Published in Non-Clinical

This Is What Your Optician Compensation Says About Your Practice

This is editorially independent content
5 min read
Job seeking opticians will notice that there are many different types of optician compensation options available when joining a new optometry practice.
Here are three of the most common optician compensation options you'll see when joining an optometry practice as an optician!
  1. An hourly rate
  2. An annual salary
  3. Base pay plus commission or bonuses
The type of compensation a practice offers should tell you a lot about the kind of opticians they are trying to attract.
Here are some things to consider about optician compensation when deciding if a practice is a right fit for you.

Practice owners, take note! You can use this same concept when considering which type of compensation plan to offer your opticians, or when hiring an optician.

If an optometry practice pays hourly or salary without additional compensation, it is likely they are looking for:

  1. Equality among the opticians and a willingness to work as a team and contribute equally to the sales goals.
  2. Opticians seeking consistent pay no matter how they perform.
  3. “Team players” who are not motivated by competition or incentives.
  4. Opticians who do not wish to be recognized for their individual accomplishments but are believers in the “brand” and the collective goals of the practice.
  5. Opticians who enjoy a very structured environment.
  6. Newer opticians who are seeking a nurturing and secure work atmosphere.

If an optometry practice offers commission or bonuses in addition to a base pay, one may assume that they are looking for:

  1. Visionaries and Innovators who are full of ideas and like to think outside the box.
  2. Opticians who are motivated to grow their skills to achieve advancement in their careers.
  3. Opticians who support the collective goals of the practice, but are driven to reach those goals through personal accomplishments.
  4. Opticians who enjoy awards and recognition.
  5. Outgoing opticians who will help market the practice.
  6. Experienced opticians who feel secure in their knowledge and ability to consistently reach sales goals.
Clearly, there are pros and cons to both optician compensation structures.

The Pros of NOT Providing Optician Commission

Avoiding commissions or bonuses indeed encourages equality and teamwork. It creates a comfortable environment for less knowledgeable opticians to cultivate their skills while still keeping up with the rest of the pack.
Avoiding commissions or bonuses often attracts opticians very new to the industry or who are nearing the end of their careers and wish to relax a bit.

The Cons of NOT Providing Optician Commission

With a constant pay rate, opticians are given very little motivation to educate themselves on new products or new methods of fitting patients in premium frames and lenses. For that reason, practices aren’t likely to see a significant amount of revenue growth in their optical by offering hourly or salary pay only.
Ambitious and forward thinking opticians often consider that type of atmosphere a dead end. Those who are secure in their knowledge and skills will typically seek positions in which they can both contribute to the overall growth of the practice as well as receive individual recognition and compensation. These opticians will push themselves to learn and grow in order to increase their commissions and bonuses.
Having some amount of control over their income and advancement is empowering to highly motivated opticians. Therefore, offering your optician commission or bonuses will often attract independent and enthusiastic opticians. Practices that offer this type of compensation package will often see continuous revenue growth within their optical.
By the way, you can find out a lot of what your optician is looking for during the optician's job interview.

There’s no wrong way to do it, but the route you choose will define who you are as a practice or an optician.

It’s up to individual business owners to decide which type of optometry practice they want to be, just as it is up to each optician to choose which type of practice is a fit for them.
Want to read more on compensation in optometry practices? Let us know in the comments and we'll write about it :-)
Christina Bonsall
About Christina Bonsall

With over 10 years of marketing, public relations, and sales experience in the beauty industry, Christina joined VisionArts Eyecare Center in Fulton, MO as the marketing coordinator and an optician in September of 2013. She's also a change agent for Transitions Optical and a writer for Covalent Careers.

Christina Bonsall
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