How to Be a Great Optician?

If you want to know more about the topic “how to be a great optician” do not look further. You found the right article. I share my insides and thoughts here about my experience as an optician and what drives me daily to perform best in my little optical store in Mannheim Germany.

This article will give you my personal flavor when it comes to looking at the industry. Depending on where you work now you might see a lot of opportunities in your career as an optician. And every opportunity you take will shape you as a person and influence your point of view on what a great optician might be.

The picture shows how great opticians communicate with their customers

To me, this vision of a great optician is very clear. I want to be the person that delivers answers and solutions when others can not. And I want to give my clients a positive experience and always want to greet them with a smile on my face no matter how stressful the days get. That is it.

And this is what I do since 2003. At this time I began my apprenticeship as an optician. Especially when you start you better choose wisely the company you want to start your career. Your experience and what you learn can vastly differ from optical shop to optical shop. So better make sure you start in a team of great opticians. Right from the get-go. This will make things easier for you.

Although there is a lot of theory behind a lot of the topics a good optician has to cover during his daily routines you need to practice. And you need to watch great people work and communicate. So watch out what your team members and the great guys and girls in the industry do.

Learn How Great Opticians Do Things

An optical shop is just such a vague term. There are so many differences when it comes to different companies. How people treat their colleagues and their customers. And of course how people work. To me, this is a very exciting part. Watching great people work is a phenomenal thing. Looking at what they do, how they use tools, and asking why they might look at things with another perspective is a life-changing situation.

he picture show an optician with a magnifying glass

You might think I am exaggerating here. But really even when already was a master optician and had my patent in the space of progressive lenses I took internships. I can not stretch this point enough. Getting out of your comfort zone into another company even if it is just for a few days will open your eyes and will enrich you regarding your skillset and your thoughts.

After a few events I went to the speakers directly after their shows and just asked if they would be comfortable with me making an internship. I mean the worst that can happen is a no. Or like one time they can laugh at you and then say no afterward. But some great opticians like the idea of passing on some information and suddenly you are in your internship.

I still try this today. I encourage my staff to do this and they do internships. They are just somewhere learning and I pay them to do so. Especially when it comes to special contact lens skills, low vision, or just how other companies organize. You will get a little enlighted after every internship. You can spot those guys and girls in industry magazines, exhibitions, and seminars. Also, look outside your own industry.

Just be bold and ask them what you want to know. Or if they can help you with something. Just present them a case and tell them where you need help. This is why so many opticians and optometrists sit together after the presentations are over at Vision by Design. Those are the places where you can meet great people. I personally found they have those traits in common:

  • They are extremely analytical
  • They are outgoing
  • They are wide awake
  • They share their stuff either in books, seminars or in the web

This does not mean you can not be great if you are not that outgoing or if you do not like the idea of sharing your stuff. But usually, those guys and girls look at a problem in another way like an average optician would do. Great opticians go the extra mile and are not the ones that cut off the customer because there is just nothing left to do for him when they are solution just right around the corner. They stay interested in a case even if it is problematic.

Really we had so many situations in my shop when a new customer stopped by and complained about his vision and there is nothing else he could do to optimize his condition. And I am like “Ok, you know what let me have a look at your eyes. Maybe there is something I can do for you.” Then I get the typical look from the customer like “yeah, whatever do your thing and be the tenth optician that tells me there is nothing you can do”.

After thirty minutes we go outside with a scleral lens on his eye and he is totally thrilled about the way he can see the world. Man those situations are just the best. I just looked at the topography and found keratoconus, or some heavy imbalance in his binocular vision and bam I found a customer for life. This is great. Does this happen every day? No. Can I help every customer who complains about the situation? Also no.

The Picture shows the master optician Michael Penczek with customer
Let customers spread the word in social media about your work.

But I have a lot of tools to optimize the conditions for my clients. I even had blind people in the shop accompanied by another person. And one of my team members just asks them about the Orcam. And they did not know the device that was reading things to them and is so small it just gets clipped on one temple of your glasses. Again this person was thrilled. Just because my team member Franziska was willing to talk to him about it.

