Help people see more clearly.

Prepare for a great career.

Opticians are eye care professionals who dispense, adjust, and repair eyewear that helps people see more clearly. They analyze and interpret optical prescriptions; help customers select and fit the frames, contact lenses, or other optical devices that are best for their needs; and place the order. When the finished products arrive, they confirm accuracy, and make any needed fitting adjustments.

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New Career

FAQ'S

  • How much will the Certificate of Opticianry program cost me?

    Tuition and fees: $9,450
    Books and supplies: $2,400
    On-campus room & board: not offered*

    The amounts shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion. Note that this information is subject to change.

    * Housing is only available at the Flint, Muskegon and Owosso campuses. The estimated housing cost for this program is $3,600.

Program Availability

Program availability varies by campus. Please contact the Admissions Department on your campus to learn more.

General Requirements

A general education core is required for all Associate and Bachelor degrees. All graduates must meet the general education requirements established by each academic program.

College Success Strategies (COL111A) or College Success Online (COL112) is required for all first-time freshmen and all online students enrolled in a certificate or degree program. This course will inform students of campus services, policies and procedures, and address learning styles and study strategies.

Many of the courses and programs at Baker College are offered in an online delivery format. See Online Programs. Contact your campus Academic / Administrative Office for details about online courses.

Getting Started

There's a lot you can learn about Baker College here on the Web, but talking with an admissions advisor will help you get a better understanding of everything we offer. Contact us to request more information, schedule a visit to the campus nearest you, or get started by applying online.

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Testimonial quote

I feel that the instructors really work with you; they are really helpful. It’s changed my life.

Shawna Vanderhoef
Opticianry Associate Degree from Baker College

OpticianryAssociate of Applied Science

Help people see more clearly.

Prepare for a great career.

Opticians are eye care professionals who dispense, adjust, and repair eyewear that helps people see more clearly. They analyze and interpret optical prescriptions; help customers select and fit the frames, contact lenses, or other optical devices that are best for their needs; and place the order. When the finished products arrive, they confirm accuracy, and make any needed fitting adjustments.

Discover Your Future Opticianry Career

Career Facts

$33,330

Median salary for Opticians, Dispensing

23%

Estimated employment increase by 2022

$42,704

Median salary for Optical Store Managers

View citations
Overview

The Baker College Opticianry associate degree program has been developed with the guidance of employers in the field and is taught by experienced eye care professionals.

Through classwork and hands-on training in using the newest technology and tools, you learn how to read optical prescriptions, take precise measurements, fit eyewear properly, and more. When you graduate, you’ll be fully prepared to sit for the national certification exam, and have all the training necessary to launch your career.

Enrollment for this program is limited.

This program is part of the Baker College Smart Degree Option.

Course Information
Opticianry Major Requirements59 Hours
Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
ELECT 100A
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4 Quarter Hours

Course Description Not Available

Elective4
MGT 114
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4 Quarter Hours

Examines the elements of establishing superior service as an essential component of business success, including a focus toward interdepartmental cooperation and treating vendors, suppliers, and distributors the same as external customers. Customer contact skills including listening, courtesy, conflict management, problem solving, decision making, ethics, follow up, and communication are covered. Recommended as an introductory course for business majors or anyone having customer contact relationships.

Customer Service4
OP 101
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4 Quarter Hours

Introduces students to the eye-care field and the profession of opticianry. Emphasis is placed on the scope of activities performed by opticians in the ophthalmic profession. This course will also identify the other professionals that work in the ophthalmic arena.

