California is one of only twenty-three states that require optician licensing. Rules and regulations regarding optician training requirements, licensing, and certification are set by the The Medical Board of California. The following information will be applicable to you if you are wanting to be licensed as an optician in the state of California. Before the Medical Board of California can issue a license, a criminal record clearance must be received from both the state Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The state of California differentiates between Spectacle Lens Dispensers & Contact Lens Dispensers when it comes to licensure. If you are wishing to perform tasks associated with both spectacle lenses and contact lenses, then you will need to be licensed for both.
No individual may fit and adjust spectacle lenses unless the registration requirement of the State of California is complied with, and unless the individual is a duly registered spectacle lens dispenser or the individual performs the fitting and adjusting under the direct responsibility and supervision of a duly registered spectacle lens dispenser.
A “duly registered spectacle/contact lens dispenser” generally includes a licensed optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist. Individuals who perform dispensing activities under the supervision of a qualified professional are encouraged to verify compliance with state law before accepting a supervised position.
- Registry exam offered by the American Board of Opticianry
No individual may fit and adjust contact lenses, including plano contact lenses, unless the registration requirement of the State of California is complied with, and unless the individual is a duly registered contact lens dispenser or the individual performs the fitting and adjusting under the direct responsibility and supervision of a duly registered contact lens dispenser.
- Contact lens exam by the National Committee of Contact Lens Examiners
Optician Training Programs:
American Career College, located in Los Angeles, provides the opportunity to complete a dispensing program that can be taken during the day for a period of 40 weeks or in the evenings for a period of 50 weeks. The program is available on all three campuses including Orange County, Ontario, and Los Angeles. Graduates are prepared to fill positions as Optical Lab Technicians, Contact Lens Fitters, Optical Dispensers, and Vision Center Retail Staff. You can check out their website to learn more about the program and the online application.
Fees and Forms:
- Initial registration fee ($100).
- Renewal fee ($100).
- Delinquency fee ($25)
State Contact Information:
Phone: (916) 263-2382
Fax: (916) 263-2487
2005 Evergreen Street, Ste 1200 Sacramento, CA 95815
Web Site: The Medical Board of California
Association: California Association of Dispensing Opticians