Optical Technology Courses and Classes Overview

Optical technology courses introduce students to theories of light and practical skills in the optometry field. Graduates of optical technology programs might work in laboratories that produce optical devices or in optometrists' offices. Read on for more information about optical technology courses.

Essential Information

Courses in optical technology are available through certificate and associate degree programs in optical technology. Some of these programs may include training in ophthalmic procedures. Graduates of optical technology programs are often eligible to take the licensure exam for opticians, though each state board has its own requirement for licensing in this profession.

Some common concepts covered in optical technology courses include:

  • Ocular anatomy
  • Patient relations
  • Opthalmic testing
  • Optical dispensing
  • Optical business management
  • Sales and retail

List of Common Courses

Optical Technology Basics Course

Topics include typical responsibilities of optical technicians, such as grinding and edging optical lenses, designing and dispensing eyeglass frames and diagnosing lens prescriptions. Students are also introduced to education opportunities and employment options in the optical technology field.

Optics Theories Course

This course offers instruction in principles of light, refraction and optics, especially as they pertain to the anatomy of the eye. Classes can include lectures as well as a laboratory component, which may help prepare students for the American Board of Opticianry's National Opticianry Competency Exam.

Optics Mechanics Course

Coursework pertains to the equipment, processes and materials that technicians use to create optical lenses and eyeglasses. Laboratory components may focus on making single- and multi-focus lenses. Students are also trained in laboratory safety equipment and procedures.

Principles of Lens Fabrication Course

Students are taught to make prescription lenses, based on patient prescription and condition of the eye. Processes include lens surfacing, blocking, finishing and polishing. Students learn to operate lens fabrication machinery and evaluate finished lenses for accuracy.

Ophthalmic Assistance Course

Some optical technology programs include training for becoming an ophthalmic assistant. Classes include an overview of ophthalmic diseases, treatments and procedures. Instruction can also include hands-on practice in eye exams, equipment operation, equipment sterilization and medical record-keeping.

Optical Technology Field Experience Course

Students usually take this capstone course upon completion of all other program requirements. It offers a hands-on opportunity for students to observe and work in various positions in the ophthalmic and optical technology fields. Students might work in lens processing laboratories or shadow optometrists' assistants in retail offices.

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