Introduction to Opticianry4
OP 111
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4 Quarter Hours

Emphasizes the anatomical structure of the eye and its adnexa. An overview of common pathologies and pharmacology of the eye, as well as the function of the parts of the eye as they relate to vision and the fitting of spectacles and contact lenses will be presented.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 101.
Ocular Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology4
OP 121A
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3 Quarter Hours

Introduces students to the terminology, instruments, lenses, frames, and materials used in the optical laboratory to fabricate prescription eyewear.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 101.
Optical Laboratory Theory3
OP 211
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3 Quarter Hours

Examines the nature of light and details the behavior of light when it encounters various refractive and reflective surfaces. Examines lens power, indices, and prisms. Establishes the foundation for advanced optical applications.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 111, C or better in OP 121A.
Optical Theory I3
OP 212
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3 Quarter Hours

Continues the study of Optical Theory I, including prism notation, vertical imbalance and methods of correcting for it, vertex power, illuminance, reflection and absorption, diffraction, third-order lens aberrations and lens tilt, anisometropia, and spectacle magnification.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 211.
Optical Theory II3
OP 221A
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3 Quarter Hours

Provides fundamental knowledge for frame selection and dispensing techniques.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 111, C or better in OP 121A.
Optical Dispensing I Theory3
OP 222A
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3 Quarter Hours

Provides more in-depth study into dispensing techniques for low vision, sports vision, and geriatric vision.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 221A.
Optical Dispensing II Theory3
OP 226
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4 Quarter Hours

Presents the basic fundamentals, terminology, instrumentation, and practical procedures used in evaluating the visual system. Basic information is presented on theory and use of opthalmic instruments. Various problems associated with vision will also be presented.

Ophthalmic Procedures4
OP 231
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2 Quarter Hours

Introduces students to the history of contact lenses, contact lens materials, contact lens fitting philosophies, selection of lenses, inspection and verification, follow-up care, lens care and storage, and regulations regarding contact lenses.

Prerequisite(s):
Acceptance in the program, C or better in OP 101, C or better in OP 111, C or better in OP 121A.
Introduction to Contact Lenses2
OP 232
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4 Quarter Hours

Allows students to apply the knowledge gained from Introduction to Contact Lenses to expand their knowledge base to the fitting philosophies of current contact lens designs. Students will have 30 hours of lecture and 20 hours of lab are required.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 231.
Contact Lenses4
OP 241
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2 Quarter Hours

Emphasizes basic management and leadership skills necessary for a successful eye care office. Teaches the analysis, creative thinking, judgment, planning strategy, and implementation skills necessary for today's optical business challenges.

Prerequisite(s):
Acceptance in the program, C or better in OP 101, C or better in OP 111, C or better in OP 121A.
Opticianry Management2
OP 251
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4 Quarter Hours

Provides, in this capstone course, a comprehensive review that will prepare students to take the national certification exams for both spectacles and contact lens as well as current developments in lens materials, lens designs, and government regulations as they affect opticians.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 212, C or better in OP 222A.
Current Trends in Opticianry4
OP 261
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3 Quarter Hours

Provides students, in this hands-on course, the opportunity to develop the technical skills that they will need to become opticians. 60 hours of in-house laboratory clinical.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in OP 121A.
Optical Dispensing Laboratory3
OP 271
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8 Quarter Hours

Provides students with the real-world optical dispensing experience. Externships will allow students to experience the different settings in which an optician may work. 240 hours of externship are required.

Prerequisite(s):
Program Director/Dean approval, minimum GPA 2.50, all professional track Opticianry courses with a grade of C or better.
Opticianry Externship8
WRK 291B
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1 Quarter Hours

Covers all phases of securing employment in a required seminar. Major topics include resume preparation, interview strategy, job application, job search action planning, personal appearance, and coordination of the graduate's employment search activity with the College Career Services Office. Students in degree programs may complete the seminar requirement any time during their final two quarters. Certificate students should attend in their last quarter.

Prerequisite(s):
Sophomore status.
Professional Career Strategies1
General Education Requirements32 Hours
Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
ELECT 120A
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4 Quarter Hours

See General Education Electives List - Communication Electives (Associate Degree)

Communication Elective4
ELECT 161A
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2 Quarter Hours

See General Information Elective List - Computer Literacy Electives.

Computer Literacy Elective2
ENG 101
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4 Quarter Hours

Emphasizes academic writing by reading and thinking critically to strengthen essential communication skills through the use of the writing process. Various assignments focus on summary and response, analysis, and informative writing. Research practices and research writing in APA style are essential to the course.

