What will I learn?

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 Program on the Florida SouthWestern State College campus 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 Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus. Clinical experience is gained at affiliate sites.

Which department am I in?

School of Health Professions

Study options

Online/Distance with attendance (2 years)

Tuition fees
USD $432.63 per credit hour
Start date

Expected August 2021


Florida SouthWestern State College

Lee Campus,

8099 College Parkway,



33919, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants who did not graduate from high school in the United States must have the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma. Other English Language Requirements accepted: Students must have a paper-based TOEFL score of 550 and a computer-based score of 213; MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) with a score of at least 77.

For international students

Applicants are required to have high school graduation.

English Language Proficiency

TOEFL (Internet): 61
TOEFL (Paper): 500
TOEFL (Computer-based): 173
IELTS: 5.5