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36/ 2011
Bonn, 27.07.2011


Always with an eye to the customer: Vocational training updated for the occupation Optician

Opticians must have expertise in a variety of areas. Not only must they advise customers on a tailor-made basis that takes the individual's personal style into account, they also work with increasingly advanced high-tech equipment. In light of these demands, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) together with experts from the social partners and representatives of the state governments overhauled the three-year training for the occupation Optician on behalf of the German government. An interest in working with people, a practical knack and pleasure in precision work are important prerequisites for this occupation which revolves around eyeglasses and contact lenses. The modernised training regulations for the occupation Optician will go into effect on 1 August.

The choice of the right glasses or contact lenses requires a trusting relationship between optician and customer, with the provision of guidance and advice becoming an increasingly important focus in this connection. The first step is to determine the strength of the customer's vision, choose the suitable visual aid, make the corresponding measurements of the customer's eyes and assess the measurements professionally.

In the event that the customer has decided to buy a pair of glasses, the optician has the task of finding a tailor-made solution for the customer, other words: Out of the many models available the optician has to find the right pair which satisfies the customer's taste and is made of the right material for the customer. The lenses must then be ordered, fit into the frame and the frame then adjusted to fit the customer. Other aspects of an optician's day-to-day work and customer service include later adjustments and repairs, documentation of customer data, advising customers on the use and care of their eyeglasses or contact lenses and the sale of related articles such as care products or cases for eyeglasses.

Opticians work in companies in the ophthalmic optics trade or the ophthalmic industry. The job prospects and continuing training opportunities are good for persons who have passed their journeyman's examination because optician skills are always in demand. Opticians who have earned master craftsman certification are entitled to run a branch store or start their own business.

According to the professional association for opticians, the number of trainees for this occupation has already risen this year due to the updated training content. Last year some 2,500 new training contracts were signed. Women account for approximately 75% of all new trainees for this occupation.

Further information is available in German on the BIBB website at
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Last modified on: August-01-11


Publisher: Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB)
The President
Robert-Schuman-Platz 3
53175 Bonn

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