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Dispensing Optician Program Cost


How Much Does a Dispensing Optician Program Cost?

 
average costOn-the-Job Training: Free; Study Programs Cost About $400high costHigh: Community Colleges Average $600-$5,400 a Year

Dispensing opticians[1] help select and fit eye glasses and contact lenses for patients following prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists. Duties may include grinding and inserting lenses into a frame or preparing the order for a laboratory technician. Opticians then verify the lenses have been made to specification and reshape them as necessary to fit the patient. Programs and license requirements vary by state. Currently 22 states have licensing boards. Training can occur on the job or through an associated of applied science program at a community college.

Typical costs:

  • No degree is required to become an optician. On-the-job training programs take about two years to complete and are often paid positions. Trainees may start out as receptionists, then according to interests and skill levels, learn to grind lenses and fit frames at in-house labs. In states where licensing is required, students study for the exam using audio tape/workbook packages that cost about $400.
  • Average annual Community College costs are $600-$5,400. Among the 21 schools accredited through the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation tuition hovers around $4,670-$9,590 for residents during the two-year program.
  • Community College of Southern Nevada offers the 73-credits course at about $64 per credit or $4,670 for the program. Non residents pay nearly $70 per unit totaling $5,090.
  • Hillborough Community College in Florida offers the 72-hour degree course at about $78 per credit or $5,600 for the two-year program for residents.
Related articles: Optometry School, Dental Assistant School, Dental Hygienist School, Nursing Assistant School, Physician Assistant Program, Pharmacy Technician School

Additional costs:
  • The American Board of Opticianry offers a voluntary certification program for dispensing opticians. Given twice a year, opticians may take either the National Opticianry Competency Exam or the Contact Lens Registry Examination at $150 each. Certificates require renewal every three years with continued education requirements.
  • Books and supplies vary by school around $300-$800 per year. The study package, containing audio tapes and workbooks costs around $400.
Discounts:
  • For those learning on the job, some corporations offer to pay for courses or program materials necessary to study for and pass the voluntary national exam.
  • Financial aid for community college courses is often available for local residents. Check with the individual school for details.
  • The first step for student loans and grants is often through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA[2] ).
Shopping for a dispensing optician program:
  • The National Federation of Opticianry Schools maintains a member list of opticianry schools[3] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Opticians-dispensing.htm
  2.  www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  3.  www.nfos.org/schoolsindex.asp
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