I love those stories. I really do. And to me, they present true highlights in my daily routines. They are little memories I really enjoy looking back to. And of course, I like to have more of those in the future. This is why I always look for something new. I look for a new gadget or a new perspective as long as it fits my way I want to work with people.

Notice I did not write how great opticians do things by accident. When customers look at the business card we are practical all the same. In every optical shop where you can buy contact lenses over the counter and people never receive a second look at their contact lenses, specialists are greeting you with a warm smile. What a joke.

In the cheapest stores out there you can get pro refractions. (from people with an extremely limited skill set because they just passed a six-week training course in being an optician)

So how do you stand out? Show them what makes you special. Communicate why a client needs to pay a fee for the contact lens fitting and see how his mood changes from “hm I never had to pay for that at X” to “boy I really want to get my eyes checked the right way and I think your service is worth XX€” But without doing, showing and communicating how should the customer know?

In fact, if the customers just ask for the prices it is usually the only thing he can compare. It is your fault you did not give him enough information to be able to make a decision other than on the price. Maybe he would not care if other optical shops would be a few bucks cheaper when you would show him he had pinguecula on his eyes and it is better for him to think about UV protection more.

Just a little thing isn’t it? It does not even cost money but it definitely helps the customer to understand how you do things. And of course, this builds trust. And I love people that give me trust in the health industry and I have this good feeling that they take care of all the things I do not want to deal with. And if something comes up they will let me know so I do not have an unpleasant surprise.

Find Your Philosophy When It Comes to Selling Glasses, Consultation, and the Measurements

I designed the experience for my customer essentially as I would like to be treated in a shop. Of course, this is a very personal thing. Even some of my friends tell me it would be better to go just faster through the lens options and practically nobody cares about the corridor length of the progressive lenses when a customer buys. But I do. I really like to explain what to do. and why I think it benefits my customer.

Maybe I nerd out in some cases and maybe I could add in one appointment more per day but this would mean I had to cut off on some things that are a part of my philosophy. And this is what I just will not do.

When I did not have the experience I have now I worked in a store where the optical business went fast. In some cases very fast. I vividly remember how I wanted to start the refraction and my old boss screamed “Two minutes Penczek”, “go fast”. Frankly spoken this concept went surprisingly well. But when you work like that you will never know what you missed.

You do not even know what the eye’s history was in terms of treatments or problems. How can you make sure to avoid problems with his next glasses when you do not have the time to ask the client or to have a closer look at his eyes, or his topography. After leaving this place I thought about what I want to do and what a place my little optical shop should be like and what my philosophy will be.

I mean this is my place I can work as I want. So I decided to schedule the day with appointments. So I have enough time to work out solutions for tough cases. And it worked out. Now people driving hours to get an appointment. But of course, this was something that grew over time. And my colleague Allesia Gabriel and Franziska Wirtgen helped me with that. She helped me a lot with her fresh ideas when I found myself stuck.

But this of course just can evolve when you really take the time for your customers to build a relationship.

Know Your Customer, Listen and Focus

This paragraph is unbelievable important to understand. Because when you say something to your customer make sure he gets it. In most cases when we are talking we do not know exactly how the person in front of us perceives the message we want to deliver. So take your time to match your understanding with the understanding of your customer about a problem or just one aspect of the problem.

Just look at my simple example here that happens every day to opticians. When you as an optician talk about the wide view progressive lenses the customer bought what are you really talking about. What does wide really mean for you? What does it mean if his ADD value is +1,50D? What does it mean when he buys his first progressives and his Add value is +2,50D?

Did you actually look through progressive lenses with an Add value of +2,50D? The zones for clear vision are tiny. When you say wide he perceives it as really wide and thinks he could actually perform “wide” eye movements from left to right while reading. And after he took the glasses home you will get a call with an unsatisfied customer. Those situations are totally unnecessary.

Here on the picture you can find an advice for great opticians which says never use misleading illustrations the industry hands out to you

Instead of describing something show it to your customers. Don’t talk about something make it actually experienceable what will happen when X gets changed for him. And by this, I do not talk about the crappy simulation and apps that just suck at those points form the manufacturers. I mean teach him in easy words with a few graphics. This helps a lot. Set the expectation right.

