Eyewear sales make up well over half of all revenue in the eyecare industry. So, why is it then that opticians receive so little in the way of compensation and respect?

Could it be they’re playing in the wrong sandbox?

Most opticians insist on playing in the medical sandbox. They’ve been told the medical sandbox is where they belong, and that respect and satisfaction are found in being a “medical professional.”

Of course, in the medical sandbox, the rules are made by ODs and OMDs, who happen to be some of the most [formally] educated people on the planet. Opticians might have a two-year degree? So, who is getting the respect and the salaries? That’s not to say doctors don’t deserve it; of course they do, but opticians are choosing to play in THEIR sandbox.

Some argue formal education requirements for opticians are the answer, but unless we’re talking 8-12 years of higher ed, opticians will always be the last kids to get picked.

So, let’s look at that first sentence again: “Eyewear sales make up well over half of all revenue in the eyecare industry.”

“...well over half...”

There’s another sandbox—a glorious sandbox! One in which 64% of the population wear eyeglasses. That’s over 200,000,000 people and $20,000,000,000 in the U.S. alone.

Not only is the eyewear sandbox bigger, it doesn’t require 8-12 years of higher ed for entry and opticians already have much of the knowledge needed to play with the big kids.

The industry would have you believe that eyewear is the medical sandbox. They have done their best to blur the lines over the years. Don’t believe it.

I’ll let you in on a little secret… people hate going to the doctor. The appointments, the stress, the fear, the discomfort, the wait; why would anyone (who is interested in selling glasses) associate eyewear and medical? Yes, the medical stuff is important and necessary, but leave that to the doctors.

The eyewear sandbox is where the cool kids are. It’s where people can breath, have fun and express themselves, without dread and fear associated with doctors’ appointments and medical devices . Most importantly it’s where you, the optician, can earn more, be happier, and make a difference.

Be the master of your sandbox, not the little kid in someone else's.