What is your advice for someone working their way to become an Optician?
Learn from as many professionals and mentors who share the same passion for optics as you do. Ask to show how everything works so that you become better familiar with equipment, and technology. Invest time and resources like Optigal and Laramy-K, for example.
Why should anyone get certified/licensed?
If you have a passion for what you do in optics then strive for certification and license if at all possible. It shows that you are serious about helping to make a difference in the industry.
In your experience, what is the best way to prepare for an Opticianry test?
I found question and answer format with follow up explanations to be a great way to study.
What do you remember as being a prominent part of the test or that you were surprised to see on the test?
I took the ABO and NCLE together. I was hoping to pass the ABO from the studying but didn’t feel confident about the NCLE. I also had zero practical experience at the time. Surprisingly I passed the NCLE and failed the ABO by one point. Embarrassing as that was to get the opposite results, I studied more and passed the ABO the next time I took it. During the state practical I was the only individual to have the lensometer not function as it wouldn’t come on. Had to be moved to another station once I explained the situation to the proctor. At that moment I felt only this bad luck could happen to me and detail any possibility of becoming licensed. Fortunately that didn’t happen and thankfully became licensed when I got the results a few weeks later.
How do you decide if an additional credential should be earned?
I would love to pursue the advanced certification as a way of furthering my own career. It’s the math that’s been the challenging part.
What was the point when you decided to attain your license/certification?
Having entered the opticianry program with zero practical experience I simply listened to what the optician teacher told everyone. The ultimate goal should be to get licensed, that’s what mattered the most. I didn’t fully understand what that meant at the time but it did help to focus my endgame on taking my certification and practical exam.
What do you feel is your strongest skill as an Optician?
Communication. The biggest involves hearing and listening twice as much as I speak to each and every customer. Then I repeat back in order to be on the same page.
What is your advice to someone who lacks sales skills or confidence?
Practice in the mirror or even with other coworkers if you have time to role play.
The optical industry has amazing people in it. Wherever you are, find others who can help further your career along the optical journey. Ask questions to learn how things work and why. Always strive to become better today than you were yesterday.
Responses in this interview provided by Yaacov Wexler, ABOC, NCLEC, LDO, FNAO
Find Yaacov (Wex) online here:
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