Of course, what helps too is to listen to your customer. When I talk to someone I often ask If got the problem correctly I need to solve. Not because I am dumb but because I want to make sure our words and ideas are matching. Describe your idea and how you would optimize things without any technical words. Nobody wants to hear those big words.

Cherish your customers. I always enjoy being in the appointment with my customers. But what I hate are interruptions. Of course, as in every business, some things during the course of the day happen that need your attention. Or someone just has a short question. Do not be the optician who has to interrupt the consultation every five minutes.

This is disrespectful. So concentrate on what the customer needs and how you interpret this information. This will keep you and your customer happy.

And even when times get a little stressful because the shop is full. Take your time to check why a customer describes something that could be improved. Usually, they are right when they talk about a problem.

Like if he describes problems while reading with progressives. Did you check the little details?

  • Is the centration on point?
  • Did you check if the astigmatism changes from far to near?
  • Could the client benefit from two different Add values?
  • Does your customer show binocular imbalances while reading when the distance vision is fine?
  • Does your customer show fluctuations in the refraction from day today?
  • How does the cornea look? Do you see something that leads to aberrations that can not be corrected with glasses?
  • What about the anisometropia? Could it be an issue? (It often is)

In my opinion, it is worthwhile having a closer look at those things when problems arise. Of course, this is very time-consuming. And sometimes I find things and I do not correct them. But I communicate why I do things without technical terminology. So everyone can get my point.

And if their is a sign my customer did not get something I will find another way presenting my point. This is very important. Because missing understanding will lead to mistrust and frustration on the customer’s side if you can not solve the problem.

In most cases, customers are fine if you can not solve the problem and they realize their eye produces the problem. Think about fluctuations during the refraction. Sometimes you will have a customer who will claim vision is not good with the new glasses.

When you recheck things in the refraction the values do not change. But if you observe the customer right during the refraction you could probably notice your customer is blinking unusually often. With an increased blinking rate he tries to find a moment in which the tear film is optimal for one second so he can read the whole line.

But after this second the tear film breaks up and poor vision sets in. He then has to blink five times until his tear film is good enough again so he can read everything again just fine. You do not need to be a genius optician to find out that this is not a situation in which your customer will be happy in.

Nobody wants to be blinking all the time to see good for a short time. So address the problem. Tell your customer about the options he has. So the tear-film can be optimized. Show the meibomian glands and where the problem is rooted. Show the tear film in detail. Measure the break-up time. This takes just five minutes.

But after you presented the data you can come up with a plan to stabilize the tear film. If this means get a lipo spray and perform a lid massage with warmth for a few minutes every day just tell your customer. A lot of people also thank me for the advice and say “you know what thank you. I get the problem now but I am not willing to invest the time to optimize this situation. I am ok with this now.”

If you did not present the cause so it makes sense for your customer he will tell his friends your glasses are not right. But if you present the case and the options in an easy to understand way you will see new referrals for sure.

The same is true when I find two different prismatic values for distance vision and for the reading distance. When I present the solution to the problem and the customer does not want to wear Franklin lenses but rather stays with progressives everything is fine.

Did I actually solve the problem? No. Is the customer satisfied? Yes. But purely because of communication and presentation.

Build Something Cool to Use Every Day and Care About Your Customers

Most of the products you produce for your customer are used 16 hours a day. Think about the time the customer spends with the stuff you made. This is unbelievable so better make sure he has a good experience every time he uses your products.

You can build one pair of glasses and it just gets out of the workshop and makes cracking noises every time the customer uses it. Or the lenses hold to much pressure. This is not something I want to deal with. Just make sure when it gets out to the customer you spent the time making your work great and the experience of your customer is smooth.

I know sometimes there are limitations to the materials or to the combination of lens materials and the frame. But what I want to say is make it so you can be proud of your work when you see the customer after a few months on the street.

