An optician explains why you should consider a career in optometry

Are you thinking about which degree course to study at uni? Or are you a new grad thinking about which career path to go down? Well here’s an idea for you – optics. Becoming an optician is maybe a job you hadn’t considered, but it sounds pretty fun to us. 

We spoke to Joseph Haver, an optician and eyewear designer about what it’s like to work in the industry and how a career in optics could be just the dream job you’re looking for.

1. Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career? How did you become an optometrist?

Actually, I started as a chemist. In those days, and I’m talking about twenty years ago, a degree in optometry was a novelty. But soon it became a trend among science students. I’ve decided to give optometry a shot. It was practical and required skills in fields I was good at – mathematics and physics. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to actually treat people.

Joseph Haver

Joseph Haver

2. What would your advice be to aspiring optometrists?

Optometry deals with finding the perfect eyewear solution for your client, so preciseness, resourcefulness and people skills are the main tools you need. In my case particularly, in addition to professional experience, it was about developing a personal taste. This became the solid base to the eyewear selection in my own store. I became very aware of the power of sunglasses and optical frames to aesthetically re-design a person’s image, to become their social business card. It’s my duty to assist people in expressing themselves.

3. What is your favorite part of your job?

Finding the perfect fit, considering client’s prescription, age and face structure in terms of form, color and texture. To build this relationship you sometimes have to challenge people by suggesting a totally new direction. I once assisted a man in his fiities, who’s been through a major personal tragedy and felt he needed a change. The frame we chose together made him reconsider his whole look, and a month later he came to tell me he had completely changed his wardrobe. This idea of constant innovation brought me to design my own collection.

4. Tell us about your new range. Why did you decide to launch your own brand?

I started developing a clientele, and questions about my designs became more and more frequent. Two years ago my store was reviewed by Eyestylist and I started to receive collaboration offers. One of them was from small family manufactory in Italy. Since I had no experience in design, our first collection was mainly based on the manufacturer’s existing range, with my input on measurements and colors. The collection, commercial with a twist, became a big success, and made me think about designing from scratch. I’ve started with a limited range of five styles, but they cover a variety of shapes and sizes –from round and half-round to elliptic, square, rectangular and heptagon. The collection’s geometric nature and its black-white-red color palette draw inspiration from the 60’s Space-Age. My background in optometry helped me to really embrace my most eccentric ideas and I’m really proud of the collection.

Now what?