Learn the art of better vision
Opticianry is a growing industry that involves the fitting and supplying of eyeglasses. The skillful preparation and fitting of corrective lenses are vitally important to the customer's health; therefore, people entering this field require rigorous training and education. Since the work is retail-oriented, anyone considering this as a career must have great communication skills as well as a flexible schedule.
The Optical Sciences Eyeglasses Diploma is a two-year program. Students complete the theory portion online and the clinical portion (practicum) at their workplace. The practicum consists of on-the-job training, similar in nature to an apprenticeship. Students perfect their skills under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor at their place of employment.
Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.
Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.
Enter the workforce with confidence
Upon successful completion of this program, you can expect to find work as a licensed optician in:
- retail dispensaries
- low vision practices
- refractive surgery clinics
You could also go on to obtain certificates in contact lens fitting and refracting.
NAIT's Optical Sciences Eyeglasses program is a fully accredited program. After successful completion, you can take the national licensing examination to practice in Canada: National Association of Canadian Opticians Regulators (NACOR). After passing the exam, you can continue to the Optical Sciences Contact Lens program.
In order to provide maximum flexibility to complete your courses on evenings and weekends, we have designed this program to be taken online. However, during your first and second year, you will be required to attend 2 full-day labs. These labs are completed in either Edmonton or Calgary. If you qualify for distance status, you may opt to complete these labs at your place of work.
The rest of the program, including course material and assessments, is accessible through Moodle, NAIT’s online eLearning system. This method of delivery allows you to participate in course forums and access learning materials whenever you want, from the comfort of your own home, office, or local coffee shop.
Canadian Applicants Outside Alberta
If you are a Canadian resident outside of Alberta, please contact the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) for registration information and an application package. Canadian residents outside of Alberta do not apply through the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS). If you apply in error, the application fee cannot be refunded.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR RESIDENTS OF LLOYDMINSTER: If your practicum is located on the Alberta side of the border, you follow the same application process as the Canadian residents in Alberta (i.e., apply through APAS and complete your application checklist). If your practicum is located on the Saskatchewan side of the border, you follow the same application process as the Canadian residents outside of Alberta (i.e., DO NOT apply through APAS – contact the OAC instead).
Since, by definition, distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, IRRC will not issue study permits or Co-Op work permits for this online program.
Learn more about Canadian immigration, and refugee and citizenship statuses
Please note that this program can only accept persons already employed in the Optical field. As such, any foreign national wanting to be admitted into this program must hold a valid work permit issued by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). There are three valid work permit categories:
- Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Eligible foreign nationals may be issued a work permit issued on the basis of a valid labour market impact assessment (LMIA).
- International Experience Canada (IEC): Eligible participants in the IEC program may obtain a work permit without having to apply for an LMIA. If the participant is not able to secure authorization to work for more than one year in Canada, then the participant is responsible for securing additional authorization to work in Canada through other IRCC work permit programs.
- Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP): Eligible participants may obtain a work permit after graduating from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution without having to apply for an LMIA.
If you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact us: