Optician Training and Certification in New York

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:

Licensing: § 67.1 – § 67.6

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.

Optician Training in New YorkExamination Requirements:

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

State Contact Information:

Phone:          (518) 474-3817 ext 250
New York State SealFax:              (518) 402-5354
E-mail:         opunit1@mail.nysed.gov

Ophthalmic Dispensing Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234-1000

Office of the Professions: Ophthalmic Dispensing

State Association:    New York State Society of Opticians

Opticians Alliance of New York (OANY)

Optical Society of Western New York  (OSWNY)

Current Job Offerings:

faeye-whiteFAEYE

Elegant multispecialty ophthalmology practice on the Upper East Side, looking for a Certified Dispensing Optician to join our dispensary. Potential candidates should be knowledgeable about refraction, spectacle correction and contact lenses, and have excellent customer service skills. Frames are sold in-house and lenses are sourced offsite.

Optician responsibilities
–       Review Physician’s prescriptions and orders based on medical charts
–       Operate manual lensometer and other tools to achieve proper fittings for patients
–       Educate patients on their corrective lens options and help them make a choice that fits their medical needs as well as lifestyle preferences
–       Provide helpful advice about aesthetic choices in frames, while attending to patients’ specific needs and desires
–       Manage inventory of frames and contact lenses to ensure optimum customer satisfaction and product variety
–       Communicate with physician with questions or concerns about prescriptions and other eye-related issues

Examples of Optician skills
–       Bachelor’s degree preferred
–       Certified Dispensing Optician required
–       3+ years’ experience dispensing corrective lenses
–       Experience with both contact lenses and glasses
–       Ability to operate lensometers and other equipment
–       Excellent customer service and sales skills required

Benefits
–       Competitive salary with generous commission scale
–       Full-time employees qualify for:
o       Paid Holidays, sick leave, vacation
o       401K and Health Benefits
o       Employee and Friends&Family discounted pricing
o       Safe and Pleasant working environment

6 Responses

  1. Kelly
    Kelly September 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm | | Reply

    Hi, my name is Kelly! I actually just graduated from ECC this past May and am taking my practical this October, but have only just scraped together the money for the exam. I’ve been doing a lot of research online but have found no information on a deadline for the application? Also, is the 108 in addition to the 250 dollar fee for the exam itself? If nothing else I’ll contact my head of department at ECC. Thank you for any help!

  2. Natalie Misyuk
    Natalie Misyuk January 2, 2015 at 12:04 pm | | Reply

    My name is Natalie Misyuk, I would like to find about different Air Force opportunities. I am an Ophthalmic Dispenser of 18 years and I would love to find out if there are any opportunities in this field? Can you please let me know. Thank you so much.

  3. Dale Clemens
    Dale Clemens July 12, 2013 at 9:37 am | | Reply

    Your website places Erie Community College in Canton, however, the address for the Opticianry Program is as follows:

    Erie Community College
    North Campus
    6205 Main Street
    Williamsville, New York 14221

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