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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:

An applicant must file an application for licensure/registration with the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, to practice as an Ophthalmic Dispenser in New York State. The latest information and requirements for licensure are available on the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions website at

Applicant must be of good moral character.

Age Requirements:

Applicant must be 18 years of age.

Education and Experience Requirements:

Applicants must meet education requirements specified by the New York State Education Department.

Examination Requirements:

Applicants must meet examination requirements specified by the New York State Education Department.

Fees: (as of October 2, 2014)

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 fee for a trainee permit in ophthalmic dispensing or contact lens dispensing is $30.

Licenses Issued and Active:

In 2012, there were 119 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2013, there were 138 licenses issued for this occupation.

Licensing Authority:

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Ophthalmic Dispensing Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234-1000
Phone: 518-474-3817, ext. 250
Fax: 518-402-5354

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, #605
Landover, Maryland 20785
Phone: (800) 229-4828 or (301) 577-4828
Fax: (301) 577-3880


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 12/02/14.

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