Frequently Asked Questions – Dispensing Optician Apprentice

May I work as an apprentice without being registered?

No. You must be registered with the secretary of the Department of Health before you can work as an apprentice dispensing optician.

Who can be a supervisor?

A primary supervisor can be a licensed optician, optometrist or physician who registered as your supervisor with the Department of Health. Your primary supervisor is responsible for your work, and must provide a majority of your training and supervision.

What if my supervisor in not available to supervise me all of the time?

If your primary supervisor is not available to provide supervision for you where you work, you may be supervised by another qualified supervisor. No supervisor may have more than two apprentices under their direct supervision at any one time.

An apprentice may have more than one primary supervisor. Separate registrations are required if an individual receives their apprenticeship training from more than one primary supervisor. Once the Department of Health has approved the primary supervisor, the apprentice may thereafter, at the business or place of employment of the primary supervisor, receive training and direct supervision.

What do I do if the supervisor leaves?

If your primary supervisor is no longer able to act as your primary supervisor for any reason, you may not continue to work. A new application must be submitted to the Department of Health to be registered under a different primary supervisor. The secretary of health must approve the application before you begin your work as an apprentice under the new primary supervisor.

What should my supervisor do?

When the supervisor will no longer act as your primary supervisor, they must send an Apprentice Training Certificate to the Department of Health. The Apprentice Training Certificate must show the beginning and ending dates that you were under that person's supervision and indicate the number of apprenticeship hours you completed during that time period. To be removed from your supervisor's license, they must select the box to remove an apprentice from their license. An approved supervisor must be physically present on the premises where the apprentice is working and available for consultation with the apprentice a minimum of 80% of the time claimed as apprenticeship training and be physically present on the premises at all times and inspect work when fitting or adjusting contact lenses, WAC 246-824-010

How many apprenticeship hours are required?

To be eligible for dispensing optician licensure, an apprentice must complete at least 6,000 hours of certified apprenticeship training in no less than three years, but no more than six years.

How long does the apprenticeship last?

The apprentice is registered for six calendar years. The six-year period continues whether or not a person is actively engaged in the practice of an apprentice dispensing optician.

Is there a recommended dispensing optician apprentice training plan?

Dispensing Optician Apprentice Guidance Manual (PDF)