An optician is a licensed professional trained to help you see better – whether you’re near or far-sighted, or have low vision due to more complex eye health issues.
Registered opticians are specially trained to design, fit, and dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, and prosthetic ocular devices. They interpret written prescriptions from ophthalmologists (medical doctors) and optometrists (non-medical eye care professionals) to determine the specifications of ophthalmic appliances necessary to correct a person’s eyesight. Some registered opticians also design and fit cosmetic shells and artificial eyes. Other registered opticians may grind lenses and design and manufacture specific spectacle frames and other devices needed by their clients.
Registered opticians also keep records on clients’ lens powers and work orders; track inventory and sales; and perform other administrative duties.
Opticians are highly skilled eye care professionals who undergo rigorous and extensive training to fulfill education and practice competencies in Opticianry. They design and dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids and prosthetic ocular devices for customers.
As with other health professions, candidates in Opticianry must pass specific certification and educational criteria to demonstrate that they are qualified for the profession and are not a risk to the public. The education requirements for Opticianry are based on determined learning outcomes as established by the College of Opticians in each individual province. The education and training for opticians is more in-depth and extensive than optometrists in areas where the two professions provide the same services to the public.
Links to Sites
Training & Education Routes
The Optician of Manitoba (OOM) recognizes education programs that are accredited by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR). Programs are reviewed annually and completely reassessed every six years.
These programs meet the standards of academic or technical achievement required for registration and licensing with OOM:
Douglas College (Coquitlam, BC)
Georgian College (Barrie, Ontario)
OOM recognizes the following programs offered by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and administered by the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC):
- Eyeglasses Diploma Program
- Advanced Practice Contact Lenses
- Advanced Practice Sight Testing
- Automated Refracting Theory
The programs are offered online.
Seneca College (Toronto, Ontario)