Optician Training and Certification in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is one of only twenty-three states that require optician licensing by law. Rules and regulations regarding optician training requirements, licensing, and certification are established by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The following information will be relevant to you if you are wanting to be licensed as an optician in the state of Massachusetts.


Massachusetts State Opticianry Law:

Licensing: 235 CMR 2.00

No individual may perform, provide, or offer to perform or provide, any function or service which is included within the “practice of opticianry”, or hold himself or herself out to the public as able to engage in the practice of opticianry without a license.

General Eligibility Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Of good moral character

Technical Skills and Training Requirements:

Must fulfill one of the following…

  • Has graduated from a two-year educational program in opticianry which is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • Successfully completed one year of education in an educational program in opticianry which is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and successfully completed an apprenticeship of not less than 3,000 hours over a period of not less than eighteen (18) months
  • Successfully completed an apprenticeship of not less than 6,000 hours over a period of not less than three (3) years


Optician Training in MassachusettsOpticianry Degree Programs:

The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, located in Boston, offers a 2-year Associate Degree in Optometry. You can learn about the admissions process by clicking here. This program is one of only two offered among states that make up New England. To learn more about the curriculum and the objectives of the program, you can visit the program website.

Examination Requirements:


Licensure by Endorsement:

A license applicant who holds a current, valid license or registration to practice as a dispensing optician issued by the applicable licensing authority of another state may be granted a license by the Board without meeting the requirements above. You may still be required to take and pass the state practical examination.

Fees and Forms:

  • Application for licensure, $59
  • Renewal Fee, $82

Massachusetts State SealState Contact Information:

Phone:          (617) 727-5339
Fax:              (617) 727-1627
E-mail:         paula.m.king@state.ma.us

Board of Dispensing Opticians
1000 Washington St., Ste. 710
Boston, MA 02118-6100

Web Site:   Massachusetts Board of Dispensing Opticians

State Association:    Opticians Association of Massachusetts

13 Responses

  1. lucy dangelo
    lucy dangelo May 6, 2016 at 7:50 am | | Reply

    Is an apprentice while in training at a facility associated with an optometrist not allowed to also assist in daily activities such as insurance verification for exams for a doctor or as long as the apprentice meets the required daily opticianry training can the apprentice also assist in doing insurance verification for doctors?

  2. Daniel
    Daniel March 10, 2016 at 1:06 pm | | Reply

    What activities can a non-licensed person who is going through apprenticeship program (6,000 hours) under an optician do? For instance, can a non-licensed person recommend or discuss eyeglasses to the patient while an optician is on the floor? Or is non-licensed person only able to dispense glasses and do nothing while an optician is on the floor?

  3. Linn Jones
    Linn Jones April 8, 2014 at 10:46 pm | | Reply

    If I hold an existing state license and ABO certificate does Massachusetts allow me to transfer?

  4. katie
    katie February 7, 2014 at 10:16 am | | Reply

    Hello, I have been an optician for over 20 years and am working with a frame stylist who I am told I have to take measurements for. I was informed that if the board comes in that this could result in a $1,000 fine. Is this true and if so where can I get this in writing?

    1. Dave
      Dave April 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm | | Reply

      Hi Katie,

      A non-licensed person cannot discuss lenses, frames, record prescriptions, take any measurements, or adjust eyeglasses. If they are not licensed, they should not being doing anything an optician’s license is needed for. Non-licensed optical shop employees can dispense (hand to a customer) glasses and contacts while an optician is on the floor. The non-licensed employee cannot adjust glasses. The rules are written in the regulations. The board did state at their March 2014 meeting that a non-licensed person cannot record a prescription in the system or discuss frame styles, lens styles, and customizations with a customer.

  5. Lynn M Pimental
    Lynn M Pimental March 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm | | Reply

    Hello. When training during your apprenticeship, you are required to study for 6000 hours. Can you tell me the minimum amount of hours required in each area, with emphasis on fabrication, edging and manufacturing of eye wear? I am having difficulty finding any written information on this. You help is greatly appreciated!

  6. monica reyes
    monica reyes February 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm | | Reply

    Hello, name is Monica Reyes. I am requesting an appearance to be in front of the Board to discuss an extension of my apprenticeship on March 6, 2013 at 10 am. Please response to my request. Thank you for your time.

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