The hours for an optical career allow for flexibility. Most hours are available during non-traditional work hours in order to serve the public. As a result it is a good job for students or people seeking a second job. If you are young the money is sufficient to pay your bills and leave little left over. States that require licensing will pay better. Working with patients can be awesome or frustrating and sometimes you feel like a glorified salesperson. I left this career due to lack of room for growth and feeling unfulfilled intellectually.
In a licensing state, that is, a state that requires opticians to be licensed, opticianry can be a rewarding career. You get to do a variety of different things during the day. You sell, make glasses, fix glasses, and also do various maintenance chores of your store. Great customers can make a day fabulous - nasty ones can ruin the week. The worst part about being an optician are the hours. You need to work nights and weekends, since you need to be available when other people are off from work. Licensed opticians make pretty decent money. I can't say that you'll get rich, but it's a living wage. There are choices about what kind fo environment you want to work in - chain or independent, and you can even own your won business.