Optician Certification and Training Programs

Many types of optician programs exist. While certificate programs and apprenticeships, these programs are usually offered at the 2-year level and may result in degrees in optician science, ophthalmic dispensing or related fields. Learn more about these programs, online study options, common coursework and the process of earning certification and licensure. Schools offering Optician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Optician Training Programs Are Available to Me?

Some schools offer certificate programs that prepare graduates for jobs as dispensing opticians or vision care specialists who fit patients with eyeglasses and contacts. However, associate's degree programs are the most commonly available optician training program. These can also be known as opticianry technology, ophthalmic dispensing and opticianry science programs. Graduates are prepared for jobs as opticians or ophthalmic dispensers who fabricate new lenses according to an optometrist's prescription.

Optician apprenticeship programs are also available. In these 3-year programs, you'll maintain full-time employment at an optometrist's office, ophthalmologist's office or optical lab while completing coursework at a community college. You may earn a certificate in the process.

Programs Available Associate's degree, apprenticeships
Online Options Yes; on-campus laboratory work necessary
Common Courses Anatomy of the eye, safety regulations,
lens fabrication, optical theory
Certification and Licensure Certification through the ABO or NCLE;
Some states require an additional test to be taken obtain your license

Can I Complete Training Online?

There are associate's degree programs available online. While much of the coursework can be completed from home via e-mail and recorded video lectures, laboratory courses will need to be completed on campus.

What Courses Can I Expect?

In a certificate program, you can learn how to repair frames, measure facial features and help customers choose frames. Courses cover safety regulations, anatomy of the eye, opticianry laws and the equipment used to create lenses. You can also take courses in optical theory, dispensing techniques, physiology and medical terminology.

Associate's degree programs include advanced courses in lens fabrication. This could include hands-on instruction in the use of equipment such as edgers and tinting machines. You may also take courses in contact lens fabrication. Most associate's degree programs also require you to complete clinical work or an internship.

Will I Need Certification or Licensure?

You may earn voluntary certification through the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) or the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE). You will need to pass a written exam covering topics such as fitting and dispensing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may need a license to work as an optician in some states (www.bls.gov). In some cases, certification from the ABO or NCLE may qualify you for licensure. Other states may require you to complete additional state-administered written or clinical exams.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

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  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Associate Programs

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  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Joseph's University

    Saint Joseph's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Joseph's University:

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  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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  • Penn Foster Career School

    Penn Foster Career School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Utica College

    Utica College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Utica College:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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