Arkansas 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 Arkansas State Board of Dispensing Opticians. The following information will be relevant to you if you are wanting to be licensed as an optician in the state of Arkansas.
Any person not licensed to practice medicine or optometry in Arkansas who shall perform or purport to perform any act described in § 17-89-102(4) must be licensed or registered by the Arkansas Board of Dispensing Opticians.
Applicant Qualification Requirements:
- Over the age of twenty-one
- Of good moral character
- A high school graduate or the equivalent
- A current photograph
To learn more about the specifics of these qualifying requirements click here.
Technical Skills and Training Requirements:
You will be required to meet either of the following requirements.
- Graduation from a school of opticianry whose curriculum consists of at least eighteen (18) months of didactic and practical instruction which is accredited by a national accreditation organization and approved by the board.
- Has been engaged in the providing of ophthalmic dispensing services in the State of Arkansas for a period of not less than five (5) years immediately prior to application.
- No more than three (3) years may consist of working in a qualified service optical laboratory or providing ophthalmic dispensing services under the direct supervision of a dispensing optician, optometrist, or physician.
All persons making application for licensure as licensed dispensing opticians must successfully complete the written and practical examination prepared and conducted by the board. Each applicant must score at least 70 percent (70%) on the full examination to qualify for licensure.
Topics on the examinations include:
- Mechanical Optics
- Occupational Vision
- Facial Measurements
- Ophthalmic Lens Types
- Fitting Glasses and Frames
The deadline for the exam application is 60 days prior to the exam. Applicants who pass the exam and satisfy the qualifications shall receive a certificate of licensure to provide services to the public as a licensed dispensing optician.
Licensure by Reciprocity:
An applicant that holds a current validated certificate of licensure or registry as a dispensing optician in a state whose requirements for licensure or registry are at least equivalent to those of Arkansas may be issued a certificate of licensure or a certificate of registry without completing the written or practical examinations.
License Renewal Guidelines:
You will be required to submit a renewal application on or before July 1st of each year.
Apprentice Dispensing Opticians:
Licensed or registered opticians may utilize apprentice opticians to engage in dispensing under their direct personal physical supervision and at the same location where the licensed or registered person dispenses. However, no licensed or registered dispensing optician shall supervise more than three (3) apprentices at a given time.
Fees and Forms:
- Filing an application for a dispensing optician license, $200
- Filing an application for apprentice optician approval, $60
- Renewing a dispensing optician or apprentice license, $60
- Late renewal penalty for a dispensing optician license:
- Jul 1 – Jul 31: $25.00
- Aug 1 – Aug 31: $50.00
- Sept 1 – Sept 30: $75.00
- Post Sept 30: inactive
- Application for License Examination
- Application for Apprentice License
- Application for License Renewal
State Contact Information:
Phone: (870) 572-2847
Fax: (870) 572-2847
P.O. Box 627 Helena, AR 72342
State Association: Opticians Association of Arkansas