We are proud of our 2016

"Ophthalmic Optician® of the Year" recipient Barry E. Santini, O.O.


About Us

The Society to Advance Opticianry is a credentialing organization, which promotes higher education and certification levels for Opticians, and provides mentoring services to its candidate members.


Opticianry is the only field of the three O’s that does not require formal education as an entry point. Only twenty two states require licensure or registry of opticians.  The remaining twenty eight don’t have even minimal standards to work as an optician.


Those states that do require licensure generally require passage of the National Opticianry Competency Exam (NOCE) administered by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the Contact Lens Registry Exam (CLRE) administered by National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE).


One of the goals of the SAO is to increase the potential of mobility and reciprocity between states for Opticians. This would mean standardization of licensure requirements among states and will certainly include passage of both of the above exams. We hope to establish high standards for Opticians to attain that are achievable and make it possible for employers to identify those Opticians that are dedicated to being fully credentialed. 


Those who have earned a degree of some type have shown they have a certain level of critical thinking ability demanded by our ever changing ophthalmic marketplace. When opticians have earned an advanced certification from the American Board of Opticianry or National Contact Lens Examiners they have demonstrated a higher level of knowledge and skill than an optician that hasn’t earned those certifications.


A student who has earned an associate degree or associate in applied science degree in opticianry has likewise demonstrated a higher level of learning and skill.  Someone that desires to be recognized as an expert in ophthalmic optics should have a well rounded knowledge of all the disciplines in our field. That includes keeping current with the ever changing technologies in spectacle and contact lenses.


If you are looking for a Professional Society that is making a difference in the future of your chosen profession, come join our team. We will help you achieve your professional goals.