Optician Training and Certification in Washington

Washington 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 Washington State Department of Health. The following information will be relevant to you if you are wanting to be licensed as an optician in the state of Washington.


Washington State Opticianry Law:

Licensing: Chapter 246-824 WAC

General Eligibility Requirements:

  • Graduation from an accredited high school or completion of GED
  • At least eighteen years of age
  • Of good moral character
  • Applicant must answer personal data questions

Technical Skills and Training Requirements:

  • Must complete one of the following…
      • An apprenticeship program in Washington State
      • Five years out of state experience
      • Completion of a prescribed course in opticianry
  • 4 hours of HIV/AIDS training

Opticianry Training Programs:

1) Seattle Central Community College offers a 2-year Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Opticianry. This program requires a minimum of 127 credit hours for completion. 81 of those hours exist within the major itself. Applicants must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Has a High School Diploma or GED
  • Has completed COMPASS placement testing
    • Must be eligible for ENG 101 (Composition) and MAT 084 (Algebra I)
    • This requirement is waived with a transcript showing completion of English and Math

Optician Training in WashingtonA detailed list of the admission process including the steps you need to complete can be found on the general admissions page. If you would like to learn more about the curriculum including detailed course descriptions, you can visit the curriculum page by clicking here.

2) Highline Community College, located in Des Moines, offers an Apprenticeship Training Program for those wanting to become Licensed Dispensing Opticians (LDO). This program requires a 6,000 hour time commitment and generally takes 3 – 6 years to complete. Graduates become eligible to apply for and take the state exam administered by the Department of Health. Successful completion of the exam will allow graduates to become credentialed as Licensed Dispensing Opticians. The following requirements must be met in order to be admitted to the program:

To explore this opportunity in more detail, be sure to visit the program website. A detailed list of the curriculum, including required courses, can be found by clicking here.

Examination Requirements:

  • State written and practical exams
  • State law exam
  • The examination schedule can be found here

Fees and Forms:

  • Full examination, $200
  • Practical Only examination, $50
  • Written Only examination, $25
  • Apprentice Registration, $75
  • License Renewal, $100

State Contact Information:

Phone:          (360) 236-4700
Fax:              (360) 236-4818
Washington State SealE-mail:         hsqa.csc@doh.wa.gov

Department of Health
PO Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099

Web Site:   Washington State Department of Health

State Association:   Opticians Association of Washington

Current Job Opportunities:

4 Responses

  1. george
    george April 16, 2016 at 10:39 pm | | Reply

    I have failed the practical part of the Washington state exam 3 times. I have been working in a retail optical store in the apprenticeship program. Is there any tutoring programs or licensed opticians available, so I can pass this part of the exam?

  2. Alex Bountharath
    Alex Bountharath September 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm | | Reply

    I have worked as an Optician Apprentice for two years but have not registered as an Apprentice with the WA State Department of Health. Will my previous hours count once I enroll into the program or do the hours start counting from the day I enroll?

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