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Opticians, Dispensing Job Outlook

Employment of opticians is expected to grow by 29 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.

An aging population is anticipated to lead to greater demand for eye care services. People usually have eye problems in greater frequency when they reach middle age, so the need for opticians is expected to grow with the increase in the number of older people.

Awareness of the importance of eye exams is increasing across all age groups. Also, fashion influences demand for frames and contact lenses.

In addition, more opticians are finding employment in group medical practices. Optometrists and ophthalmologists are increasingly offering glasses and contact lenses to their patients as a way to expand their businesses, leading to a greater need for opticians in those settings.

However, employment growth is expected to be constrained by increases in productivity that will allow a given number of opticians to serve more customers.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition