Becoming an Optician

To become an optician in Canada there are two potential pathways – pursuing your education regarding opticianry here in Canada, or having your education and experience assessed by a provincial optician regulator. Both can lead to fulfilling and well-paid careers.

Several institutions offer two-year programs in Dispensing Opticianry in Canada for both domestic and international students. Links to some of these institutions can be found in the "Resource Area" menu item on the left. The two-year program also requires an internship period with a sponsoring optician/employer and covers all areas of the modern optical industry, including glasses, contact lenses and other technologies. Remember to register first with the provincial optician regulator of your choice to ensure you are meeting all of their professional requirements.

After graduating from an opticianry program, students must pass the NACOR National Optical Sciences Examination. This examination is necessary for opticians in all provinces with the exception of Quebec, who has alternative testing modalities. Should students choose to pursue a career in opticianry in Quebec, they should consult their regulatory body.

Upon completion of the exam, a license will be granted by the Provincial Regulatory Agency (College of Opticians) and it will allow you to practice to the full scope of their provincial legislation. Students can further pursue licensure for contact lens fitting should they wish, making them essentially double-certified.

The Opticians Association of Canada is the national regulatory body for opticians here in Canada. Each province has different systems and regulations governing foreign-trained opticians licensure. Foreign-trained opticians should contact the specific regulatory body for the province of their choice. To follow the process in place for the Nova Scotia College of Displensing Opticians, consult the "Prior Learning Assessment" menu item on the left.