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Continuing Education

Optical Sciences - Ophthalmic Assistant


The location where your NAIT courses will be held.


The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Blended - A combination of online and in-class components.
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times

Work towards a fulfilling eyecare career

Our non-credit Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate program offers what you need to work as an ophthalmic assistant in a private ophthalmologist's or optometrist's office, clinic, or hospital.

This 6-month program will introduce you to ophthalmic theory, walk you through patient pretest practices, show you ophthalmic equipment, and provide the skills and confidence you will need to offer exceptional customer service.

To better fit your schedule, this program is offered online.

Access your course material at your own pace using Moodle, our online eLearning system, from the comfort of your own home, office, or local coffee shop.

Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

Our program is divided into ten parts; each offers a different educational outcome. After each outcome, you must complete an online assessment that will test your understanding of key terms, topics and learning objectives. The outcomes include:

  • medical terminology, history-taking and triage
  • vision and pupil assessments
  • ocular anatomy, physiology, and motility
  • ophthalmic patient services and education
  • procedures for ophthalmic assessments
  • keratometry, lensometry and contact lenses
  • tonometry, and equipment maintenance and repair
  • refractometry and spectacle skills
  • explaining medications to patients
  • explaining surgical procedures

Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a NAIT Continuing Education Certificate recognizing your achievement. 

Your classes on your schedule

To better fit your schedule, this program is offered online. 

Access your course material at your own pace using Moodle, our online eLearning system, from the comfort of your own home, office, or local coffee shop.

Enter the workforce with confidence

Successful completion of this program will prepare you for a career in the eye care profession as an ophthalmic assistant.

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors specially trained to diagnose and treat health issues relating to the eye. In addition to offering vision care, which includes vision testing, ophthalmologists are licensed to practice medicine and surgery. They often specialize in practicing medicine for a specific part of the eye, such as the retina or cornea, as well as eye health areas such as pediatrics, neurology, or disease.

Ophthalmic assistants are responsible for patient pretesting, which often includes visual acuity, tonometry, conducting diagnostic tests and maintaining ophthalmic equipment. They may also be tasked with office administrative duties, such as scheduling, filing, and providing exceptional customer service to ophthalmology patients. 

Apply today!

Canadian residents apply to our Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate program by completing the application form linked below and sending it directly to the Optical Sciences Program Office by email or fax.

  1. Download the Ophthalmic Assistant Application Form (pdf)
  2. Complete the form
  3. Send the completed form to our office by fax or email
    Fax: 780.471.8377
    Email: optical@nait.ca 

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please call our office at 780.378.2800 (toll free 1.888.491.3130) or email us at optical@nait.ca

Department consent is required to enroll. Please contact the NAIT Optical Sciences Program Office to register.