You can just make a Kepler system and place where the customer looks through and that is it. Or you could take a minute or two and add a wedge to it which places the system in a slightly better angle for the customer. Does it make a difference? Yes, definitely the field of view will be slightly wider for your customer.

Michael Penczek with special glasses he built

Will, it an extremely big difference? It depends on the angle in which the system sits in front of the eyes. But this is not my point. Every little adds to the user experience my customer has day in and day out with the stuff I made for him. So make something you can be proud of at the end of the day.

But this will happen automatically if you think about how you could make life easier for your customer. You will double-check if the temples need the same pressure to close. This way the experience again of the customer will be just perfect. Or you will check the surface again of the frame to make sure there is just nothing standing out so it could lead to a little sharp spot.

If you really care about this person and his experience those types of problems should be eliminated. But of course, this means you will spend a lot more time in comparison to other stores in the manufacturing of one pair of glasses or contact lenses.

The Not to Do List for Great Opticians

Do not change your opinion with every trend that is out there. Just dive in get the experience think and then communicate clearly to your customers and your team how you think about x.

  • So do not change processes randomly
  • Do not just throw products in front of the customer, learn about them use them and then communicate what is good and what is bad
  • Do not think you know it all
  • Do not think you have seen it all
  • Never underestimate how wrong you can be / always check everything twice if something goes not as intended

There is practically a point for everything and at least one against it when you decide something to do. One example of this is polishing RGP lenses. Some people love it and say there is more good in it and it would definitely help. Some people advise you to stop it and deliver points against it like in this article here.

Another example is customized progressive lenses vs standard progressive lenses. There are opticians sitting in both camps and communicating their views to the customers. And everyone has their point.

Although if you dive deep down into the topics it gets complex. Most of the stuff you need to handle and to decide on in your daily business should be very clear. Otherwise, you would need to allocate more time for your training.

You Do Have Just 24 Hours in a Day – So Use Them Wisely

As a good optician, it is my duty and responsibility to serve customers well no matter their eye condition. So on most days, I see some special cases of people that have some binocular issues, customers having amblyopia or dystrophy on their cornea.

Although this makes a lot of fun to help people out with special eye problems sometimes it is just nice to have a day scheduled with easier cases that are just less timely intense. How about if you could reach out to those customers? This is something we did in 2019.

We launched a campaign with content like this (Ortho K Guide) for customers interested in Ortho K. And it was funny to pay for Facebook ads and see how our dream customers came in. We had different systems set up to make this happen.

In one case interested customers had to fill in a form and then we called them and talked about what prescription they have and if they already have experience with contact lenses and of course if they wanted to make an appointment in our store.

Because you will probably agree it is way easier to fit someone that is already experienced with contacts and has myopia of -2.0D compared to a multifocal Ortho K fit with -8.0D.

In the end, we even automated the questionnaire with a chatbot which made the call afterward and the selection for us a lot faster. Depending on where you work as an optician this can still be profitable.

Our subscribers in our messenger bot in Facebook. An audience that can grow fast.

In Germany, it is not anymore. Because in the end the cost for the ads was way too high and the whole process was not profitable anymore.

When I talk about automation in finding customers this is only the first step. People buy from people. So your success will be always way higher when you set a call to qualify the customer in the first place before the potential customer arrives at your store. So we used our telephone a lot. The better those processes run before the customer arrives the smoother your appointments run.

So as much as I like to play with this digital tools you as an optician should not think automated messages will do all the job for you. They never do.

But having a system that just presents me as a specialist for one topic in my local market and brings me, customers, on-demand changed the way I think about marketing. I learned a lot about marketing during that time.

Anyways this is cool but you should not think an agency will solve all the problems for you. If you think about just outsourcing this stuff. I did it for a time period and I regret that time.

Because they do not know about your customers. If you are experienced in your field you can probably guess what their next questions will be during the consultation.

Use your knowledge to provide your customer with a fast and easy experience. This way you will save time too. Because your customers will be better informed and have an easier time deciding what they want.

So prepare them for example with a PDF you send them to type in the distances for computer glasses. This way you as an optician did not need to guess which distances are important. Your customers do not need to guess and you will save time and have fewer complaints afterward.

