student looking closely into optical equipment to adjust glasses


Janet Alspaugh

Admissions Questions

Stephanie L. Toomer
Admissions Counselor

* This program is financial aid eligible.
* This program can be completed online.

Optical Apprentice Certificate

Short Term

The Optical Apprentice curriculum is designed to meet the educational requirements of the North Carolina Board of Opticians for opticianry apprentices.

Course work includes the competencies necessary to analyze and interpret prescriptions and to accurately fit and dispense eyewear and contact lenses.

Graduates should qualify for the academic requirements of the apprenticeship program. Upon completion of all requirements of the apprenticeship program, graduates will be eligible to sit for the North Carolina State Board of Opticians licensing examination.

The Opticianry program is accredited by the  and approved by the .

View more information about the program and licensure outcomes, course participation, and the program's mission, goal, and objectives. Students also have the opportunity to gain experience in the on-campus Optical Shop.

Program Information

North Carolina Residents
  • The six-course certificate is completed 100 percent online and spans the duration of the student’s Apprenticeship.
  • Students who intend to sit for the NC Licensure Exam must register as an apprentice with the NC State Board of Opticians to meet the exam eligibility requirements. Yearly renewal of Apprenticeship is required by the State Board.
  • The State Board Apprenticeship program is 2.5 years long and the ʿⱦapp certificate program is 1.5 years long. Students should begin the admissions process shortly after Apprenticeship registration and begin taking certificate courses within 6 to 12 months of Apprenticeship.
  • Apprenticeship requires students to be employed full time at a location that is registered as a training site by the NC State Board of Opticians.
  • If place of employment is not a State Board registered training site, the business must register with the state before training can begin.
  • ʿⱦapp strongly recommends students work under the direct supervision of a licensed Optician at their training establishment, however students may work under the supervision of a Doctor of Optometry or an Ophthalmologist.
  • There is no direct connection between ʿⱦapp, the State Board, and registered training facilities. On-the-job training, requirements, and outlines for training facilities are handled through the NC State Board of Opticians.
  • Please see the .
Non-North Carolina Residents
  • The six-course certificate is completed 100 percent online.
  • The program may be completed for educational purposes only or as an option for education mandated by the specific State Licensure Board.
  • Students applying for licensure within their state should contact their specific State Board to ensure this program meets their state’s requirements.
  • Students are not required to be registered as an Apprentice with the NC State Board of Opticians as they will not be sitting for the NC Licensure Exam.

How to Apply

Program applications are accepted July 15 for a Fall start or December 1 for a Spring start.

Before you Apply

View the Admissions Checklist. Attend an information session (recommended). They are listed in the Upcoming Events section below.

Apply to the College

New students who are not currently enrolled at ʿⱦapp should apply to the College using the Health and Wellness Enrollment Steps.

Apply to the Program

Prerequisites must be completed before applying to the program. Review the Admissions Checklist. Apply to the Optical Apprentice program during the application period using the online .

Upcoming Program Events

Estimated Tuition & Fees



Main Campus, Online

Credit Hours


First-Semester Courses

Course Number Title Credit Hours
OPH-101 Math for Opticians 3
OPH-121 Anatomy & Phys-Eye 3

Suggested Paths

Short Term

(12 months or less)

Long Term

(More than 12 months)

University Transfer

headshot of Enzo Anchetta

“I really like how challenging the Opticianry Program is at ʿⱦapp. This field is something there will always be a need for. No matter how fast technology advances, there’s going to be someone behind the machines that needs to understand how things work and I look forward to fulfilling that role as a licensed optician.”

—Enzo Anchetta