Optician jobs are on the rise throughout the United States with many new positions opening up every day. Dispensing opticians are a play a pivotal role in the vision healthcare field. Their roles extend to a technical, administrative and customer service capacity. Opticians are able to dispense glasses and contact lenses based on the prescriptions of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Their job also requires fitting customers with eyewear and that includes molding frames while using the proper tools. Our research team has collected and analyzed data from many institutions across the nation to see which schools and programs stand out in 2017. The schools listed here have been ranked as having some of the best optician training programs in the country. (Methodology)

 

 

TOP 30

American Career College
4021 Rosewood Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90004
American Career College

The American Career College offers an Optical Technician program that is available at several locations. Students can take this program at Long Beach or Los Angeles campuses in California while it is also offered to Canadian students at the Ontario campus. Graduates of this program will be eligible to take on entry level positions working in vision care centers or private optometrist and ophthalmologist practices. American Career College has been in existence for more than 35 years and now features 13 health care programs for students to choose from, including its Optical Technician program.

 

TOP 30

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
41 Berkeley Street Boston, MA 02116
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

Located in the city of Boston, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is the only college that provides Opticianry degree programs in the entire state of Massachusetts. Graduates of this program will earn an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Opticianry. Graduates have accumulated a 99.5% job placement rate when entering into the field of opticianry. While enrolled, students are able to utilize top-of-the line equipment that is housed directly on the BFIT campus. Graduates can also use their degree to continue their education in vision care.

 

 

TOP 30

Broward College
111 East Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Broward College

Students have the option of earning an Associate of Science in Vision Care Technology at Broward College. Students in this program have the advantage of learning at Broward’s vision care clinic, which features the latest vision care technology and equipment. This clinic is located on the North campus. Broward’s Vision Care Technology program has received accreditation from the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA). The program is designed to span 18 months and requires the completion of 72 credits. Students who are interested in enrolling can check out a monthly information session offered on the North campus.

 

TOP 30

Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center
5735 47th Ave. Sacramento, CA 95824
Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center

The Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center is based in Sacramento, CA and offers an Optometric Assistant/Dispensing Optician certificate program. There are 810 hours of work required in this 27-week program. In order to complete the program, students must achieve a 90% attendance rate and earn a “B” grade or better in all classes. The training modules cover the areas of Lab Optician, Dispensing Optician and Optometric Assistant. Graduates of this program are also eligible for assistance with job placement. The entire staff of teachers has received credentialing from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

 

TOP 30

CSN
6375 W. Charleston Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89146
CSN

The Ophthalmic Technology Program at CSN has four different options. The first and highest level of training is offered through an Associate of Applied Science in Ophthalmic Dispensing. There are also three different skill certificates offered by CSN. A Contact Lens Technician skills certificate can be earned by completing 11 credits. There is also an Ophthalmic Dispensing: For Registered Apprentices skills certificate, which consists of 26 credits. An Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician skills certificate requires the completion of 10 credits and is typically completed in one semester. CSN features three main campuses and nine learning centers throughout Nevada.

 

TOP 30

CCRI
400 East Avenue, Warwick Rhode Island 02886
CCRI

The Community College of Rhode Island offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Opticianry. There are some perquisite courses that need to be completed before starting this program, which is one of only four located throughout New England. Students can take their general education courses at any CCRI campus while most of the major opticianry courses are offered in a distance learning format, but do require some on-campus sessions. Students in this program are given a mentor, who is a licensed optician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist. Graduates become eligible to sit for national certification exams as well as Rhode Island licensure.

 

TOP 30

City Tech CUNY
300 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
City Tech CUNY

The New York City College of Technology offers an Ophthalmic Dispensing Associate Degree in Applied Science. The curriculum consists of classroom instruction on theory and laboratory sessions as well. CUNY is equipped with state of the art ophthalmic facilities, which includes, laboratories, a contact lens clinic and a fully-equipped ophthalmic dispensing clinic. Real patients visit the clinic to provide students with real-world experience. The faculty consists of accredited opticians who have all acquired advanced degrees. Graduates of the program become immediately eligible to take national and state ophthalmic certification and licensure examinations.

