The Mission of the Society to Advance Opticianry is to "Expand the Scope of Practice of Opticianry", “Advance the Opticianry Profession by UNITING all College Educated and fully credentialed Opticians under one registered banner Ophthalmic Optician®”, to “Increase the Mobility of Opticians between States, by encouraging a national standard of education for Opticians which includes a college education in Ophthalmic Optics” and to “Provide Mentoring services to assist 
​“Ophthalmic Optician® Candidates” seeking the SAO's high standards.”

In doing this, “we believe it will be easier for the public, industry leaders, and doctors to identify college educated and fully credentialed Opticians and this will increase the mobility of Opticians between States”.  The use of the acronym “O.O.” following an Opticians name and the registered title “Ophthalmic Optician®” encourages a national standard of education for Opticians which includes a college education in Ophthalmic Optics and licenses or certifications in both the dispensing of eyewear and the fitting of contact lenses


The SAO serves as a credentialing organization and offers the use of the registered title “Ophthalmic Optician®” and the acronym "O.O." to opticians who have achieved the high standards of the SAO. We also mentor opticians who understand that higher education and advanced level certifications are the key to a better future for opticians. To often, entry level certifications are considered the end point of an Opticians career. We believe entry level certifications are just the beginning of a life time of learning.

Opticians, who have earned the right to use the registered title of Ophthalmic Optician®
(O.O.), no longer need to use any other certification acronyms, which are confusing to the public and other ECPs. The O.O. following an Opticians name indicates that they have a college education and have achieved the high standards of the SAO. Ophthalmic Optician® is a "registered mark” created by the Society to Advance Opticianry. The SAO was founded by Opticians who believe academic credentials are essential to increasing mobility for Opticians between states.

Only an Optician who has met their high SAO standards and been accepted by the SAO may use the title “Ophthalmic Optician®”. The SAO believes that raising the bar of education and credentialing is inherent to improving the future of the profession of Opticianry. Currently, Opticianry is the only profession within the three “Os” that does not require a formal academic education as an entry point into the profession. The SAO's intention is to make academic education a requirement to be considered a professional Optician in all states.

The stated goals of the SAO are:

A. To make academic education, which leads to the ability to demonstrate critical thinking and written communication skills, the criterion by which all Opticians are compared in the future.

​B. To make the earning a college degree or diploma in Optical Science and licensing and/or advanced certifications in all areas of Opticianry the ultimate goals of all opticians increase the acceptance of mobility and reciprocity between licensed states for opticians. This would help opticians who have achieved the high standards of the SAO, which include a college education to move from state to state when required by their employer. Being an Ophthalmic Optician means that the public is dealing with a professional who is ready and able to help them achieve the quality of vision that they expect from their contact lens and glasses fittings.

D. To mentor SAO "Ophthalmic Optician Candidates" in their efforts to achieve the high standards of the SAO. A mentor is assigned to each candidate that requests assistance,

E.  To establish a career path for professional Opticians that includes being fully credentialed in the art and science of refraction.

F. The SAO will make every effort to promote Ophthalmic Opticians
® to the public, doctors, and optical industry leaders.
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We are proud of our 2016

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