To become an optician in Canada, first students need to enroll in an Ophthalmic Dispensing Eyeglasses Program at one of the accredited educational institutions that offer opticianry programs:

Douglas College (British Columbia)

Two year full-time accredited Opticianry program includes eyeglasses, contact lenses, automated refraction, and low vision aids.

Georgian College

Two year full-time co-op accredited Opticianry program. Students receive training based on National Standards of Competencies for Opticianry which includes dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

NAIT, through Distance Learning, offers the following programs; Optical Sciences Eyeglasses Diploma, Optical Sciences Advanced Practice Contact Lenses Certificate and Optical Sciences Refracting Optician

Seneca College

Opticianry Diploma Program offered by means of two year full-time study and four year part-time study. Students acquire the specialized knowledge and skills required to safely and competently dispense subnormal vision devices, contact lenses and eyeglasses.


Once a student has successfully completed an Optical program, s/he is eligible to take the national licensing examination. Upon passing the licensing exam, students may apply for registration to their provincial regulatory agency, usually a college of opticians. An ophthalmic dispensing (this may change) license allows an Optician to dispense eyeglasses.


Depending on which province the student resides in, s/he may then decide to continue on and become a licensed Contact Lens Fitter.