Prerequisite(s):
ENG 091 or satisfies developmental writing or placement exam, ENG 098B or satisfies developmental reading or placement exam.
Composition I4
ENG 102
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4 Quarter Hours

Continues developing students' critical thinking and writing skills through reading and argumentative writing. Emphasizes academic writing to articulate the relationships among language, knowledge, and power. Various assignments focus on position, argument analysis, and argumentative proposal. Research practices and research writing in APA style are essential to the course.

Prerequisite(s):
C or better in ENG 101 or placement exam and approved writing sample.
Composition II4
INF 112
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2 Quarter Hours

Introduces students to word processing software and applications. This will include demonstrating the ability to perform basic Windows operations commands and word processing commands, which include creating, saving, printing, formatting, editing, and retrieving documents.

Word Processing2
INF 114A
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2 Quarter Hours

Introduces beginning database terminology, concepts, and applications using a file management software program. Students will demonstrate an understanding of data hierarchy; the ability to design simple files, edit file content, print file content, and simple reports; and the ability to search and sort files and use pre-existing formulas.

Introduction to Database Applications2
INF 161
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2 Quarter Hours

Explores timely social, legal, philosophical, ethical, political, constitutional, and economic implications of computing and technology. Coverage of the issues related to a technological society including social networking, privacy topics such as cameras in cell phones, access to our search queries and all sorts of data we put on the Web, social networking, location tracking, high-tech surveillance systems, intellectual property, professional ethics and responsibilities, and crime.

Technology and Society2
MTH 108
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4 Quarter Hours

Solves contemporary, real-world problems by mathematical reasoning utilizing concepts from algebra, finance, and statistics. Key topics include personal finance, mathematical models, functions and relations, dimensional analysis, statistical reasoning, and Euclidean geometry. This class focuses on quantitative literacy and the application of the above concepts in a variety of professional disciplines.

Prerequisite(s):
MTH 099E or satisfies developmental pre-algebra or placement exam.
College Mathematics I: Reasoning and Application4
SPK 201
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4 Quarter Hours

Develops confidence and skill in many facets of oral communication. Students explore diverse topics and formats, using both organization and research to support themselves during oral presentations.

Oral Communication4
Select 1 Course from the Following
Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
PSY 101
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4 Quarter Hours

Provides a foundation for understanding human relations with applications to both personal and professional growth. Focus is on examining the basic dynamics of human relations, how social influences shape thought and behavior, effective ways to develop skills of human relations, and the importance of multicultural competency within human relations.

Human Relations4
PSY 111
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4 Quarter Hours

Provides a foundation of knowledge in psychology examining key topics related to understanding human thoughts and behavior. Topics include an exploration of factors that influence thoughts and behavior, psychology as a science, sensation/perception, motivation, emotion, memory, cognition, personality, as well as key figures, research, and theories within psychology. Applying concepts to real-life settings is a focus throughout the course.

General Psychology4

Quarter Hours Required for Graduation: 91

Program Description

An optician is a professional who has the responsibility for the dispensing of eyewear, including spectacles, contact lenses, low-vision aids, and accessories. The optician may fabricate, verify, and fit eyeglasses, contact lenses and other optical devices upon the written prescription of a medical doctor or doctor of optometry. Once presented with this prescription, an optician is responsible for analyzing and interpreting the prescription to determine the lenses that are best suited to the patient's lifestyle and visual needs. Frame selection, including size and material, is then chosen. The optician takes measurements to insure proper lens placement in the frame, and must verify the accuracy of the finished product. The glasses are adjusted to the patient by the optician at the time of delivery. Other duties include occasional adjustments to retain proper fit, replacements, and repairs of lenses and frames. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Opticianry Competency Exam administered by the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examination. Students may also sit for state licensure exams in states where applicable. At this time the state of Michigan does not require licensure or certification to practice this profession. The Baker College Opticianry Program is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA) and is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA, http://www.chea.org/). Program Status: Limited Enrollment

Mission

The mission of the Baker College Opticianry program is to provide quality training and instruction in the profession of Opticianry resulting in an Associate of Applied Science degree.  As an equal opportunity institution, Baker College welcomes all and encourages its students to seek excellence in their studies.  The program further encourages the students to learn to conduct an ethical professional practice of Opticianry in order to provide a superior standard of care for the people of the State of Michigan. 

