Become A Licensed Optician

Ophthalmic Dispensers, which are more commonly known as Opticians, are licensed by the New York State Department of Education and must meet general and specific educational requirements for licensure.

General Requirements

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 18 years of age; and
  • High school diploma or equivalent, including one year of mathematics such as algebra or geometry.

Educational Requirements

There are two pathways to meeting the educational requirements for licensure.

  1. Satisfactory completion of a two-year collegiate ophthalmic dispensing program registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying or accredited by a national accreditation agency satisfactory to the Department (e.g., the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation).
  2. Satisfactory completion of a two-year (24 month) training program in ophthalmic dispensing approved by the Department. You must obtain a trainee permit and your training must be completed under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, optometrist, or physician. Your supervisor(s) must submit a Certification of Trainee Experience in Ophthalmic Dispensing and/or Contact Lens Dispensing with their signature(s) certifying 24 months with at least 2,400 clock hours of approved training. In addition, you must submit a certificate documenting satisfactory completion of the National Academy of Opticianry's  Career Progression Program.         

For more information on these pathways, licensure requirements and fees visit the New York State Department of Education’s website at