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Ophthalmic Dispenser


An ophthalmic dispenser - commonly called an "optician" - is a licensed health care professional who adapts and fits lenses to correct deficiencies, deformities, or abnormalities of the eyes based on a written prescription from a licensed physician or optometrist. Contact lens practitioners are ophthalmic dispensers who are certified to fit contact lenses. Ophthalmic dispensers and certified contact lens practitioners work to:

  • achieve the best visual clarity possible for their customers;
  • assist in the selection of frames; and
  • choose appropriate ophthalmic lenses or contact lenses to suit your needs.

Licensing Requirements:

New York ophthalmic dispensers have either graduated from an approved two-year associate degree program in ophthalmic dispensing


have completed an approved two-year on-the-job training program under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, physician, or optometrist.

Ophthalmic dispensers have also passed national and State written examinations and a State practical examination.


The licensure fee for ophthalmic dispensing is $108.
There is no fee for certification as a contact lens dispenser.
The fee for a limited permit in ophthalmic dispensing or contact lens dispensing is $35 (the limited permit fee is not refundable).
The fee for a trainee permit in ophthalmic dispensing or contact lens dispensing is $30.

Licenses Issued and Active:

In 2018, there were 101 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2019, there were 115 licenses issued for this occupation.

As of July 1, 2020, there were 3,777 active licenses for this occupation.

Licensing Authority:

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
State Board for Ophthalmic Dispensing
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234-1000
Phone: 518-474-3817, Press 1 then ext. 180
Fax: 518-402-5944
E-mail: [email protected]

Standard Occupational Classification:

29-2081 - Opticians, Dispensing
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

Additional Information:

National Academy of Opticianry
8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 605
Landover, Maryland 20785
Phone: (800) 229-4828 or (301) 577-4828
Fax: (301) 577-3880
E-mail: [email protected]


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 2/1/21.

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