Do you have a passion for healthcare and a head for business? Every optical practice needs a manager. Start as an optical assistant or qualify as a dispensing optician and you could go on to become the manager, running the day to day business. These roles will see you leading the team, overseeing the finances, and making vital decisions.

You will need to be enthusiastic about eyecare and clinically-minded. Your focus will be on sales and customer service. You will get to know all about key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets, measuring your success and your team’s. 

What does an optical practice manager do?

Managers are responsible for sales and customer satisfaction. You will lead a team of people, training and mentoring them. Strong communication skills will help you motivate the team to meet their objectives.

You will work closely with the owners or directors to drive the business forward, setting targets and monitoring outcomes. You will be involved in key business decisions, from opening a new examination room to recruiting more staff or refurbishing the practice. 

You may be involved in decisions about choosing stock – which frames and lenses to offer.  You might also carry out some admin duties, such as planning eye tests, contact lens clinics and staff rotas.

What do you get from this role?

This is a great choice if you have strong people skills. You’ll make a difference to your client’s lives, providing eyecare, eyewear and advice.

You can help your team flourish through training, development and mentoring. There’s great satisfaction in seeing someone grow from a nervous new starter into a confident professional. 

Sales and business are also key areas. Do you get a kick from achieving your goals? Driving improvements? Completing tasks? Then this could be the role for you.

What do you need to apply?

Each business is different – there are no set educational requirements. People tend to become managers through training and experience, starting in more junior roles then developing and applying for senior jobs. You’ll need to show you can lead a team, handle finances and drive sales.  

What skills do you need?

  • You will be focused on commercial success and the quality of your customer service.
  • You will have a strong passion for eyecare and developing your team. 
  • You will have excellent communication skills.

Day to day

The manager plans the correct staffing for each day, drawing up rotas to ensure there is always the right mix of people with the right skills to look after your customers. 

You may be responsible for opening and closing the practice, as well as managing the team, dealing with finances and ordering stock. The manager also handles customer service issues that more junior colleagues can’t resolve. 

More about management careers