American Board of Opticianry (ABO) certification is the nationally recognized standard for certifying an optician's qualifications. This 100% online course will teach you the terminology, calculations, and procedures opticians use to assess vision, evaluate corrective options, and correct optical problems. Using a step-by-step methodology, you will prepare to test on key areas required by the ABO certification exam.

Opticians use data from prescriptions made by Optometrists or Ophthalmologists to help patients and customers fit glasses or contact lenses. They may take measurements of the ocular area, recommend appropriate frames or contact lenses and help fit and adjust frames or lenses as needed.

Opticians need to be able to read and fill prescriptions, calculate formulas, use ophthalmic equipment, keep up with eyewear styles and trends, relate to patients, and understand human eyes and the difficulties and diseases they encounter.

The ABO exam covers ophthalmic science and a combination of ocular anatomy, principles of ophthalmic products and instruments, dispensing procedures, and legal considerations for opticians.

Many US states require certification for opticians. In those that do not, many clinics, eye health facilities and professionals require certification as a condition of optician employment. ABO certification generally meets both requirements. However, we do recommend researching the state requirements prior to pursuing a career as an optician.

Due to an aging population and emerging technologies in vision correction and options in eyewear, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects robust opportunities for opticians. It expects job growth for opticians to expand by 7% between now and 2028, faster than average growth for all jobs.

Opticians earned $37,840 on average for 2019, according to BLS data. notes that top opticians earn over $52,000 in pay and associated bonuses.

Opticians overwhelmingly enjoy their work. Among 10,000 employees in more than 200 jobs surveyed by Business Insider, only opticians scored a 100% job satisfaction rate. The survey results noted that opticians incur less stress and enjoy the results of their work more than other professions.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics

There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, a high school diploma or GED is required to take the ABO exam.


What Is an Optician?
The Parts of the Eye
Refractive Errors
Strabismus and Amblyopia
Other Common Ocular Conditions
Frame Basics
Frame Styling
Aligning Frames
Adjusting Frames
A Quick Look at Light
Reading a Prescription
More About Prescriptions and Lens Types
Lens Materials
Prism Basics
Fresnel Prisms
Optical Effects of Lens Curvature
Multifocal Lens Considerations
The Manual Lensometer
More About Opticianry Measurements and Calculations
Simple Math and Algebra
Soft Contact Lenses
Gas-permeable Contact Lenses
Legal Responsibilities and Ethics
Preparing for the Abo Exam

Course Objectives

  • Prepare to take and pass the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exam
  • Learn how to understand and assign prescriptions to customers
  • Develop an understanding of the human eye and its functions
  • Understand corrective eye care solutions available for patients
  • Learn how prisms and lenses work

Dr. Beverly Smith

Dr. Beverly Smith is a Doctor of Optometry and has been in private practice for more than 24 years. She also holds a Master of Business Administration and founded a consulting firm that helps new practitioners start and manage their own eye care practices. Throughout her career, Smith has taught many future opticians, certified paraoptometrics, and fellow optometrists. Her work has been published in the professional journals New O.D. and Women in Optometry.


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Michael McErlean


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