Optician Training and Certification in North Carolina

North Carolina 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 North Carolina State Board of Opticians. The following information will be relevant to you if you are wanting to be licensed as an optician in the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina State Opticianry Law:

Article 17 § 90–234 – § 90–255.1

No person or combination of persons shall for pay, or reward, either directly or indirectly, practice as a dispensing optician as hereinafter defined in the State of North Carolina without a certificate of registration issued pursuant to the provisions of this Article by the North Carolina State Board of Opticians.

General Eligibility Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • A high school graduate or equivalent
  • Of good moral character

Technical Skills and Training Requirements:

  • Completed a six–month internship by working full time under the supervision of a licensed optician, optometrist, or physician trained in ophthalmology, in order to demonstrate proficiency in the areas of measurement of the face, and fitting and adjusting glasses and frames to the face, lens recognition, lens design, and prescription interpretation.
  • Must fulfill one of the following…
      • Completed a two–year course of training in an accredited school of opticianry with a minimum of 1600 hours
      • Completed three and one–half years of apprenticeship while registered with the Board under a licensed dispensing optician, with time spent in a recognized school credited as part of the apprenticeship period

Opticianry Degree Programs:

Optician Training in North CarolinaDurham Technical Community College, located in Durham, offers a 2-year Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Opticianry. This program satisfies the educational requirements established by the North Carolina State Board of Opticians. If you are interested in enrolling in this program, you will be required to complete the following tasks:

  • Complete enrollment application
  • Attend student orientation
  • Submit official high school transcripts
  • Submit transcripts from previous colleges
  • Complete placement tests
  • Complete the English Language Requirement Form
  • Meet with an advisor to complete a Comprehensive Education Plan
  • Complete all developmental courses

If you would like to download and print the official checklist, click here. You can also learn more about the program by visiting the department website.

Examination Requirements:

  • An examination conducted by the Board which shall be confined to such knowledge as is reasonably necessary to engage in preparation and dispensing of optical devices.
  • The examination shall be given at least twice each year at sites and on dates that are publicly announced 60 days in advance.

Licensure by Reciprocity:

The Board shall grant a license without examination to any applicant who…

  • Is at least 18 years of age
  • Is of good moral character
  • Holds a license in good standing as a dispensing optician in another state
  • Has engaged in the practice of opticianry in the other state for four years immediately preceding the application to the Board
  • Has not violated the rules of the Board

Fees and Forms:

  • Application for Examination, $200
  • Non-licensed State Application, $200
  • Apprenticeship Application, $25
  • Internship Application, $25

State Contact Information:

Phone:          (919) 733-9321
Fax:              (919) 733-0040
E-mail:         Submit Here

NC State Board of Opticians
PO Box 6758
Raleigh, NC 27628-6758

Web Site:   North Carolina State Board of Opticians

State Association:    North Carolina Opticians Association

Current Job Offerings:


Dr. Steven C. Moore & Associates

OPTICIAN – Licensed or non-licensed for upscale optometric practice in uptown Charlotte, NC. Must be a great sales person and knowledgeable in the optical field.

Office hours are 7:30AM – 4:30PM, Monday-Friday. No evenings or Saturday hours! Benefits range from paid vacation time to insurance benefits to a retirement fund.

Please send resume to smoore5014@carolina.rr.com or call 704-281-4853.

16 Responses

  1. Lindsay
    Lindsay May 13, 2016 at 3:48 pm | | Reply

    Hello! I am currently an apprentice optician. Do I need to apprentice under a licensed optician or can I be supervised by a doctor? Ophthalmologist or optometrist. Thanks!

  2. Tracey Wise
    Tracey Wise October 18, 2015 at 10:37 am | | Reply

    I am planning to move to North Carolina and have been licensed in the state of New York for one year. What are the requirements since I have not been licensed in another state for four years?

  3. Gustavo Nadasi
    Gustavo Nadasi September 8, 2015 at 2:04 am | | Reply

    Hello, My name is Gustavo Nadasi. I have been a licensed optician in the State of New Jersey since 1996. As we are relocating to North Carolina next year, I would like to have my license in NC by Reciprocity. I was and still am working for LensCrafters in New Jersey for 20 years as a full-time licensed optician, until 2010. Then I retired, and continued working for the same Company as a part timer. Will I still be entitled to reciprocity? I understand that there is also an internship requirement possibility. Will I be required to complete that? How long does the internship take? Thank you for your attention.

  4. Georgina Liranzo
    Georgina Liranzo August 12, 2015 at 10:02 am | | Reply

    What is the difference between handling and mailing glasses to a patient?

  5. Nick Pagano
    Nick Pagano February 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm | | Reply

    Hi my name is Nick Pagano, I have been a licensed optician in the state of New York for 23 years. My family is relocating to North Carolina, does the state offer reciprocity with my New York State license?

  6. Nikki Genske
    Nikki Genske July 31, 2014 at 6:31 pm | | Reply

    I am currently a certified optician in Michigan, and have been employed by a busy practice for 20 years. I am looking at a move to the Raleigh area and was wondering what I need to do to obtain my license. Any info would be helpful.


  7. Jessica
    Jessica October 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm | | Reply

    “Completed three and one–half years of apprenticeship while registered with the Board under a licensed dispensing optician, with time spent in a recognized school credited as part of the apprenticeship period”

    Please help me to understand this, Does this mean 3.5 years training with a licensed optician who has been to school? Or, training with a licensed optician for 3.5 years while attending a credited school?

    Thank you!

  8. Harold Edison Shaw
    Harold Edison Shaw May 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm | | Reply

    Hello, my name is Harold E. Shaw and I am interested in become an optican. please send me some information about what I need to register as far as fees and applications and course requirements

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