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The Opticianry program is a two-year program of study which teaches the student to become an optician. Opticians receive lens prescriptions from eye doctors, determine the size and style of eyeglasses desired by the customer, make lenses and cut them to fit into an eyeglass frame, and adjust finished glasses to fit the customer. The graduate acquires competencies in all phases of opticianry, including surfacing which consists of blocking, fining, polishing, and inspecting both plastic and glass single-vision/multifocal lenses; benchwork, which includes edging, hand beveling, safety beveling, heat treating, chemical tempering, tinting, and mounting lenses; and dispensing, which includes measuring, adapting, and fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses to the patient.

2015 graduatesThe curriculum also includes courses in communication skills, social sciences, microcomputer fundamentals, and business. These courses augment the student's technical instruction and provide a well-rounded educational background.

An important facet of the Opticianry curriculum is the student practicum, which allows the individual student to practice competencies and skills learned in the classroom. Practicum activities include adjusting and repairing eyeglasses at medical centers, retail optical shops, senior citizen centers, and convalescent centers in the greater Durham area.

Upon completion of the five-semester day sequence of courses in the Opticianry program, the Associate in Applied Science degree in Opticianry is conferred and satisfies the formal educational requirements necessary to qualify for the licensing examination given by the North Carolina State Board of Opticians. The pass rate for Durham Tech students in October 2012 was 82 percent as compared to the overall pass rate for all test takers of 44 percent.

An Optical Apprentice certificate option is also available. The six-course certificate program may be completed online.

The Opticianry program is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and approved by the North Carolina Board of Opticians.