong.

  6. #31
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    Uilieann
    i agree but I don’t think to many ever get to that salary. Here is a step in the right direction. Decide what all the jobs are that your optician should know how to do be realistic. Create a training program onsite or off and a value for each job when they learn each particular job pay them more. When you hire a new employee use the list to decide on their starting pay.

  7. #32
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Any truly good quality optician should be worth 80-100K salary today. Easy. Yes I'm deadly serious.

    Prove me wrong.
    Absolutely!

  8. #33
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Especially if there is labwork involved. Breaking the grip of the new software-driven manufacturing processes and VCP rules is an obstacle for now.

    And especially if he/she is an optical manager...dealing with inventory buying, selling, the whole shebang.

    Truth is, I know more than a couple of ODs that literally want to drop their optical so they don't have to deal with it. I tell them they're crazy. They think they can do ophthalmology, stand-alone!

  9. #34
    Master OptiBoarder
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    If anyone has an interest in writing a lesson on understanding yoked prism and prism splitting for the OpticianWorks website let me know.
    Email me through the OpticianWorks website.

    Descriptions, examples and maybe even a practice question or two.
    No rush at all - just sometime by mid-2023.
    Gladly pay you and of course you get full credit for the work.
    It would probably look like an old school ABO CE piece from Vision Care Product News.
    I can get any drawings or illustrations done for you.

    Oh - and OpticianWorks covers all the other stuff mentioned above and provides the industry with a free optician qualification standard too.
    Every single but - if, every single if - only, every single would be better we cover it and then some.
    Some people complain, some people talk, some people do.



    Thanks,
    John

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Any truly good quality optician should be worth 80-100K salary today. Easy. Yes I'm deadly serious.

    Prove me wrong.
    an entry optician? or after how many years?

  11. #36
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    I think 100k for a salary for an optician is not warranted and not realistic. There no educational requirements, no license that really has any value and the job market that advertises optician no experience required we will train.
    this government data for salaries.
    Family practice MD 200k
    mechanical engineer. 75k
    Chemical engineer. 75
    optician. In Los Angeles 49- 79
    optician. In suburb of LA. 29- 56
    yes some make more some less but average is no where near 6 figures

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lensman11 View Post
    I think 100k for a salary for an optician is not warranted and not realistic. There no educational requirements, no license that really has any value and the job market that advertises optician no experience required we will train.
    this government data for salaries.
    Family practice MD 200k
    mechanical engineer. 75k
    Chemical engineer. 75
    optician. In Los Angeles 49- 79
    optician. In suburb of LA. 29- 56
    yes some make more some less but average is no where near 6 figures

    I don't think you read, or understood, the assignment.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by iD View Post
    an entry optician? or after how many years?
    However long it takes to become a truly good quality optician. Will vary by individual.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by iD View Post
    an entry optician? or after how many years?
    It's not really about how many years someone has been an optician and it is much more about what value they bring to the practice. If you think about how much an optical means to a practice as far as percent of the revenue you would see that Uilleann is dead on. And like Drk is saying if they finish lenses in house, if they manage the optical as far as frames and lens buying, if they maximize vision care reimbursements, all of that brings additional revenue to the practice. I very much agree that opticians should be valued for what they can do and not how much experience they have.

    I came over from the evil empire a couple years ago to a private practice. I had lots of years of experience selling glasses, troubleshooting problems, fixing broken glasses, working with insurance but I never had been in a private practice environment. Never bought frames or dealt with frame warranties, never worked in a finishing lab, never really dealt with medical insurance. Like John says, "Opticians make glasses." and that is so very true. Finishing lenses helps me tangibly put the knowledge I have learned on paper together with actually doing it.

    I feel like I have learned a lot in the years since I have left and I know I am many times more valuable now than I was when I first started at my current employer. I also come to Optiboard and realize just how much more there is to know and how dumb I really am. Some really brilliant minds here, very lucky to have access to you all.

  15. #40
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Funny - You read, "...80 to 100K." at a glance and you think, yeah right what nonsense.
    And in reality it is a bit of a leap for a job with very limited educational investment.
    However so is UPS driver, tractor-trailer driver, real estate agent, a good electrician or plumber, high-end car sales and many others.

    If you totaled up your sales for a the year at a busy optical you would easily match that real estate agent or high-end car salesperson.
    They think nothing of making even expecting a salary around the 80 - 100K level.
    Why?
    Because they embrace what they do, what they offer, what they sell - they know that they are in business.
    If opticians did the same - if optician education taught that way - if the old farts around here would shut up about healthcare and formal education then opticians could/would some day expect that 80 - 100K.
    Teach the new opticians that they are in business - in business to make money. Teach them business practices, accounting, sales.
    But no instead keep wearing that white lab coat, pocket protector, studying anatomy and physiology and talking about filling prescriptions and keep making 40K a year.
    "How's that working out for you?"

    Yeah - keep looking down at that plumber who does make 100K a year.
    He is dirty all the time, smells funny and has to clean up ****.
    But you know what? That is the job and he isn't pretending otherwise.

    The optical department in an ODs office drives more income than all the exams and contact lenses combined.
    If we sold ourselves from that perspective we could start to expect 80 - 100K.
    If we presented the role of the optician as a key partner in business success we could start to expect 80 - 100K.
    If you had full page ads in Optometry Today touting the income difference for the owner in hiring a XYZ trained optician over an untrained or ABO or license then you would be on to something.

    Eh - screw it - opticians - like herding drunken cats.
    I am so friggin sick of reading the same old crap for the last 30+ years from the same talking heads here - you haven't managed to budge the needle even one inch - in fact I think you have managed to move it back a few notches.
    So keep touting the ABO as the Holy Grail, keep thinking a license should earn you money and keep thinking that formal education is the answer.
    You all can keep seeing that 40K a year until 2052.

    I'm going back to actually making a difference.

  16. #41
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Opticians (the real ones) are in short supply. I think John is right that the optical has an unlimited ceiling when compared to the clinic and CL supply. What's more, many private practices are meh at optical.

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