Optical Assistants – The unsung heroes

What does an Optical Assistant do?

Optical assistants could be considered the face of any Opticians that employ them, advising customers on the frames best suited for them based on both style and taking into consideration a litany of potential medical requirements.

An optical assistant will also need a wide range of clinical knowledge, advising customers on the use and proper handling of contact lenses. They have immense knowledge of all the products available in an optical practice.

Combining customer service, sales, optical knowledge and communication, optical assistants do so much to keep the practice ticking.

Working in an opticians is hard work. So by greeting the customers, booking eye exams, measuring frames and making sure the practice is up to code, the optical assistant facilitates the optical team working as efficiently and as safely as possible

Why are optical assistants so important?

The importance of an optical assistant cannot be understated, they play a vital role in the running of an optical practice and a key cog in the eyecare profession.

While they are responsible for the eye tests themselves, the customer journey wouldn’t be anywhere near the same without them. Because of the amount of test an optometrist may have in a day they don’t always have time to answer all the questions a customer may have.

So from helping the customer with any questions they may have, to supporting them with choosing lenses and frames to measuring and proving them.

The how’s, what’s and whys of becoming an optical assistant?

How to become an optical assistant – While there will be some things expected when applying to become an optical assistant, such as GCSE – A level education, there are no formal qualifications to become an optical assistant.

Most optical practices will ask for some form of customer service experience so it is an excellent position for someone looking to come out of the more traditional retail role. Any role that shows your customer service, interpersonal or sales skills are a boost when applying for roles.

Often practices offer apprenticeships to fast track you into becoming an optical assistant, which will usually last about a year which is a great way to learn more about the optical industry and contribute to your career in optics.

There are a few different ways to get in to working as an optical assistant and often it can feel overwhelming but using an agency like Team Locum, the permanent division can guide you through the various processes and help you gain work and experience. Taking away as much of the stressful aspect of job hunting as possible.

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