The Ophthalmic Science (Opticianry) Certificate program is an alternate route to licensure in New Jersey as an optician. The certificate works concurrently with the New Jersey State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians’ sponsored three-year apprenticeship program. This certificate is a 37-credit program that incorporates the 31 credits that the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers requires for board licensure eligibility. Upon completion of the registered three-year apprenticeship and the 37-credits, the student is eligible for the licensure examinations to become an optician as well as for graduation with the certificate. This program is ideal for students who want to have an income while they are pursuing their higher education for their new profession.
The 37-credit program includes courses in anatomy and physiology of the eye, contact lenses, eyeglass fabrication, geometric optics and the fitting and adjusting of eyewear. In addition, the certificate requires an introductory course in English and a general education elective. Graduates of the program are qualified to work for private and corporate optical chains, optometrists, and ophthalmologists.
There are also opportunities for graduates in companies that manufacture lenses, eyeglass frames and optical equipment. Students may also seamlessly incorporate the entire 37-credit program into the Ophthalmic Science (Opticianry) Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. The A.A.S. degree may offer more career opportunities in today’s era of large corporate optical organizations.
Graduates are able to:
- discuss prescription eyewear and other client-related information, verbal and written, with the eye doctor
- analyze and interpret prescriptions in order to meet patients’ visual needs
- communicate effectively with patients and other eyecare practitioners
- demonstrate knowledge of the normal eye structure, function and pathology
- assist the patient in the proper selection of appropriately-fitting frames and lenses
- adapt and fit eyewear to the patient
- understand the principles of contact lenses