Program Goals

The goals of the Baker College Opticianry program were developed in concert with the program’s philosophy and the mission and goals of the college.

  1. To upgrade the profession of Opticianry through formal opticianry education. Adding to the profession men and women who are well qualified to intrepret prescriptions, fabricate eyewear, dispense spectacles and contact lenses, communicate effectively, utilize sales techniques, and are self confident to serve the visual needs of the public.    
  2. To stimulate growth and development of the Opticianry student into a responsible, competent, enthusiastic, professional who maintains ethical standards, and works well with other professionals in his/her field.    
  3. To prepare Opticianry students for successful completion of the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) spectacle examination and is given by the ABO. The Contact Lens Registry Examinatiion (CLRE) given by NCLE for certification in contact lens dispensing.
  4. Eliminate hazardous waste and to reduce non-hazardous waste to the minimum levels economically and technically practical, and to be in full-compliance with all federal and state environmental regulations.    
  5. To prepare graduates for entry-level employment in the optical field.
Accreditation

The Opticianry Program is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA). The Commission on Opticianry Accreditation is a not-for-profit agency, which accredits formal Opticianry education in the United States by setting standards, assessing educational effectiveness, and identifying those academic programs that meet the standards, in order to aid programs to produce competent graduates who will provide professional services to the public. The COA is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA); Web address: http://www.chea.org/.

The Opticianry Program is based on a task analysis developed by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE). These organizations are national, non-profit organizations which administer voluntary certification examinations for dispensing opticians and contact lens technicians. Their purposes are to identify qualified eyewear providers by examination, urge growth of optical skills with continuing education, and approve continuing education programs. The ABO/NCLE programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) as having met their standards for certifying agencies.

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission / 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 / 800-621-7440 / www.ncahlc.org

Baker College is an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) participant.

Application Information

Prospective Students

An online application is available for Undergraduate and Graduate admission. You may also print the Application for Undergraduate Admission and apply through mail, or at the campus nearest you.

Returning Students

Returning students do not need to re-apply. Please contact the Academic Office on the campus that you plan to attend about returning to Baker College.

Limited Enrollment

Full acceptance into the professional track of some programs is limited due to clinical site availability. Students compete to earn acceptance into these programs. Selection criteria have been developed to choose the most qualified students for limited enrollment programs.  Students who have successfully completed the conditional acceptance requirements for their program are eligible to apply for full acceptance in to the professional track of the program. Refer to the program information supplement for program specific details on the application process, the criteria used, and the courses used in the GPA calculations.

Once selected through the limited enrollment criteria, for full acceptance into a program, students must complete program requirements including, but not limited to: program specific orientations, background checks, drug screens, etc. Please contact your campus official for additional information.

Campus Contacts

Baker College of Allen Park

Randall L. Smith, MS, ABOM, NCLEC

Opticianry Program Director
(517) 990-6945
randall.smith@baker.edu

Program Details

The Baker College Opticianry program is a member of the National Federation of Opticianry Schools and is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation.

The Opticianry Associate of Applied Science degree is a two-year, seven quarter curriculum.
An optician is a professional who has the responsibility for the dispensing of eyewear, including spectacles, contact lenses, low-vision aids, and accessories.  The optician may fabricate, verify, and fit eyeglasses, contact lenses and other optical devices upon the written prescription of a medical doctor or doctor of optometry.  An optician is responsible for analyzing and interpreting the prescription to determine the lenses that are best suited to the patient’s lifestyle and visual needs. The optician takes measurements to insure proper lens placement in the frame, and must verify the accuracy of the finished product.  The glasses are adjusted to the patient by the optician at the time of delivery.  .