 

TOP 30

Durham Tech
1637 East Lawson Street Durham, NC 27703
Durham Tech

The Opticianry Department at Durham Tech offers two educational options. There is an Associate Degree hybrid program, which combines online work, classroom instruction and lab work. There is also a practicum portion in which students gain clinical experience. The other option is a shorter one and concludes with the awarding of an Optical Apprentice Certificate. This option is offered online and requires the completion of six courses. It is designed in conjunction with North Carolina’s apprenticeship program. Durham Tech’s Opticianry program has been accredited by the COA and approved by the North Carolina State Board of Opticians.

 

TOP 30

East Mississippi Community College
1512 Kemper Street PO Box 158 Scooba, MS 39358
East Mississippi Community College

The Ophthalmic Technology Associate’s Degree program is offered on East Mississippi’s main campus, which is located in the city of Scooba. This program is intended to span two years and requires the completion of 69 semester hours. The setup is designed for students to complete a summer externship to satisfy the final six semester hours. There are 47 semester hours of Ophthalmic Technology courses required, along with 20 hours of academic courses. Graduates of this program have a job placement rate that is just shy of 100%.

 

 

TOP 30

Erie Community College
121 Ellicott Street. Buffalo, NY 14203
Erie Community College

Opticianry training is available on Erie Community College’s North Campus. Graduates of this program will earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Vision Care Technology. Classroom and laboratory instruction are combined with clinical externships, which are provided at one of 70 approved vision care sites located in Western New York. In the second year of this program, students are able to work under the supervision of professionals at a local community eye clinic. The Vision Care Technology program has been accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation.

 

TOP 30

Essex County College
303 University Ave. Newark, New Jersey 07102
Essex County College

An Associate of Applied Science in Vision Care Technology is offered at Essex County College and requires the completion of 71 credits. That total includes general education courses and 7 additional credits in the principles of accounting and business organization and management. Those possessing an NJ dispensing permit will only need to take a limited number of classes in order to qualify to take the state license exam. Students who complete the program in full will also qualify to take the exam offered by the NJ state board.

 

 

TOP 30

Florida Southwestern Community College
26300 Airport Rd Punta Gorda, FL
Florida Southwestern Community College

This Associate’s Degree Opticianry Program is actually an inter-institutional one that was made possible by an accord between Florida SouthWestern State College and Hillsborough Community College, which is located in Tampa. All of the coursework is offered at Florida SouthWestern State College, although the Opticianry Associate of Science degree is awarded by Hillsborough Community College. Students must apply to the Opticianry Program at Hillsborough Community College. Classroom instruction that takes place on the Lee campus and there is also online learning involved in the curriculum. The clinical portion is conducted at participating eye care facilities off campus.

 

TOP 30

Georgia Piedmont Technical College
495 N Indian Creek Dr, Clarkston, GA 30021
Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Five opticianry educational paths are available at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Earning an Associate Degree in Opticianry will enable graduates to take both national certification and state licensing exams to hold the distinction of Licensed Dispensing Optician (LDO). There is another option of earning an Opticianry Diploma, which requires 59 credits. Students can take courses that will earn them certifications as a Contact Lens Technician (13 credits), Eyewear Dispensing Specialist (26 credits), or Optical Laboratory Technician (18 credits). The certification programs are short-term and designed for students looking for entry level jobs that do not require licensing.

 

TOP 30

Goodwin College
One Riverside DriveEast Hartford, CT 06118
Goodwin College

Goodwin College offers an Associate of Science in Vision Care Technology and that will qualify graduates for national certification and state licensure examinations. The Opticianry program at Goodwin College remains the only one of its kind available throughout the Capital region. Goodwin recently unveiled a state of the art facility for opticianry students, which includes a contact lens laboratory, optical fabrication laboratory, and a training store. All but one graduate from the Goodwin Opticianry program in the last three years have achieved immediate job placement or gone on to a higher level of education.