This PDF is written in German but you will get the point about knowing where the distances are your customer needs. And of course, learn learn learn.

Think for Yourself and Stand Out

I really like it when a consultant has a clear point and can present it well. This way I as a customer do not have to dive into the topic myself. I think this is how a great optician should act in the shop. Gather the information and then present your point of why something is good or bad for your customer.

Of course this is a process that develops over time. But a lot of the opticians out there do not really know how to present the differences when it comes to progressive lens designs. And “yeah the field of view is just wider with this lens compared to this lens” is not a valid answer to me.

It sound like a scam when you say the manufacturers produce progressive lenses with bigger and smaller zones. They do not do this to restrict people. But rather they can in a lot of cases enhance the field of view by choosing progressive lens design that is more complicated.

Because more adjustments can be made to place the clear zones just in the right position in front of your customer’s eyes. This way he or she gets a bigger field of view. And more visual comfort. And if you tell them how this works a lot of your customers will be happy to know what they buy.

But of course, this way you can only stand out if the customer arrives at your store. Before he gets there you must give them a reason to go there. So what is the big benefit you can give to the customers? Why should they come to you?

In my opinion, I think we could do a better job with social media and our web presence in general. Because it is important to use platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Not to get likes or followers but to get people actually interested in what you do and how you do things. So they know where to go when they need something.

We had several customers here in our store that could describe the processes we use and why in our measurements. Because they watched a video on Facebook. This is amazing because even when the customer does not shop at our store he knows what to look for.

And if things do not run as expected they will know that a sloppy job was done on them. For example, if their binocular vision does not get checked. Trust me those satisfied customers will get back and build a bigger customer base if you care about them.

The Tech in the Industry – Do You Need It? Does Newer Mean Better?

When I visit other optical shops they have an unbelievable variety of centration devices, fundus cameras, and Scheimpflug Cameras. What drives me crazy when they only know about 10% of the features the devices have.

I mean really ask in your team what this or this button does in the software and what gets shown. Actually playing around with those devices gives you unbelievable potential when it comes to sales. You can show so much with those high tech devices. And you can definitely stand out as a great optician.

But if a customer asks you about something about what he or she sees on the screen and you can not answer it a strange situation comes up and you probably drop in status. So make sure you understand the devices in-depth.

New devices are great. They always give you a fresh feeling when using them. But are they actually better than the old ones? The industry says yes. But boy my experience says something else in some cases.

A few years ago I owned the Visio Office form Essilor, the Visio Office 2 and an iPad app and a centration app on our PC. The measurements were not stable. Every time I measured the PD the height of the pupils and other parameters with the same customers and frames I got different values out of the system. What?

Look at this I terminal clip on device you need to take the measurements in the video. Every time the clip is applied on the frame it changes a little. And with very delicate frames the clip on will falsify the position of the frame.

The Visio Office for example even focuses on the reflection of the cornea’s apex which is usually a little decentered compared to the actual position of the pupil. This means every time I measure the PD I measure something else. Of course, you could reposition the reference points but I wanted a system that gives me the repeatability and the accuracy I can count on.

I had to dig a little to find this device but finally, I found it. It is the king of accuracy and repeatability. It is the Video Infral 2 from Zeiss. Today you will not get any support for this device anymore because it is too old but in my opinion, you should get one. But do it only if you are able to solve technical problems by yourself.

This is why I own four of these. Two are used daily and two stays in our repository to make sure we have some spare parts. Although this device was sold during the turn of the millennium our customers are still thrilled when we show them the pictures we have taken for our measurements.

It is also really good to show them what you do. You can talk about the pantoscopic tilt a lot or you just show your customer with the picture from the side you will take care of this parameter and how it could influence the field of view from your customer.

During the Opti in Munich a few years ago I watched the Keynote from a manufactures centration device I will not name here. And they unveiled it and the measurements happen in a fairly close distance to the eyes.

