Alabama does not require an optician to be licensed or certified by any state agency. Employers in Alabama are allowed to set their own standards for opticians. Many employers prefer to hire opticians who have formal optician education and are certified by the American Board of Opticianry. The fact that there are no optician schools in Alabama has led many employers to use experienced opticians to train new opticians. This is fairly common and those hoping to enter the profession should contact employers directly.
Excerpts from Alabama State Opticianry Law:
(b) A license to practice optometry shall not be required for the sale, preparation, or dispensing of eyeglasses or spectacles in a retail optical dispensary or from a store, shop, or other permanently established place of business with an optical department on prescription of a duly licensed physician skilled in diseases of the eyes or a duly licensed optometrist authorized to practice under the laws of this state.
Contact lenses may be dispensed when properly approved by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, the prescription has all data, and has not expired. This section shall not be construed as authorizing any optician or other person selling prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses as authorized above to use instrumentation or determine any data by performing any type of examination or corneal evaluation necessary for the fitting of contact lenses or to use any drugs in relation thereto.
(c) Nothing in this chapter shall apply in any way to any licensed physician, nor to any physician assistant or ophthalmic assistant program conducted under any accredited state university program, nor to any physician’s assistant as defined in Section 34-24-292. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as preventing an ophthalmologist from using assistants normally used in his or her practice under his or her direct personal supervision in the office in which the ophthalmologist normally actually practices his or her profession and nowhere else.
Each oculist, optometrist, or optician practicing his profession shall pay the following license tax: in cities or towns of over 5,000 inhabitants, $25; in cities and towns of 1,000 to 5,000 inhabitants, $10; and all other places, $5. If such business is conducted as a firm or as a corporation, each oculist, optometrist, or optician so engaged shall pay the license as above stated; provided, that the license imposed by this section shall not apply until such oculist, optometrist, or optician shall have practiced his profession two years.