 

TOP 30

Hacienda La Puente
445 N. Glendora Ave. La Puente, CA 91744
Hacienda La Puente

Hacienda La Puente Adult Education features an Optical Training program that takes two semesters to complete. A certificate is awarded to those who complete the mandatory 250 hours of coursework. Enrollment requires the completion of an appraisal assessment test. Some students will qualify for free training benefits or financial aid. There is a Workforce Development Center that can help new students get started on the enrollment process. Completion of the certificate program will qualify students to obtain entry level opticianry positions. Hacienda La Puente features three different campus locations.

 

TOP 30

Hillsborough Community College
4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33614
Hillsborough Community College

There are a variety of educational choices in the field of opticianry for HCC students. There are two Associate of Science Degree programs offered. The first is an A.S. in Opticianry and the other is an A.S. in Optical Management Technology, both of which prepare students for eventually landing a supervisory position. Certificate programs are also available as students can earn an Eye Care Technician Certificate (48 credit hours), an Ophthalmic Lab Technician Certificate (24 credit hours) or a Visual Assessment Advanced Technical Certificate (11 credit hours). There is also an HCC opticianry clinic located on the Dale Mabry campus.

 

TOP 30

Hocking College
3301 Hocking Pkwy, Nelsonville, OH 45764
Hocking College

An Associate of Applied Science in Opticianry can be earned at Hocking College with the completion of 62 credits. This program’s courses are offered during evening sessions. The program is designed to be completed in four consecutive full-time semesters. Tuition fees are very affordably priced as rates are some of the lowest for this type of training anywhere in Ohio. Hocking opticianry graduates are eligible for state licensing through the Ohio Optical Dispensers Board. The Opticianry program at Hocking College has received approval from the Ohio Optical Dispensers Board.

 

 

TOP 30

Reynolds Community College
PO BOX 85622 Richmond, Virginia, USA 23285-5622
Reynolds Community College

The opticianry programs offered at Reynolds Community College have been accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and have also gained membership to the National Federation of Opticianry Schools. No other opticianry program in Virginia can make that claim. Students can earn an Associate’s Degree in Opticianry, or a Certificate as an Opticians Apprentice. To enter the Apprentice Program, applicants must provide proof that they are an apprentice optician registered with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. The apprentice route at Reynolds is a distance learning program, with weekly meetings conducted online.

 

TOP 30

Madison Area Technical College
1701 Wright Street Madison, Wisconsin 53704
Madison Area Technical College

Madison College offers training for those looking to further their career as an optometric technician. The coursework in the Optometric Technician program is offered completely online. Students located outside the state of Wisconsin do not have to pay out-of-state tuition when entering into this program. This program is not available on a full-time basis. All students are expected to complete the program’s 24 credits over the span of four semesters on a part-time basis. The program has been accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) and graduates are eligible to sit for national certification examinations.

 

TOP 30

Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132
Miami Dade College

Miami Dade County offers an Associate of Science Degree in Opticianry that prepares students to become Licensed Opticians in the state of Florida. Some courses are offered online while the remainder of classes are held at Miami Dade College’s Medical Campus. The program is designed for both full-time and part-time day students. Evening classes are also offered to part-time students. Applications cannot be filled out online and must be done in person at the Medical Campus, which also features a Career Center that helps students throughout their academic journey at Miami Dade College.

 

TOP 30

Ogeechee Technical College
One Joseph E. Kennedy Blvd., Statesboro, GA 30458
Ogeechee Technical College

An Associate of Applied Science in Opticianry and an Opticianry Diploma are both offered at Ogeechee Technical College. Both programs prepare students to become licensed dispensing opticians, although the Associate’s program features more general education credits. Both programs have the same protocol towards certification. Completing each program allows graduates to sit for the ABO and NCLE, exams which need to be passed before acquiring a license from the state of Georgia. The 2016 graduates of Ogeechee’s Associate Degree program achieved 95% job placement and 100% passed the Georgia state boards.