I was wondering why the engineers would build something like this so I asked the guy near me if I was missing some important information but “I thought if the centration was done properly the distance to the eyes should be increased so the convergence would not affect the measurements negatively”

This guy was an expert for optical instruments and told me my thoughts were right. And this was the moment when he told me about his favorite centration device the Zeiss Video Infral 2 which enables you to measure all parameters in more than 4,8m. Then we talked because it is my favorite too.

So what I want to say with this little story is compare before you buy something. Not only should you compare the newest tech side by side. Also, consider buying some of the older devices on the market. Some of them are really great and have features the new ones are missing.

Add a Little Enthusiasm to Your Routines and Things Will Turn in Your Favor

Some of my customers say I am enthusiastic about some products or optimizations. My colleages say the same thing about me. And some of them said my enthusiasm is infectious. I think this is true. There is a certain vibe when a part of a team or even better the whole team is enthusiastic.

I mean not the over the top enthusiastic salespeople. I just really enjoy what I do and I think my customer and my team notice that. And this makes it easier for them to follow my routines. And if people know how much I like something and how excited I am they usually say yes if I ask them if they want to buy this and that.

The picture shows a great team of opticians

Also, things will run a lot smoother in your optical when people are nice and fun to work with, manufacturers decide more in your favor and problems can be solved faster with a positive attitude.

You can book as much sales training as you want but if you are not enthusiastic about a feature you will have a hard time selling this lens feature. Think about it. You have probably a friend that totally loved a movie and told you why you should watch it too. After a week you watch the movie in the cinema. He sold you on this video. He did not have to go to a sales/closer seminar. He just loved it and wanted you to watch it too.

This is also how selling works best in the optical shop. Since 2003 I worked in a boutique-like optical, in a sunglasses store specialized in curved lenses, in a less price intense optical were volume was king and I saw so many different products. For someone with less experience, an anti-reflection coating is the same from every manufacturer. But boy I am telling you it is not.

Just look at the pictures below. On the left side, you will find an anti-reflection coating which the representative told me was absolutely one of the best on the market. I ordered it. Called them with my complaint. They sent it again and again. Nothing changed except now they tell me I am way too picky. I will never order again there. Thank you.

But in my opinion, it is this type of expertise people are looking for. It is the clarity you provide to your customers during the consultation as an optician. And by clarity, I do not mean visual acuity here. If you know what I am saying.

Giving the selected products to my customers because I am convinced about the quality means a lot to me.

Be Accessible to Your Customers and Stay in Touch

I know this is something that is really not the best thing to do for everyone. But especially my customers that wear contact lenses have my mobile number. Because I want to know they get the right answer if they missed some information during the appointment.

For a few years, it was just my number and I responded to every message I got. After a time I realized usually customers will have pretty much the same questions in a given time frame after they bought their lenses. So I prerecorded some answers and sent them to them if they asked.

Today we do things a little differently. For example, when the customer leaves with the Ortho K lenses he receives really short bits of information about how to clean and care about the new lenses. They are really just one to two minutes long. In addition, they could still call me. But after we automated the process this rarely happens.

In Addition to that, they receive automatic emails for appointments and can schedule their new visit via our online calendar. This way we reduced calls and optimized the drop out rates. Because everything gets explained in depth again. This costs nothing. First, we just started with WhatsApp and after a while, we started to use the basic Mailchimp account which is also free.

Just start where the most questions need to be answered and work your up to an automated FAQ. In the beginning, we had information in text form for our customers. But really there was no success in that. People do not want to read they want to watch something and it needs to be short and informational.

Of course, we still tell them in our store what to do and recheck if they are able to clean their lenses by themselves. But I was shocked about how much information gets lost from the first to the second appointment. Customers need to be reminded of the most important things. Your instructions may seem clear to you but always use the perspective of your customer.

Managing Stress in Your Daily Routines in the optical shop

As a good optician, you should stay calm and relaxed during your appointments. So manage your day in a way that fits you. Your customers will probably not have a good feeling if you seem to be not focused on them because you have twenty other things in your mind while you stay with them.

Every optician usually wants to focus on some points more than another optician. I really love it when I measured everything I wanted to and explained everything I wanted to explain. My colleagues for example focus a bit more on small talk and say they need this during the appointments. Whatever you want to do schedule this in your appointments.

