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Optical Technology

Overview

optical technology used on woman in docter's office

Note: We do not yet have a start date for the Optical Technology program. Updates to the program start date will be provided on this website.

The Optical Technology program has two certificates that prepare the student for employment as an optical technician or contact lens technician. These certificates have 4 units of common coursework. It is recommended that the optical technician coursework be taken first. Courses for both certificates are mostly online with some lab time on-campus and an in-person internship required.

The Optical Technician certificate is an academic certificate that prepares students for occupations in visual technology services. This is the first certificate in a series that has common courses with a more advanced certificate in contact lens technician. The Optical Technician certificate for eyeglass dispensing is 17 units. This program is designed to be a full-time or part-time certificate that is 75% online. The certificate includes online classroom instruction, in-person laboratory practice, and an internship in a vision services or retail opticianry business where students will assess patients and provide eyeglass fitting services. Skills that will be learned include eyeglass fitting and adjustment, manufacturing of lenses and frames, and business concepts for optical services. This certificate will lead to industry certification for optical technician.

The Contact Lens Technician certificate is the second certificate in the series and has common courses with the entry-level Optical Technician certificate. The Contact Lens Technician Program is an 18 unit academic certificate that prepares students for occupations in visual technology services. Four units from the first certificate count toward this certificate. The certificate includes online classroom instruction, in-person laboratory practice, and an internship in a vision services or retail opticianry business where students will assess patients and provide contact lens fitting services. Skills that will be learned include contact lens fitting and adjustment, manufacturing of lenses, and business concepts for optical services. This program is designed to be a full-time or part-time certificate that is 75% online. This certificate will lead to industry certification for contact lens technician.

Certification: Optical Technician

Upon completion of the Optical Technician certificate, students will be prepared for the American Board Optician (ABO) exam offered through The American Board of Opticianry. Passing this exam then allows one to apply for registration in the State of California. This evidence of competence is recognized throughout the United States.

In addition, graduates will be able to apply for registration as a Registered Spectacle Lens Dispenser with the California State Board of Optometry.

A Live Scan Background check is required in order to apply to become registered.

Certification: Contact Lens Technician

After successful completion of the Contact Lens certificate, the student is eligible to take the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) Examination and upon passing becomes a certified contact lens technician. This evidence of competence is recognized throughout the United States.

In addition, graduates will be able to apply for registration as a Registered Contact Lens Dispenser with the California State Board of Optometry.

A Live Scan Background check is required in order to apply to become registered.

Career Opportunities

These certificates prepare the student for employment as an optician or contact lens technician. The optician or contact lens technician may work independently at registered dispensing optician locations or with an optometrist or ophthalmologist in the fitting, adjusting, and dispensing of eyeglasses or contact lenses for patients. Employment opportunities show projected growth in the region of greater than 10% over the next years.

The starting wages from $19-$21 for an optician and $20-$23 for a contact lens technician.

There are opportunities for career advancement into higher positions which include supervisory and management positions. Employment settings include:

  • private optometry practices
  • registered dispensing optician locations
  • public and private hospitals
  • clinics and laboratories
  • optometry schools
  • optical laboratories
  • manufacturing companies
  • educational programs
  • the armed forces

Cost of Attendance (COA): Optician Technician

Students who meet certain requirements are eligible for tuition fee waivers. Applicants are encouraged to check with the Financial Aid Office for possible assistance before entering the program.

Cost of Attendance – Optician Technician
Expense Details Cost
Tuition $46.00/unit for 17 units $782.00
Student Fees Parking, student representation fee, Health Services fee, Universal Transit Pass fee for 2 semesters 87.00
Textbooks

Cost of textbooks if purchased new

250.00
Internship

Lab coat/uniform, special supplies, transportation to internship

400.00
Approximate Total $1,519.00

Cost of Attendance (COA): Contact Lens Technician

Students who meet certain requirements are eligible for tuition fee waivers. Applicants are encouraged to check with the Financial Aid Office for possible assistance before entering the program.

Cost of Attendance – Contact Lens Technician
Expense Details Cost
Tuition $46.00/unit for 18 units $828.00
Student Fees Parking, student representation fee, Health Services fee, Universal Transit Pass fee for 2 semesters 89.00
Textbooks

Cost of textbooks if purchased new

300.00
Internship

Lab coat/uniform, special supplies, transportation to internship

400.00
Approximate Total $1,617.00