Carving your niche from optical assistant

Lucy Patchett speaks to optical assistants who took the leap into a new specialised role within their practice, learning how they found their ideal job and developed the skills needed for success

From frame styling to social media and marketing management, to more technical areas of the business such as procurement, finance and glazing, the possible career pathways for non-registered staff are more diverse than you may imagine.  

Former optical assistants (OAs) explore different journeys to new expertise, provide advice on ways to get involved in particular areas of the business, outline key skills and knowledge needed and how to gain support from practice managers when aspiring for a new role.  


Rizwana Essa transitioned from an OA to frame stylist at Stotts Opticians. It was a natural choice for Essa as she has always been interested in fashion and how colours can be used to present an individual’s style. 

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