New York 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 New York Department of Education Division of Professional Licensing Services Ophthalmic Dispensing Unit. The following information will be relevant to you if you are wanting to be licensed as an optician in the state of New York.
New York State Opticianry Law:
Only a person licensed or exempt under this article or a corporation, partnership or persons doing business under an assumed name and either composed of licensed ophthalmic dispensers or employing licensed ophthalmic dispensers shall practice ophthalmic dispensing or use the title “ophthalmic dispenser”, “optician”, “optical technician”, “dispensing optician”, or “optical dispenser”.
General Eligibility Requirements:
- At least eighteen years of age
- Be of good moral character
Technical Skills and Training Requirements:
- Graduation from an accredited high school or equivalent
- At least one of the following…
- A program in ophthalmic dispensing of at least 60 semester hours or its equivalent that is registered by the department
- Alternative training and experience of at least two years along with a one-year course of study in mathematics completed prior to or concurrently with such training and experience.
- More detailed information on alternative training requirements can be found here.
Opticianry Degree Programs:
1) Erie Community College, located in Williamsville, offers an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing. This degree program was designed to provide the theoretical and practical training needed to successfully complete the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) Exam, the National Contact Lens Examination (NCLE), and the New York State Licensing Exams in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lenses. Eligibility requirements include the following:
- Must be a high school graduate
- Transfer students must have maintained at least a 2.0 GPA
- Courses completed elsewhere may be eligible for transfer if a grade of C or higher was achieved.
You can learn more about the program by clicking here.
2) The Technical Career Institute, located in New York, offers a dispensing program that is designed to prepare students for the Certifying Examinations administered by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and The National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE). Graduates are also prepared to complete the New York State Professional Licensing Examination for Ophthalmic Dispensing. To learn more about the details of the program, you can visit the program website by clicking here.
3) The New York City College of Technology, located in Brooklyn, offers an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing. The program requires a minimum of 62 credit hours and offers courses in both day and evening sessions. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the National Certifying Examinations administered by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and The National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) as well as the New York State Licensing Examination. You can learn more about the program by visiting their website or by viewing their program fact sheet.
- National Opticianry Competency Examination administered by the American Board of Opticianry
- The National Contact Lens Registry Examination administered by the National Contact Lens Examiners
- The passing score for the written examination and for the practical examination shall be 75.0
Training Permit Requirements:
- Enrollment in a training and experience program
- Attestation by a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, physician, or optometrist that the candidate’s training and experience program shall meet the requirements of sections 67.1 (b)(2) – 67.2 (a).
- A training permit shall be valid for a period not to exceed two years, or until 60 days after notification by the department that the education requirement for licensure has been met, whichever first occurs.
Fees and Forms:
- Application for Licensure, $108
- Application for Limited Permit, $35
- Application for Trainee Permit, $30
- Application for Licensure
- Certification of Professional Education
- Application for Limited Permit
- Application for Trainee Permit
State Contact Information:
Phone: (518) 474-3817 ext 250
Fax: (518) 402-5354
Ophthalmic Dispensing Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234-1000
State Association: New York State Society of Opticians