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Thread: Apologies In Advance If This Question Belongs in Another Group. But I need advice

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Professional eyecarepro's Avatar
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    Blue Jumper Apologies In Advance If This Question Belongs in Another Group. But I need advice

    Im just trying to connect with someone Licensed in New York State who knows a lot about obtaining licensure in NY coming from another licensed state. I went to the website but I think getting a hold of a live person to answer my questions would be best. I just want to make sure Im not skipping any steps involved. It takes SO long for the paperwork to process, like weeks, possibly months, Id hate to delay things by skipping a major step. In short, I want to move to NY state (upstate) in the next year or so from VA (which is a licensed state) but I want to ecure a job there first. Im pretty sure I wouldnt take a major hit in income going from VA to NY state, but cost of living plays a huge part I know and thats not relevant to this thread. Id really just love to discuss whats involved with someone who knows about getting a NY Ophthalmic Dispensing license and get a few questions answered. I have tried to reach someone from NYSSO by phone and by email now with no success yet.

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    OptiBoardaholic
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    Unless things have changed since I obtained a NY license there were two routes to get a license. First you could attend one the accredited Ophthalmic technical schools or serve an apprenticeship under a licensed optician and pass the state exam. Over the years the state has become lax with enforcement so I would venture to say most establishments use non licensed people who work under the license if the OD or other practitioners on site.

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    OptiBoard Professional eyecarepro's Avatar
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    This much I do know, it’s what I don’t know that’s perplexing. I took a 3 year accredited Optician Studies program at my local community college back when this certification program was being offered. It is no longer being offered at the college and hasn’t for over a decade. I’m stumbling onto roadblock after roadblock with getting my NY License. I’ve already applied for a license with the New York State board and paid the application fee. I’ve filled out paperwork for my professional licensure in VA to be officially certified and I’m trying to get a hold of someone in the admissions office or college records to assist with officially certifying that I met the minimum educational requirements but that been very difficult. I’m jumping through all these hoops and paying all the fees in HOPES I’m on the right track but really, I have no idea if I am or am not.

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    OptiBoardaholic
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    I would suggest you contact the NewYork state society of dispensing opticians Albany NY. You can contact them online.

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    OptiBoard Professional eyecarepro's Avatar
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    NYSSO- yup. I have contacted them by email and attempted to reach them by phone last week. No response back to email or voicemail. I’m sure they’re insanely busy as I’m sure I’m not the only person trying to get my NY License right now. I was kind of hoping someone on here might have some information that might help guide me as it could be literally weeks, maybe months before I hear back from anyone I’ve contacted. The websites only provide so much information but I have additional questions, probably pretty simple questions. I never imagined it would be so difficult getting this information, lol.

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    OptiBoardaholic
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    Try contacting WmMcdonald who posts on this board he is knowledgeable in this area.

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    Rising Star
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    New York does NOT have reciprocity. I believe you need to be on an apprenticeship for two years, pass the ABO, then pass the practical exam.

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    OptiBoard Professional eyecarepro's Avatar
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    Thank you, kdw613 , I am aware NYS does not offer reciprocity. I was in a VA, Sponsored Apprenticeship for 3 years, 6000 hours, passed my ABO 20 years ago, let it lapse (not proud of that) and took it again two years ago and passed again so I am already ABOC. I’m wondering if this means I need to do an all new apprenticeship with the state of NY? Seems absurd with over 22 years in the industry and having already completed a 6000 hour apprenticeship (yeah I started when I was still in diapers, lol). I’ve been on the NYSED website and have looked over requirements needed for out of state applicants that are licensed in another state. I just need clarification on if I need to start all over from scratch or if I just need to get some verification documents of education and experience over to their Ophthalmic Dispensing dept? I’ve been in contact with various resources and have yet to get a definitive answer. In the end it sounds like I need to get the documents over to the NYSED Ophthalmic Dispensing Dept for them to review and make a final determination as to what is really required. It’s quite a waiting game, high school transcripts (from the high school not me), apprenticeship certification (from the dept of Labor and Industry, not me, License verification documents from VADPOR, Professional Education verification from the community college I attended for opticianry, it’s exhaustive but I really want this so I’ll keep chipping away at it.

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    OptiBoard Professional eyecarepro's Avatar
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    *Revital-Eye-zing this thread. A month and a half later I’m still at it. Trying to get a NYS Ophthalmic Dispensing License. You’d think already being licensed, ABO Certified, and having worked in the biz for over 20 years there wouldn’t be so many hoops to jump through. Even though there are 2 completely different jurisdictions that handle ophthalmic dispensing licensing between NY (New York State Education Dept.) and VA (Dept of Professional Occupation and Regulation) I cannot imagine the minimum educational and profession requirements should differ much at all. As licensed opticians we should all be educated in light theory, spectacle lens fabrication, and fitting/adjusting and dispensing/troubleshooting eyewear, along with all the pertinent formulas, bare minimum. I can’t imagine why NY standards should be that much higher or stricter than VA, if as licensed dispensing opticians we essentially do and know the same things. In a month and a half I’ve encountered a few obstacles. One of which is getting a hold of official school documentation that proves I was enrolled in and completed an Ophthalmic Dispensing Program of some sort that met minimum educational criteria for the program to count. I took a three year Optician Studies Certification program from 99-02. Those school records are now so old they’ve been archived. When a school records officer pulled the records he said he didn’t see anything to indicate it was a certification program, it just looked like a mish-mash of ophthalmic studies courses in my transcripts. I know I received a certification at the end of this and it WAS a part of a program approved by DPOR to enable students that completed the program to sit for their practical exam. It’s blowing my mind just how complicated just THIS part of compiling documentation for NYSED has been so far. I could sure use some advice from those of you who might’ve been through this process or one similar to it before. It’s not like I’m walking into NYSED from the street with no experience and no professional accreditation. This is my profession, this is what I do for a living and have been doing since I was 19 years old. I don’t live in NY at the moment, I live in VA, so I’m having to do this all remotely so every email I send seeking clarification on anything takes days, sometimes weeks to get a response. I plan on moving my family up to upstate NY to be closer to be aging parents but I can’t make the move until I can secure a job with licensed pay. I couldn’t support my family on a non-licensed optician wage. I’m even with a company I could easily transfer within. In fact the location I want to move to even has open positions. I feel kind of stuck so any positive advice would be greatly appreciated.

  10. #10
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    ECP, I feel your pain, it’s unbelievable how licensed state make it difficult, particularly for even, certified, schooled, many, many years practicing Opticianry persons….

    There are only 21 states with real licensure. Each, with verifiable requirements... No reciprocity ..Why?

    IMHO, licensed states should unite, not drive wedged between each other. There are forces against any! licensure. It will take a United front to confront what’s to come….

    Some type of reciprocity would be a good start, a universally acknowledged minimum standard, even tied into a state practical, but a way to cross state licensure lines.

    It stinks of protectionary internal politics on a state by state level. United we stand, divided we fall..

  11. #11
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    "It stinks of protectionary internal politics on a state by state level. United we stand, divided we fall."

    What stinks is our lack of an organization that works for opticians and not just a cushy job that lets them see the world and administers a test.

    But thne again- how many of us are willing to pay the money required to get professionals to do the lobbying ($$$) needed to pass anything in most legislatures?

    That's our biggest obstacle and a big reason why I advocate unionization of big box opticals as a start.

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