But not scheduling your day is a mistake in my opinion. First, when a customer books an appointment he will probably come. When you say “come whenever you want” I bet when you open the door five customers stay in front of your store and you can not handle everyone at the same time. So three of them will leave and will not say you are a good optician after this experience.

Nobody wants to wait and if you exactly know how much time you need to spend with each customer you can give them a better experience. And if it happens that your last appointment takes a little longer again care about your customer.

Offer them a drink or coffee. To me when I am a customer my mood instantaneously changes for the better when I get something offered to drink and get a heartwarming smile. For the most part of this article, I talked about the tech stuff and the measurements because I spend a good amount of time thinking about this and how I can do a better job at this.

But you should never downplay how you stand out with giving a smile. Be the optician the customer love to go to despite the great glasses you make. People tell us they like our fair-trade organic coffee or how we deal with our younger customers. Even when it takes a little longer we stay calm friendly and professional. Even when things take very long. We stay the way as people expect we would behave.

Whether you will be a great optician a true master of your craft lies in your own hands. The same is true for the success of your optical shop. If you are self-employed there is so much information out there and it is so easy to access it. There is no reason not to blossom in your craftsmanship.

I will list here a few links if you want to dive deeper and get new perspectives even if you are an experienced optician.


There are awesome courses for you to take. This one especially gives you the knowledge and the skills to manufacture your own frames. I think in this time opticians are often too hesitant when it comes even just to modifications of the frame they have sold. Sometimes the best option is to mill off a little acetate so the frame sits just right on the nose.

But of course, this course takes you from the start to design your frame to the finished frame. Here I embedded a master optician presenting his craft. He also took the course.

This is something I plan to put on the training schedule for one of my opticians or master opticians. It is awesome to design a frame especially for customers with very high lens powers. Today I can not do it my self anymore because of the time it consumes. But this is definitely a service for a great optician or specialized optical shop.

100+ Archived Webinars Will Hone Your Specialty Lens Skills

This website has an unbelievable amount of information just for free. After I found this website my contact lens skills really leveled up. Those webinars are not the only content you can get there. There are even quizzes where you can test your knowledge.

Especially when you did not have a lot of experience with RGP lenses in the master optician training this website will give you insides you did not have before. Here below I will add some of their content. Just schedule some time every week and go through this material. Your skills will change. I promise.

Online Curriculum for Educators

Brien Holden Institute

A really hot topic currently is Myopia Management. And of course, if you want to get more information about this topic to be able to serve your younger customers better you should visit the Brien Holden Institute.

They have a lot of references on their websites but also stuff you could use during your consultation. Remember when I recommended good opticians show something instead of describing it. With the myopia calculator you can do just that. Guess what your customers say when you give the family that information? Of course what a great optician!

Randy Kojima and Mark Andre on Youtube

Part of learning is mimicking other great people’s work. How they explain things or do things is really eye-opening at times. To me, I had the experience when watching Rany Kojima’s and Mark Andre’s videos on YouTube.

In a lot of cases, our schools are filled with average teachers. But at least you can decide what you watch when you are not at school or at work. I would highly recommend you dive into their videos.

I guess that is it. What makes a good optician? I hope you found the information you were looking for. To me as an owner of an optical shop stepping my game up was crucial. I think you will not have a chance in this market today if you do not stand out with your skills. Choose a topic and be great at it.

Nobody wants appointments in an average optical with average staff. So improve learn change things implement what you really like and throw things out of your way if you did not like them. This can be true for products, tools in your workshop, or processes. I think we share a lot of the ideas mentioned here. Otherwise, you would not read through the whole article.

Do not limit your learning time to the number of your working hours. This is the time to do and not to sit around and read because you can gain some experience. When the optical shop closes it is your time to sit back and think about what you could have done in a more optimized way. When the doors open again in the optical next morning it is time to implement and observe how things go.

If then things do not run as planned. Do not worry. You know that this step is not necessary to be a great optician. Just change back and look for other things.

Maybe our ways cross at some point.

I wish you a great day.

Recent Posts