Dispensing opticians


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Dispensing opticians supply, fit and service spectacles, contact lenses and other optical aids in accordance with a prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist.


Entry is most common with GCSEs/S grades or equivalent qualifications or experience, followed by up to three years training approved by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO). Full-time, day-release or distance-learning options are available.

Typical tasks

  • interprets prescription and measures patient’s face to determine distance between pupil centres, height of bridge of nose, etc.;
  • advises patient on lens type and choice of spectacle frames;
  • prepares detailed instructions for workshop;
  • ensures that completed spectacles conform to specification and fit the patient correctly and comfortably;
  • fits spectacles and advises patient on lens care and any other difficulties likely to be experienced.

Common job titles

Optician, dispensing
Dispenser, optical
Optician, lens, contact

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.