How to Become An Optician
Opticianry involves fitting and supplying of eyeglasses and contact lenses. As with other health professions, candidates in Opticianry must pass specific certification and educational criteria to demonstrate that they are qualified for the profession.
To become a Licensed Optician in Canada, and individual must enroll in an Opticianry Program at one of the accredited educational institutions that offer a program. Opticianry Programs are offered full-time, part-time, or through online study and range in length from 1-3 years for completion depending on the institution.
Once an individual has successfully completed an Opticianry program s/he is eligible to take the NACOR National Optical Sciences Examination* which is the testing modality used towards licensure by 9 out of the 10 provinces in Canada. Upon passing the Optical Sciences Examination, students may apply for registration to their Provincial Regulatory Agency (often called a College of Opticians).
A license granted by the Provincial Regulatory Agency (College of Opticians) will allow an Optician to practice to the full scope of their provincial legislation.
Depending on which province the student resides in, s/he may then decide to continue on and become a licensed Contact Lens Fitter. An individual must successfully complete a Contact Lens program, sit the NACOR National Optical Sciences Examination* for Contact Lenses, and then apply to their Provincial Regulatory Agency (College of Opticians) for a license to dispense contact lenses.
In the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Licensed Opticians are considered ‘dual-licensed’, meaning they must successfully complete training in both eyeglass and contact lenses.
In Ontario, upon successful completion of training in both areas of eyeglasses and contact lenses, an individual must successfully pass both the NACOR National Optical Sciences Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Examinations to be eligible to apply for licensure in Ontario.
FOR A LIST OF ACCREDITED OPTICIANRY PROGRAMS IN CANADA – CLICK HERE
*The Regulatory Agency in the province of Quebec does not currently use the NACOR examinations, and have opted for alternative testing modalities towards licensure.
The Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) has an extensive online continuing education library available to its members for use towards their professional learning requirements. The online library consists of electronic module articles as well as video modules. New content is consistently being added to the online library for the benefit of our members.
OAC members receive unlimited online modules per year as a benefit of membership.