Board of Dispensing Opticians

Educational Programs

An applicant for licensure must either be the graduate of a two (2) year Board approved opticianry school or complete the three (3) year Tennessee Apprenticeship Training Program.

Applicants must be ABO (American Board of Opticianry) and NCLE (National Contact Lens Examiners) certified.  For more information regarding the ABO/NCLE examinations, please visit their website at In addition to the ABO/NCLE examinations, all applicants must take the practical examination.    Before applicants are eligible to sit for the practical examination, the Board of Dispensing Opticians must approve their licensure application.

The American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE)
6506 Loisdale Road, Suite 330
Springfield, VA 22150

Ph: (703) 719-5800


Examination fees: $75 for initial candidates - $75 for re-take candidates


Rule 0480-01-.14(5):

(c) The filing of semi-annual evaluation reports for each apprentice under the direct supervision of a licensed eye care professional is mandatory. The appropriate form will be supplied by the Board and shall be notarized before
submission. Semi-annual evaluation periods begin 6 months from initial registration and each 6 months thereafter until licensure as a dispensing optician has been achieved.

1. The semi-annual evaluation report must be received in the Board’s administrative office no later than thirty (30) days after the six (6) month training period has ended or the training period shall be disallowed and not considered as time toward fulfilling the five thousand, two hundred and fifty (5,250) hour requirement.

2. If two (2) semi-annual evaluation reports are not received by the Board’s administrative office within thirty (30) days after the applicable training periods have ended, the Board will rescind its approval of the apprenticeship training program. The apprentice will not receive credit for the two (2) training periods for which the semi-annual
evaluation reports were not submitted or were received by the Board’s administrative office later than thirty (30) days after the applicable training period. In order to continue the apprenticeship training program, a new application for an apprenticeship training program must be submitted.

Opticianry Schools in Tennessee:

Roane State Community College
276 Patton Lane
Harriman, TN 37748

Phone: (865) 354-3000
Phone: (800) 343-9104

Tennessee Apprenticeship Training Program: 
A minimum of three (3) years and a total of five thousand, two hundred and fifty (5,250) hours of full-time or part-time education and training under qualified supervision.

Opticianry Schools Outside Tennessee:

Georgia Piedmont Technical College
495 North Indian Creek Drive
Clarkston, GA 30021
Phone: (404) 297-9522

Hillsborough Community College
4001 W. Tampa Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33614-7820
Phone: (813) 253-7000

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
P.O. Box 85622
Richmond, VA 23285-5622
Phone: (804) 371-3000

Erie Community College
121 Ellicott St.
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-1322

Apprentice Educational Training Programs

National Academy of Opticianry - Ophthalmic Career Progression Program (OCPP)

National Academy of Opticianry                                                                                                                             

Opthalmic Career Progression Program

8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 605

Landover, Maryland  20785


The Ophthalmic Career Progression Program (OCPP) is an Apprenticeship Educational Training Program for Opticians that is accepted by the Tennessee Board of Dispensing Opticians.  Successful completion of the OCPP is worth 1,750 hours (or one year) of the 5,250 hours (or three years) of apprenticeship training required by the Tennessee Board of Dispensing Opticians for licensing.  Participation in the OCPP may run concurrently with the other two years of board-approved required training.