Opticianry (AS)

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 curriculum 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 Lee Campus. Clinical experiences are completed 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 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292081.htm.


The Hillsborough Community College Opticianry Program is nationally accredited by the: Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA) PO Box 592 Canton NY, 13617

Telephone: 703-468-0566

Website: http://coaccreditation.com/

Application Information

Students must apply the Hillsborough Community College Opticianry Program by completing an online Orientation and an online Application. The program has limited enrollment due to its rigorous laboratory and clinical requirements.

Program Contact

Christine Pinkney Lab Site Coordinator cpinkney@hccfl.edu

Thomas Neff Faculty 813-253-7488 tneff@hccfl.edu

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