 

TOP 30

Raritan Valley Community College
118 Lamington Rd. Branchburg, New Jersey 08876
Raritan Valley Community College

Raritan Valley features an Ophthalmic Science (Opticianry) Certificate program which students can be used to become a licensed optician in the state of New Jersey. The certificate program functions in conjunction with a three-year apprenticeship program approved by the NJ state board. There are 37 credits that need to be completed in this certificate program and 31 of those are required to be eligible for a state license. Students are able to work while completing these courses, thus gaining the necessary experience for the apprenticeship program. Two to three courses are taken per semester for five straight semesters.

 

TOP 30

Roane State
276 Patton Lane Harriman, TN 37748-5011
Roane State

The Opticianry Program at Roane State concludes with an Associate of Applied Science Degree. The program is taught at Roane‘s main campus and has been accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA). The application deadline is May 15, although if all spots are not filled, students may apply up to the start date. Once admitted, students will need to complete 66 required credits. The layout of the program spans five semesters, which includes a summer semester. Upon completing this program, graduates will be eligible to take the Tennessee State Board Licensing Exam in Ophthalmic Dispensing.

 

TOP 30

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
9169 Coors Blvd, Albuquerque, NM 87120
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

The Vision Care Technology Program at SIPI offers an Associate Degree and a Certificate option. The Vision Care Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree takes two years to complete through five trimesters. An Optical Laboratory Certificate can be earned over the course of three trimesters. Graduates of the Associate Degree program are eligible to sit for the national ABO and NCLE exams. Both programs allow students to work with the most up to date technology on the SIPI campus, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

 

TOP 30

TAMU Texarkana
7101 University Ave Texarkana, TX 75503
TAMU Texarkana

Texas A&M Terkana features Ophthalmic Assistant/Optician training course that is offered in both 10 and 15 week increments. The training course includes 80 total hours. Of that total, 20 hours are spent in clinical practice, which takes place a at one of the local Texarkana Eye Associates facilities. Passing a comprehensive final at the end of the course will result in the awarding of a certificate of completion and will also enable students to take the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant examination offered by the JCAHPO. This TAMU training program is considered a non-credit certification, but will prepare students for entry level positions.

 

TOP 30

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
4089 Val Tech Road, Valdosta, GA 31602
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Wiregrass provides a host of Opticianry Programs at its Valdosta Campus. To be admitted to one of these programs, applicants must be at least 16 years old and pass a criminal background screening. Each new program starts in the fall. The Opticianry Diploma Program includes 6 general education credits, along with 53 occupational course credits. An Opticianry Associate Degree is also offered and requires 74 credits. Shorter options are available in the Eyewear Dispensing Certificate Program, which features 29 total credits. A Refractometry Technical Certificate is also offered and carries a 23-credit curriculum.

 

TOP 30

Massassoit Community College
1 Massasoit Blvd. Brockton, MA 02302 508-588-9100
Massassoit Community College

MCC offers an Ophthalmic Assistant Program, which includes 58 total hours of coursework. A good portion of that coursework is conducted off campus at local ophthalmology practices. Students are required to provide their own transportation to these facilities. The program is divided into two sessions, one in the fall and one in the spring semester. The first session involves more classroom work while the second part features more hands-on training. While a medical assisting or ophthalmic background helps, it is not required to gain admission to the Ophthalmic Assistant Program.

 

Methodology

(Methodology)
OptitionEDU.Org uses a number of important factors to determine overall rankings for our top 30 online program list. These factors include a combination of cost and financial aid, along with the number of programs offered. In addition, we consider student-teacher ratios, and employment/career counseling services. Finally, graduation rates were an important aspect when considering what schools to feature.