Completion of the Opticianry degree results in the conferring of the Associate in Applied Science in Opticianry and will satisfy the education requirement of most state opticianry licensing boards.  The courses provide a basis for many different employment opportunities in the optical field, but are designed to provide the education needed to have a successful career as an OPTICIAN.

Opticianry Certificate Program is a one year four quarter curriculum.
An optician is a professional who has the responsibility for the dispensing of eyewear, including spectacles, low-vision aids, and accessories.  The optician may fabricate, verify, and fit eyeglasses,  and other optical devices upon the written prescription of a medical doctor or doctor of optometry.  An optician is responsible for analyzing and interpreting the prescription to determine the lenses that are best suited to the patient’s lifestyle and visual needs. The optician takes measurements to insure proper lens placement in the frame, and must verify the accuracy of the finished product.  The glasses are adjusted to the patient by the optician at the time of delivery. 

Graduation from the program may lead to one of the following occupational goals: optician, private practitioner, ophthalmic dispenser, optical laboratory manager, contact lens technician, branch manager, optical laboratory technician, ophthalmic sales representative, ophthalmic research technician, instructor in ophthalmic dispensing.

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes for a graduate of the Opticianry program should include but are not limited to the following:

  • Define the scope of practice of opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologist and other eyecare professionals.
  • Explain the history of lenses, eyeglasses and Opticianry.
  • Describe how glass and other optical lens materials are manufactured.
  • Explain the theories of light and the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Analyze the ophthalmic prescription and its parts.
  • Explain the application and use of the lens cross and flat transposition.
  • Describe the refractive errors and their correction.
  • Explain the process of measuring visual acuity.
  • Identify the use and parts of the lensometer.
  • Determine the power of the cylinder away from the axis.
  • Explain prism and how it affects the patient.
  • Explain Snell’s Law and the index of refraction.  
  • Explain and demonstrate the steps of the ophthalmic finishing process.
  • Explain and demonstrate the uses of the lensometer.
  • Explain basic record keeping procedures.
  • Identify frame adjustment tools.
  • Describe techniques of hardening glass lenses, and policies of FDA and ANSI regarding testing of impact resistance.
  • Explain proper laboratory and workshop safety procedures.
  • Explain proper handling and techniques for proper environmental handling of optical substances and waste products.
  • Describe the specialized application of aphakic lenses. 
  • Define and explain presbyopia and the different lens forms used for correction.
  • Demonstrate skills in prescription interpretation and analysis.   
  • Apply ANSI standards to ophthalmic eyewear.            
  • Describe the procedures used in surfacing lenses.
  • Explain the applications of specialty lenses.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of lifestyle dispensing.
  • Demonstrate clinical dispensing skills.
  • Understand clinical management skills.*
  • Explain effective communication skills both verbal and written within the optical industry.
  • Understand basic optical management procedures.
  • Describe the use of absorptive lenses.
  • Understand proper base curve selection.                          
  • Calculate lens edge and center thickness.
  • Define and describe the parts, styles and materials of current spectacle frames.
  • Explain the boxing and datum systems of measuring frames and how to interpret frame markings.
  • Execute accurate monocular and binocular interpupillary measurements.
  • Describe the six major types of lens aberrations and how they affect vision.
  • Analyze the special needs of the high myope and high hyperope to include lenses and frames and etc.
  • Explain properties of visible and invisible light.
  • Calculate and correct vertical prism at the reading level.
  • Explain and demonstrate basic bench alignment.
  • Describe and demonstrate basic frame adjustments.
  • Demonstrate how to take accurate bifocal, trifocal and progressive height measurements.
  • Demonstrate the skills of ordering and processing prescription eyewear.
  • Understand ethical professional conduct for opticians.
  • Understand the lens coating processes.
  • Understand the use of current technology at work in the ophthalmic field.  
  • Understand the need for basic equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Demonstrate basic frame repairs.             
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the history and development of contact lenses.*
  • Describe the nomenclature of contact lenses.*
  • Understand the theory behind the corneal/lens relationship.*
  • Understand the physiological parameters for fitting contact lenses.*
  • Understand the human optical system and ocular anatomy.
  • Demonstrate product knowledge and understanding of the diverse uses of optical  products.

