Member Dues

Being a member means THREE memberships in one!

Membership in the California Optometric Association is tripartite; you also become a member of the American Optometric Association as well as a local society within your geographical location in California, all of which provides you with local, state and national representation. 

New Grad Ascending Dues Scale

Average dues amounts

Note:  local society dues will vary/dues amounts do not include PAC contributions.

Where do your dues go?

AOA - 44%

national advocacy + AOA members-only benefits

COA - 37%

state advocacy + COA members-only benefits

Local society - 9%

networking and learning + community and connection

Legislative fund - 8% 

to protect and advance scope of practice

Public vision league  - 2%

for important legal challenges 


PAC contributions are completely voluntary and are not included in the "average" dues amounts listed above. COA uses a negative check-off  policy, whereby members will see the suggested PAC contributions included with their dues, but can contact COA at any time to opt out of making these contributions.

The PACs were formed to allow individual optometrists to pool their resources in order to make a stronger impact on candidate campaigns - COA interviews candidates, educates potential elected officials about optometric issues and makes targeted contributions in support of pro-optometry candidates. 

California Optometric Political Action Committee (Cal-OPAC) 

Suggested contribution: $200/year 

$16.66/month for full members, prorated in accordance with all membership scales and categories

Local Societies of the California Optometric Association (LSCOA-PAC)  

Suggested contribution: $50/year 

$4.16/month for full members, prorated in accordance with all membership scales and categories

Membership categories

Full Member

100% dues

an optometrist who resides in the State of California and/or who practices or engages in other related optometric activities in California

Educator Member

50% dues

an optometrist who teaches or engages in other academic-related activities at an educational institution approved by the COA Board of Trustees and who does not otherwise engage in the practice of optometry for compensation more than 16 hours per week (for AOA classification, must be at an optometry school accredited or pre-accredited by ACOE)

Partial Practice Member

50% COA & society/60% AOA

an optometrist who works sixteen (16) hours or fewer per week for compensation in active optometric practice or related optometric activities 

Government Service Member

50% COA & society/100% AOA

an optometrist who is employed by a governmental entity and who is not practicing optometry for compensation in any other setting 

Retired Member 

10% COA & society/$100 AOA

an optometrist who is at least fifty-five (55) years old on January 1 of any membership year and who is no longer receiving compensation for optometric-related activities 

Postgraduate Member

$0 COA & society/$35 AOA

an optometrist who is a resident or intern in a program accredited or pre-accredited by ACOE or is a full-time enrollee in a graduate program related to the practice of optometry

Applications for a change in membership type submitted before April 30 of any calendar year will be retroactive to the beginning of that year. Applications submitted between May 1 and December 31 will be effective January 1 of the following year.  To make a member type change, please contact the membership department at or (916) 441-3990; option 4

Dues waivers

If a member is having trouble making dues payments, COA can offer a dues waiver to temporarily reduce the the dues required to maintain membership.