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Dispensing Opticians

Do you find eyes fascinating? Are you interested in working in the healthcare field and helping people to see more clearly? Become a Board Certified Dispensing Optician!*


Brought to you through the collaborative partnership of:

*This industry-led training program is valued at $1999. The $99 low cost of this program is thanks to a grant provided through Canada College. This course is accessible only to students who live in the San Francisco Bay Area

Reimbursement of $175 ABO exam fee upon passing – for students not currently working in the industry – while funds last

San Mateo Adult & Career Education
Optometric device

The Optical Industry is an ever growing industry that has a need for essential workers who are passionate about helping others by rewarding them with the gift of sight, comfort, and fashion.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the number of Dispensing Opticians is expected to grow faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Dispensing Opticians are expected to increase by 13.7 percent, or 70 jobs between 2016 and 2026 (via Labor Market Info)

Cañada College Continuing Education and San Mateo Adult & Career Education offer this collaborative Dispensing Opticians Training Program, taught by licensed instructor Lynnette Garcia. The Dispensing Opticians Training Program offers students the foundational work to not only begin a career in optical, but to also acquire ABO board certification, leading to better paying jobs and more opportunity for career advancement in the optical industry.

Upon completion of this program, students will take the national ABO examination to obtain a license to practice in California. Students will have a selection of job opportunities through large to small optical retail locations, hospitals, private practices with optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Hourly pay for this high-demand occupation is approximately $27 per hour in the San Francisco Bay Area (as of July 2020) (

Become a Board Certified Dispensing Optician!
Register now for our Spring 2022 training cohort!

Program Overview

This program will prepare you to take the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) national certification exam.** For more information about the certification exam visit

Where will you work? In retail business settings, medical offices, optical laboratories, or outside sales for frame and lens manufacturers.

Student Requirements

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Be fluent in conversational English
  • Must be comfortable with basic algebraic math skills
  • Must have a working computer, internet access, and basic calculator
  • Must be able to travel for 4 mandatory lab sessions to be held at the San Mateo Adult School campus.
  • Must have proof of COVID vaccination.

Course of study includes:

  • Optical theory
  • Eye physiology
  • Lens technology
  • Ophthalmic dispensing
  • Lab sessions
  • Optical industry guest speakers
  • Customer service and workplace communications training
  • and much more!

**Students must attend the entire program and pass in order to sit for the ABO exam.

Lynnette Garcia

About the Instructor

Lynnette Garcia is an American Board Certified Optician with over 25 years of experience in the Optical (eye care) field. She has managed and worked in optical boutiques, private practices, and retail corporate settings such as Oakley Sport Performance where she contributed as a consultant and lead optician aiding in the development of a program to disrupt the eye wear industry. Lynnette also brings to the classroom her training as a Health and Leadership Coach and outstanding interpersonal skills which have given her the ability to work with individuals, executives, doctors and staff at all levels over the course of her career.


Contact the Career Education Coordinator for more information.

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