Employment of opticians is projected to grow 24 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The growth in the older population is anticipated to lead to greater demand for eye care services. Because people usually have eye problems more frequently as they age, the need for opticians is likely to grow with the increase in the number of older people.
Increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes may also increase demand for opticianry services because some chronic diseases cause vision problems. Additional opticians will be needed to fill prescriptions for corrective eyewear for individuals with conditions that damage their eyesight.
A growing proportion of opticians are expected to find 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.
Having an associate's degree from an accredited program and ABO and NCLE certifications may improve an applicant's job prospects.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Health technologists and technicians
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program