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Optical Technician Program

Optical Technician | Los Angeles, OC & Ontario, CA

Discover a career that combines technology and fashion.

At American Career College, our Optical Technician Program focuses on training you for an exciting and fulfilling career helping people see better and look their best!

PICK UP THE PACE! Want to jump start your career in this field? The school's accelerated optical technician program allows you to earn your diploma in as little as 9 months.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE! This program is taught in a blended learning format combining classroom and online instruction.  Earn your diploma while only being on campus 2 days a week!

This program is taught in a blended format combining online classes and only 2 days a week of in-person instruction.  

Want to learn more about ACC?REQUEST MORE INFO Want to check out a campus?SCHEDULE A CAMPUS TOUR

"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 Optical Technician Graduate
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Optical Technician Training Program Overview

The American Career College Optical Technician program is designed to help you prepare for an entry-level position as an optical technician, optical lab technician, or contact lens fitter.

Jobs like these require an interesting mix of clinical skills, salesmanship, and style including knowing how to perform these tasks:

  • Conduct basic eye exams
  • Fill prescriptions from both ophthalmologists and optometrists
  • Fit eyeglasses and contact lenses for people with eye problems
  • And many other important responsibilities*

American Career College's dynamic optical technician classes and curriculum can prepare you for the National Opticianry Competency Exam and Contact Lens Registry Exam administered by the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO/NCLE). Doing well on this exam can be an important step for an Optometric Assistant certification.

The focus is on your success!

The goal of our classes and program is to help you graduate with the confidence and qualifications to begin your career as an optical technician.

*California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Opticians, Dispensing in California

Careers After I Graduate

Most opticians work in optical facilities, filling prescriptions from optometrists and ophthalmologists and helping customers decide which frames and lens types are right for them.

Others may find work in retail establishments that sell eyewear. Upon successful completion of the American Career College Optical Technician program, you can expect to qualify for entry-level positions in:

  • Offices of Optometrists
  • Optical Labs
  • Retail Vision Centers
  • Offices of Ophthalmologists*

A few interesting facts about the optical field:

  • Awareness of the importance of eye exams is increasing across all age groups.
  • People typically have eye problems in greater frequency when they reach middle age, so the need for opticians is expected to grow with the continued aging of the Baby Boomer generation.
  • Optometrists and ophthalmologists are increasingly offering glasses and contact lenses to their patients as a way to expand their businesses, leading to a greater need for opticians in those settings.
  • Fashion also influences the demand for designer frames and contact lenses.*

Many area employers are very familiar with the quality of ACC's health care training programs and our school's track record for preparing confident, qualified professionals for rewarding careers.

*California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Opticians, Dispensing in California

What Will I Learn?

The American Career College Optical Dispensing 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 nylonchord 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 standard and 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 and be introduced to various complications and medical problems related to CL wear.
  • Rigid Contact Lenses – These courses focuses 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.

What Will I Do as a Optical Dispenser?

American Career College’s training program helps you earn your diploma and prepare to pursue exciting career opportunities as an entry-level dispensing optician.

Choosing the right eyeglasses or lenses is an important decision. After the ophthalmologist or optometrists writes the prescription, the optical technician spends time with the customer selecting the right lens or frame option for them.

As an optictal technician, day-to-day responsibilities may include*:

  • Helping customers choose eyeglass frames and lens treatments (such as tints or non-reflective coatings), based on their vision needs and style preferences;
  • Taking measurements of customers' eyes, such as the width or thickness of their corneas;
  • Creating work orders for ophthalmic laboratory technicians, providing information about the lenses needed;
  • Receiving customers' prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses, as written by ophthalmologists and optometrists;
  • Making adjustments to finished eyeglasses to ensure a good fit;
  • Repairing or re-fitting broken eyeglass frames;
  • Educating customers about eyewear—for example, showing them how to care for their contact lenses;
  • Business tasks, such as maintaining sales records, keeping track of customers' prescriptions and ordering inventory.

You'll be on your way!

A commitment to your career can result in the ongoing development of your skills and increased opportunities for advancement. Even after you start your career, ACC's Career Services team will remain committed to providing you with the resources, support and personalized assistance you need to keep your career on track.

*California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Opticians, Dispensing in California

FAQs

A Day in the Life of an Optical Technician

As an Optical Technician, you'll help patients discover eye care solutions that not only improve their vision but make them feel good. You'll work in a doctor's office or retail setting assisting patients with fittings and recommending eyeglasses and contact lenses based on their occupation, hobbies, and facial features.

Here are some things you may do:

  • Help patients fit and select contact lenses and glasses
  • Perform basic eye exams
  • Fabricate lenses to fit prescriptions
  • Adjust and repair frames
What Will I Be Trained to Do as an Optical Technician?

Choosing the right eyeglasses or lenses is an important decision. Optical technicians are there to help clients find the right choice for them. Students in our optical technician program will be trained to do the following:

  • Assist customers in selecting and fitting eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Provide information on options including frames, tints, and coating options
  • Make recommendations based on customers’ needs, occupation, and habits
  • Fit eyeglasses and make adjustments as needed
  • Provide instructions on how to care for eyewear or contact lenses1

1 California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Opticians, Dispensing in California

Am I a Good Fit for the Optical Technician Program?

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.

Where Can I Work as a Surgical Technologist?

Optical technicians can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Optometrists’ offices
  • Optical labs
  • Retail vision centers
  • Ophthalmologists’ offices1

1California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Opticians, Dispensing in California

What Will I Learn in the Optical Technician Program?

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 standard and 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 and be introduced to various complications and medical problems related to CL wear.

Rigid Contact Lenses – These courses focuses 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.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Degree in Surgical Technology?

Students can earn their diploma to become an optical technican in as little as 9 months.

How Much is Tuition for the Optical Technician Program?

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.

Is Financial Aid Available for the Surgical Technology Program?

Yes, financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Will I Get Real-World Training?

Yes! ACC's optical technician program includes a 220 hour externship which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge and skills they acquired learning hands-on throughout the training program.

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