* Outcomes not covered in certificate program

General Education Outcomes
  • The graduate will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate ideas in both written and oral forms.
  • The graduate will comprehend, communicate and interpret numeric information.
  • The graduate will apply basic computer skills to the management of information.
  • The graduate will distinguish among the various cultures and ethnic groups of the world as well as identify the common bonds all humans share.
  • The graduate will explore, analyze and explain major patterns of human behavior within the personal and social environment.
Overview of the Ophthalmic Profession

OPTICIAN – An optician is a professional who has the responsibility for the dispensing of eyewear, including spectacles, contact lenses, low-vision aids, and accessories.  The optician may fabricate, verify, and fit eyeglasses, contact lenses and other optical devices upon the written prescription of a medical doctor or doctor of optometry.  Once presented with this prescription, an optician is responsible for analyzing and interpreting the prescription to determine the lenses that are best suited to the patient’s lifestyle and visual needs.  Frame selection, including size and material, is then chosen.  The optician takes measurements to insure proper lens placement in the frame, and must verify the accuracy of the finished product.  The glasses are adjusted to the patient by the optician at the time of delivery.  Other duties include occasional adjustments to retain proper fit, replacements, and repairs of lenses and frames. 

OPTOMETRIST - A Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) is specifically educated and trained to examine eyes, diagnose visual problems, and to prescribe eyeglasses, contact lens, low-vision aids, and visual therapy.  In some cases, the Optometrist may also be certified to utilize diagnostic and/or therapeutic ocular medications.  An optometrist may also dispense devices prescribed.  An Optometrist is not a medical doctor.

OPHTHALMOLOGIST - A Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)  who specializes in examining and treating any disease of the eye.  In addition to writing prescriptions for spectacles and contact lenses, the Ophthalmologist treats eye diseases with drugs and surgery.

OPHTHALMIC TECHNICIAN - There are three levels of technical personnel in ophthalmology - ophthalmic assistants, ophthalmic technicians, and ophthalmic technologists. They work under the supervision and direction of an ophthalmologist to perform ophthalmic clinical duties. They are trained to take medical histories, administer eye medications, instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses, perform all the ophthalmologic tests necessary for preliminary and highly specific eye exams, assist in ophthalmic surgery, and maintain ophthalmic and surgical instruments, as well as office equipment.

Ophthalmic technologists are trained for additional duties, such as taking ophthalmic photographs, using ultrasound, as well as providing instruction and supervision to other ophthalmic personnel. Ophthalmic technologists are expected to perform at a higher level of expertise than ophthalmic technicians and to exercise considerable clinical technical judgment.

OPTOMETRIC TECHNICIAN - Paraoptometrics are allied health personnel who assist optometrists in providing their highest level of vision care to patients. Front office procedures, chair-side assisting, pre-testing, contact lens instruction, frame styling and fitting, and vision therapy are just a few of the many duties paraoptometrics perform while working directly with an optometrist. There are three levels of paraoptometrics-Certified Paraoptometric (CPO), Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA), and Certified Paraoptometric Technician (CPOT).

Program Performance
  2008 - 2009 2009 - 2010
Applicants   Associate: 21
Certificate: 19
Graduates 2 graduates employed in the optical profession Associate: 12
Certificate: 2
Baker ABO Exam Pass Rate   89%
National ABO Exam Pass Rate   58%
Baker NCLE Pass Rate   60%
National NCLE Pass Rate   61%
Baker NOCE Pass Rate 100%  
National NOCE Pass Rate 68%  

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FAQ's

  • How much will the Certificate of Opticianry program cost me?

    Tuition and fees: $9,450
    Books and supplies: $2,400
    On-campus room & board: not offered*

    The amounts shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion. Note that this information is subject to change.

    * Housing is only available at the Flint, Muskegon and Owosso campuses. The estimated housing cost for this program is $3,600.

Testimonial quote

I feel that the instructors really work with you; they are really helpful. It’s changed my life.

Shawna Vanderhoef