Graduates of the Opticianry Program are prepared to successfully complete the American Board of Opticianry National Opticianry Competency Examination, the National Contact Lens Examination, and state licensing examination (if applicable). An optician is an eye care professional who, following prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists, helps select and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses for people with vision problems. Opticians typically work in medical offices, optical stores or large department stores. Formal education is fundamental to the credibility of an optician as an eye care professional. Employers increasingly prefer dispensing opticians to complete certification or graduate from an accredited two-year associate's degree program in Opticianry; some large employers may provide an apprenticeship. Twenty-two states require licensure to practice opticianry.
Upon completion of the Opticianry Program, graduates should be able to:
- Discuss prescription eyewear/vision aids and other patient/customer related information, verbal and written, with the prescriber
- Analyze and interpret prescriptions
- Communicate effectively with patient/customer
- Identify the human eye structure, function, and pathology
- Assist the patient/customer in selection of proper frames and lenses
- Determine patient/customer physiognomic (facial and eye) measurements
- Neutralize lenses and verify eyewear/vision aids prescriptions
- Adapt and fit corrective eyewear/vision aids
- Apply rules and regulations for equipment safety
- Demonstrate proficiency in the operation and function of equipment
- Maintain patient/customer records
- Assist in the business related areas, including record maintenance, frame and lens inventory, supply and equipment maintenance, and third party forms
- Dispense and fit contact lenses, where allowed by regulation
- Dispense and fit artificial eyes and low vision aids, if appropriate.
The Opticianry Program is made possible by an inter-institutional agreement between Florida SouthWestern State College and Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in Tampa, Florida. Florida SouthWestern State College offers the General Education coursework and is the host campus for the laboratory coursework. The Opticianry AS degree is granted by Hillsborough Community College.
The Opticianry Program on the Florida SouthWestern State College campus is delivered through distance learning technology combined with campus-based instruction. General Education coursework may be taken on various campuses but the Opticianry laboratory core courses are held on the Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus. Clinical experience is gained at affiliate sites.
Current occupational employment and wages data for Opticians are published by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292081.htm.
The Hillsborough College Opticianry Program, offered in partnership with Florida SouthWestern State College, is nationally accredited by the:
Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA)
PO Box 592
Canton NY, 13617
Application and Admission Requirements:
Opticianry has limited enrollment due to the rigorous laboratory and clinical requirements for the program. Acceptance to HCC and/or Florida SouthWestern State College does not imply acceptance into the Opticianry program. Students must meet program requirements established by Hillsborough College. Program orientation, application, and admission information are available on the HCC site at www.hccfl.edu/departments/health-science/opticianry/prospective-students.aspx. Students on the Florida SouthWestern State College campus may also contact the School of Health Professions' office at (239) 489-9255.
Information is available online at: www.fsw.edu/academics/ and on the School of Health Professions Home page at: www.fsw.edu/sohp