Though a high school diploma and on-the-job training may be all that is needed to begin working as an optician, those desiring more formal education could enroll in a certificate or associate degree program. Programs can be found at community colleges and technical schools.
10 Schools with Optician Programs
These ten institutions have career preparation programs for aspiring opticians:
|University/College||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (In-state, 2015-2016)*|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate||$2,753|
|Camden County College||Blackwood, NJ||2-year, Public||Associate, Certificate||$4,440|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate, Certificate||$2,805|
|Erie Community College||Buffalo, NY||2-year, Public||Associate||$5,189|
|Essex County College||Newark, NJ||2-year, Public||Associate, Certificate||$7,358|
|Goodwin College||East Hartford, CT||4-year, primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit||Associate||$19,950|
|Hocking College||Nelsonville, OH||2-year, Public||Associate||$4,390|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate||$2,834|
|Seattle Central College||Seattle, WA||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate||$3,891|
|Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute||Albuquerque, NM||2-year, Public||Associate||$1,095|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Think about the following as you select an optician program:
- Most states require opticians to be licensed; if you live in one of these states, make sure that programs fulfill the necessary educational requirements and provide adequate exam preparation.
- Even if your state does not require licensure, certificate and associate degree programs can improve job prospects by providing knowledge and experience.
- If you want to specialize in a certain subfield, such as crafting, finishing and fabrication of lenses, make sure the program emphasizes training in that area.
- Associate's degree programs provide general education in addition to career-focused training, so you can choose between them based on your educational interests and goals.
Certificate of Completion - Opticians
A certificate program for aspiring opticians varies greatly in curriculum and length according to state mandate. The theory and practice of opticianry, such as lens fitting and dispensing, are the typical focus of such programs. Clinical experiences in the form of apprenticeships or practicums are included.
Associate Degree for Opticians
Associate degree programs for aspiring opticians are designed to be completed in four semesters through 2-year and 4-year colleges. Programs located in states requiring licensure are typically designed to prepare for the requirements of a certification examination. Clinical experiences are typically included.
Aspiring opticians can get academic and practical training from associate's degree and undergraduate certificate programs. They may also provide preparation for licensure in states where it is required.