Learn to perform pre-screening eye exams and help patients choose the right eye care solutions. Get experience both in the classroom and in the real world.
Train to help customers find eye care solutions they love, giving the gift of better vision. You'll get hands-on training working closely with optometrists, preparing patients for eye exams and filling prescriptions for glass and contact lenses.
Find an optical technician school near you. This program is taught in a blended format combining online classes with only 2 days per week of in-person instruction at our Los Angeles or Ontario Campus.
Although it is not required to work as an optical technician in California, graduates have the choice to pursue voluntary certification upon successful completion of the National Opticianry Competency Exam and Contact Lens Registry Exam administered by the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO/NCLE).
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Optical technicians help patients discover eye care solutions that not only improve their vision but make them feel good. They typically work in a doctor's office or retail setting, assisting patients with fittings and recommending eyeglasses and contact lenses based on the patient’s occupation, hobbies and facial features.
Here are some things you may do:
If you love working directly with people and helping them find the right products for their needs, you might enjoy a career as an optical technician.
Here are some of the top skills and attributes that make for a great optical technician:
Speaking and communication – Optical technicians work directly with customers, covering information on options including frames, tints and coating. They should be able to communicate effectively to help customers make the best decision.
Active listening – Optical technicians should be able to listen to and understand customer concerns to make the best recommendations possible.
Service orientation – A great optical technician is one with a passion for helping patients and for providing the best care possible.
Social perceptiveness – Being aware of and understanding customers’ reactions helps optical technicians provide patient-centered service.
Judgement and decision making – Optical technicians should be able to consider each patient’s needs and recommend the best products for each individual.
Optical technicians can work in a variety of settings, including:
The American Career College Optical Technician curriculum is divided into standalone learning units called class modules, which include:
Light and Single Vision – Coursework in this module is designed to teach you the basic anatomy and physiology of the eye. Causes and treatments of low vision are discussed, and you will also receive hands-on training in lensometry, frame measurements and patient measurements.
Multifocals – In these courses, you will learn about different lens designs, prescription, true powers, transposition, metric system and diopter power. You will also practice the steps required to fabricate multifocal glasses using plastic, metal and nylon cord frames and receive hands-on experience in progressive lens mapping techniques.
Frames/Lenses – Coursework in this module covers different lens and frame materials and designs as well as various optical products available in the market. You will be introduced to salesmanship, and you will have the opportunity to practice frame standards along with anatomical alignments and repairs.
Soft Contact Lenses – In these courses, you will study anatomy and the physiology of the eye as you learn to fit, insert and remove soft contact lenses. You will also gain hands-on practice with keratometer, slit lamp and other related instruments to verify CL parameters. Additionally, you will be introduced to various complications and medical problems related to CL wear.
Rigid Contact Lenses – These courses focus on teaching you the effect of vertex distance on lens power. Refractive errors are presented, and you will study the proper care system for rigid lenses. You will also be introduced to various complications and medical conditions that require specialty contact lens fitting.
Anatomy/Physiology/Prisms – In these courses, different lens designs, prescription, true powers, transposition, the metric system and diopter power are discussed and you will learn to calculate the horizontal and vertical powers. You will also receive hands-on experience in lensometry, frame measurements and patient measurements while practicing the steps required to fabricate a pair of glasses with prescribed prisms.
Optical Office Procedures – Coursework in this class module prepares you for various tasks in an optical office, including the practicing of salesmanship through role-playing. You will also practice adjustments, repair frames using hand tools and learn about HIPAA and vision care billing.
Dispensing Optician Externship – Under the direct supervision of qualified personnel, you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge and skills presented and practiced throughout the school's training program.
For a complete description of coursework in these modules, please refer to the ACC Catalog.
Students can earn their diploma in the Optical Technician program in as little as 9 months.
Our admissions advisors and financial aid advisors are here to support you. They can help you figure out the optical technician school cost and help you explore financial aid options.
To learn more about ACC’s Optical Technician program cost, access our tuition info.
Yes, financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify. Visit our financial aid page to learn more about available opportunities.
Yes! ACC's Optical Technician program includes a 220-hour externship thatgives students the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge and skills they acquired learning hands-on throughout the training program.
Our classes are modeled after real-life situations, using the same equipment you'll come across in your first job, such as a Lensometer and Opikam. That way, you're prepared to jump in on your very first day.
"ACC prepares you for your field by giving you hands-on experience and knowledge prior to working. Literally everything we did in our optics class, I do daily in the field."
- Nyisha W. '20
Interested in becoming an optician, optical lab technician, optical dispenser, or contact lens fitter in California? Then you will need to understand the stepping stones for entering the profession of opticianry, including the required education, certification, and licensure.
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