Retraining to become an optician



Opticians are experts when it comes to clear vision, and they are becoming increasingly important: two-thirds of all Germans now wear glasses, and half of them wear them all the time. 5 percent are contact lens wearers, and from the 45th percentile onwards, they are contact lens wearers. everyone needs reading glasses. Since we absorb 80 to 90 % of our sensory information visually, a visit to the optician is indispensable for most people.

Anyone over the age of 50 who wants to become an optician can choose between a shortened, dual training program or a 2-year, inter-company retraining program to become an optician. In addition, he/she can retrain to become an optometry salesperson or study optics/optometry.

What does the occupational field of the optician look like??

Opticians advise their customers on the choice of their visual aid, lenses and frames. They check the functions and functional deficits of the eyes and binocular vision via eye tests. The eye glass determination, also called optometry, may only master craftsmen and opticians with the advanced training as optometrist.


  • advise customers on their spectacle frames
  • give style tips and check the fit of frames
  • measure visual acuity and intraocular pressure
  • check the visual field, twilight vision and color vision
  • advise on lenses (anti-reflection, compression, near vision, far vision and progressive vision)
  • sell the glasses, give them or. order the lenses and check the delivery process
  • grind and fit the lenses
  • advise customers on the use and care of their glasses/contact lenses
  • carry out minor repairs
  • do the commercial accounting.

Where do opticians work??

Opticians work

  • In optician branches
  • in the online eyeglass trade
  • in ophthalmic practices and eye clinics (often with the double qualification MFA / medical assistant)
  • in the optical and precision mechanics industry (together with precision opticians).

What are the future prospects for opticians??

The prospects for opticians are good, despite market saturation and the commercial trend toward centralization. 49.500 employees worked in 2021 in almost 12.000 stores, 20 percent of which belonged to the 10 most successful chain stores such as Fielmann, Kind and Apollo-Optik. 57 percent of optical businesses form purchasing cooperatives. Others are entering the field of online eyewear retailing, which accounts for 4.5 percent of all eyewear sales.

Only one in four apprenticeship positions can be filled, so retrainees have good chances of being hired even at the age of 50. Career starters earn between 2.000,- and 2.500 euros gross and increase to 2.500,- to 3.100,- Euro.

Those who want to continue their education have a wide variety of opportunities: from optometry training and contact lens fitting to master optician training and specialization as an orthoptist (specialist in ophthalmology).

How long does the retraining to become an optician last and how is it structured??

The three-year, dual vocational training program to become an optician is offered by numerous opticians. For applicants with completed training and relevant work experience such as optician, precision mechanic or medical assistant (MFA), the training period is shortened to 2 to 2.5 years.

Inter-company retraining in an educational facility also qualifies opticians. It lasts 2 years and includes a 6-week internship.

School learning areas include:

  • Mathematics, physics and biology
  • Basics of ophthalmic optics
  • Correction means
  • Physiology
  • Customer service and
  • Technical practice (in school workshops)

Practically, u. a. the following areas will be taught:

  • The performance of eye tests
  • Measuring the eye
  • the production of visual aids (glasses and contact lenses)
  • Fitting glasses
  • Customer service and support.

The journeyman's examination is divided into two parts: One in the middle and a second after completion of the apprenticeship. Both parts include practical examinations, part 2 also includes a practical supply examination.

For whom is the retraining as an optician suitable??

Anyone applying for retraining as an optician should have an intermediate school leaving certificate or a secondary school leaving certificate plus another completed training course.

Also in demand are:

  • Fine mechanical skills
  • Mathematical-technical understanding
  • Interest in medical-biological correlations
  • Sense of style and design
  • Care and observation accuracy
  • communication skills and patience
  • Friendliness, customer orientation and sales talent.

What does the training cost and what funding is available??

The dual training to become an optician is financed by the training salary. This amounts, depending upon Land and employer, in 1. Training year between 550,- and 650,- Euro, in 2. year 650,- to 750,- Euro and in the 3. year between 745,- and 850,- Euro. For the first training can be applied additionally vocational training subsidy.

The inter-company retraining can be financed via the education voucher of the employment agency or the training grant. of the job center, provided that unemployment is thereby averted. Who is still in work, can strive for a further training check.

Rehabilitand/inside the retraining on request of its Reha cost unit is financed. Soldiers with a commitment period of at least 4 years can turn to the BFD (Berufsforderungswerk der Bundeswehr) to get the retraining paid.

Providers of dual training

A dual apprenticeship is offered by many opticians. The following chain stores are looking for trainees at several locations:

  • Abele Optik (Bavaria, Franconia, Rhine-Main area)
  • Active Optics (Thuringia, MV, Saxony-Anhalt, NRW, Rhineland-Palatinate)
  • Apollo-Optik (nationwide)
  • Becker+Floge (Lower Saxony)
  • Binder Optik (Baden-Wurttemberg)
  • eyes + more (Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony, NRW, Berlin, Brandenburg)
  • Fielmann (nationwide)
  • Child (nationwide)
  • MATT (Bavaria, NRW)
  • Mister Spex (nationwide)
  • Opticians Bode (Lower Saxony, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia)
  • Optics Schlemmer (Franconia)

Which inter-company providers are there?

The inter-company providers are:

  • Bfw Vocational Training Center, Hamm/Westphalia
    Open to applicants with no previous school or vocational training
  • Eckert schools, Regenstauf near Regensburg
    Rehab retraining for adults with disabilities
  • Technical Academy for Optometry, Hankensbuttel
    Technical academy and vocational school of the opticians and optometrists association NRW
  • Heinze Academy, Hamburg
    Retraining as an optician, also rehabilitation retraining

What alternatives are there for lateral entry?

An alternative to learning the optician's trade is the 12-month retraining course to become an optical salesperson. It includes a 3-month company internship. Supra-company it is u. a. offered by the following educational institutions:

  • Bfw Berufsforderungswerk (nationwide)
  • Eckert Schools, Regenstauf near Regensburg:
    Rehab retraining for adults with disabilities

Another retraining alternative is the advanced training to become a specialist for optics in the industry.

Is it possible to retrain as an optician by distance learning??

The theoretical-practical interlocked optician training is not online, but dual or. can be studied while working. The course of study requires a university entrance qualification or a completed specialist training course.

The courses of study are:

Dual studies can be financed via the training allowance, while part-time studies can be financed via the Aufstiegs-BAfoG or a KfW student loan. Information can be obtained from the faculty.

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