In this article, Kelly Thom shares her experience working as an optician at BJ's Optical. Discover what the on-boarding and training process is like, learn about employee perks and benefits, and get an inside look into a typical workday.
How long have you been an Optician at BJ’s Optical?
I’ve been working for BJ’s Optical close to a year now.
How much training did you receive when you first started?
I did not have much experience starting out, but BJ’s trained me to develop the skills and knowledge I needed in order to be prepared and excel.
When starting out, I completed both online and hands-on training. Following my initial technical skills training, there was roughly a one-week period of time in which I was trained on how our department operated and I was subsequently trained on all of the other elements related to working for BJ’s Optical. My manager, also an optician, spent one-on-one time with me throughout this process and showed me how our specific department worked, and how to complete all of the administrative duties associated with my role.
This was an incredibly positive experience for me. I like to learn, so I found the training extremely beneficial and fun. My manager is great and working with him has always been easy.
Describe an average day, from start to finish, as an Optician at BJ’s Optical.
A typical day begins with checking in with our manager to understand if there are any major items that need to be addressed. Otherwise, we’ll settle into the day, organize our equipment, and prepare for patients.
On average, we spend about 20-30 minutes with each patient on a typical encounter. That includes making recommendations on or helping them with a frame selection and understanding what their needs are.
Interested in learning more about being an optician with the BJ's Optical team? Find out all you need here!
From there, we discuss lens options based on their prescription is and what recommendations their doctor had given them. We’ll complete the fitting by taking all the standard and necessary measurements, have them complete some standard HIPAA compliance forms and get their order placed through our computer.
Between patient encounters, there is ample opportunity to interact with patients who might be simply browsing around and discuss frame styles, educate them, or answer any questions they might have.
What is your favorite aspect of being an Optician at BJ's Optical?
There is nothing more gratifying than when a patient absolutely loves and feels confident with the glasses they are wearing. Styling and helping patients pick the perfect frame for their face and features is my favorite aspect of what I do on a daily basis. I also enjoy educating patients. It’s rewarding being able to help patients understand the different lens options they are receiving and how that will help their visual needs.
What is the environment like in the office?
Management is extremely easy to work with, accommodating and very supportive. There are three opticians at my location. We operate very much as a team in the office, and that goes a long way towards being comfortable working with patients or dealing with any challenging situations that occur. My particular manager has been working in optical for twenty years, he’s seen it all, and done it all, and is always there to lend a helping hand.
How have your skills developed since working as an Optician at BJ’s Optical? What other training do they offer you?
It is amazing how much I have learned since working as an optician at BJ’s Optical. My skills and confidence have grown tremendously. Like I said before, I didn’t start off with much optical knowledge, but was given all the training I needed. I still receive training to this day in order to learn new skills on working with the lab or other managerial items. BJ’s even offers a program that will provide you with the training and financial support to become a licensed optician if you currently are not, which I think is really spectacular.
Do you feel BJ’s Optical allows you the opportunity to have a good work-life balance?
Yes—they offer a great opportunity for that. I am also in college, and they go out of their way to work with my schedule, which is important to me.
They’re always very good with granting days off—unless there’s a very dire situation where they need you there, and they’re extremely flexible with working around college hours.
BJ’s has always been so understanding of that. When I first joined BJ’s Optical, I had given them my schedule and made it clear that my education was my number one priority, and they’ve always been so understanding of that. There’s genuinely never been an issue where they’ve tried to make me prioritize work over school, and I think that’s fantastic.
What kind of perks or benefits do you receive working as an Optician at BJ’s Optical?
BJ’s Optical is really good about rewarding their opticians for working hard. There are regularly scheduled pay raises based on regular and recurring evaluations, and of course, incentives based on production and sales.
The BJ's Optical team works hard and loves what they do. Interested in learning more? We have you covered!
As an Optician at BJ’s Optical, you are eligible for paid time off (PTO), sick time and a whole array of benefits.
Would you say there are clear goals, a mission, and a purpose behind the office and company?
BJ’s Optical does an excellent job at giving patients options for more affordable eyewear that can meet their expectations and satisfy their visual needs. Affordability is sometimes associated with cheaper, or lower quality, but that is simply not the case. We have designer frames and use lenses from different labs that can provide a great experience for our patients. Everyone from management to the opticians to the staff buys into this purpose and understands the value it provides.