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Thread: Us education requirements?

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Apprentice
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    Us education requirements?

    How much (if any) formal education is *required* to become a licensed optician in a given state?

    I know some are unregulated, and some are 6 months, but which states require a full-time 2 year approved program?

    Are there any states that require more than 2 years?

    In Canada, it's a minimum 2 year approved program plus 2 internships.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Unless there have been recent changes, no state mandates any formal education to be an Optician in the US. Rhode Island did a few years back, but it is my understanding now that the requirement was removed. The site there now indicates Opticians must undertake a board approved "training" program, typically an apprenticeship approach with home study. Canada is a bit ahead of us in mandated education. Approved programs there are formal education programs either in a traditional classroom setting, or the fabulous NAIT program. Those states that do require a license typically approve and accept an degree in Opticianry from a Commission on Opticianry Accreditation Accredited program versus an apprenticeship to sit for licensure as well. Only 25-30% of Opticians have such a degree despite the programs now offering excellent online programs. Also corporate entities often have their own training programs that some boards have approved, but these folks must also complete an apprenticeship.

    Now in the US, the National Academy of Opticianry has a program similar to NAIT that a number of states will approve along with a specific number of years in apprenticeship to allow folks to sit for their licensing exam for those states. In many cases, the ABO/NCLE exams have now taken the place of individually designed state exams, and must be passed to receive a license. You must also keep in mind that most states here have no requirements at use the title Optician. I often joke that in 27 states all you need is a pulse!

    You can go to several sites (NFOS, NAO, ABO/NCLE and OAA) to really learn more. I did not review these sites, but if memory serves me well, I am sure ABO/NCLE has a lot of specific information. I hope this is helpful.

  3. #3
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    Thank you !
    Very helpful, interesting and disappointing at the same time.

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