What are the licensing, certification, and education requirements needed to qualify to use the registered professional designation Ophthalmic Optician®?

“Ophthalmic Opticians® are college trained and credentialed in both the dispensing of eyewear and the fitting of contacts.

”The SAO Board of Directors will consider applications from all Opticians who have met the following requirements, for the use of the professional title Ophthalmic Optician® and acronym “O.O.”:

There are many ways to earn the use of the registered designation “Ophthalmic Optician®”:

1. All applicants must have successfully completed at least two years of NFOS college education or a college education approved by the board of the Society to Advance Opticianry.

​2. An applicant must also hold current state licenses in both eyewear dispensing and contact lens fitting. Or hold current ABO and NCLE certifications in both, if they do not practice in a licensed state.

Opticians, who have not completed all of the current requirements necessary to become an “Ophthalmic Optician®”, may make application to become a candidate “Ophthalmic Optician®”. If requested by a candidate, they will be assigned a mentor and will receive mentoring services from the Society to Advance Opticianry.

All current NFOS school students will automatically be given “Ophthalmic Optician® Candidate” status and are encouraged to send in their contact information, so we can communicate with them as to when special training courses and webinars will be available.

On the date an Optician becomes an “Ophthalmic Optician® Candidate” they lock in the requirements that are currently in effect at that time as long as they keep their candidate status active. These requirements are scheduled to be regularly increased through the year 2020. As long as an Ophthalmic Optician® keeps current their original credentials and remains current in their dues, they may retain their "O.O." status.


We are proud of our 2016

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