School of Health and Life Sciences

Optical Sciences - Eyeglasses

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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.

Quick Facts

Credential: Diploma

Diplomas are credit programs that take 2 to 3 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Options:

  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

Length: 2 Years

With a typical full-time course load, this program will take 2 Years to complete.

Open Studies: Not Available

This program does not currently have any courses available for Open Studies.

International Students: Not Accepted

This program is not accepting international students for this intake.

Grad Employment Rate

Employment rates are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and do not guarantee future employment opportunities. Please note that data for newer programs may not be included within this report.

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Median Starting Salary: $43,680

Salaries are reported by NAIT alumni, are for information purposes, and are not a guarantee of future income.

View Career Outcomes

Flexible programming

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).

Important note for residents of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

You follow the same application process as the Canadian residents in Alberta (i.e., apply through APAS and complete your application checklist).

International Students

Some NAIT programs are unavailable to international students because they do not meet eligibility for a study permit or Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

  • Study Permit: This program is delivered through distance learning and therefore does not meet the criteria for a study permit.
  • Co-Op: Due to this program not meeting the criteria of a study permit, it also does not meet the criteria for a Co-Op Work Permit.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit: This program is delivered through distance learning and therefore is not eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. Completion of this program will not make you eligible for a PGWP.

International students who have questions about permissions to take this program can contact a NAIT Academic Advisor – International to discuss options.

Work Experience Placements

Students in this program gain valuable work experience with Work Integrated Learning (WIL). WIL is a form of experiential learning that integrates academic studies with relevant work-based learning. The WIL placement in this program is a Clinical Placement.

Clinical Placement

A Clinical Placement involves work experience under the supervision of an experienced registered or licensed professional (e.g. preceptor) in any discipline that requires practice-based work experience for professional licensure or certification. Practica are generally unpaid and the work is done in a supervised setting.

Duration 60 weeks
Compensation No
International Students Not Accepted
Placement Identified By Student - Submits resume to employers to apply for WIL positions.
Student Interview Required No

Benefits of a Clinical Placement

  • Understand more about career opportunities, expectations and requirements of the professional field
  • Gain the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world environment
  • Create networking opportunities in your chosen industry
  • Develop and improve communication, interpersonal and employment skills
  • Gain confidence in your professional skills
  • Practice job placement skills including job search, resume preparation, interviewing
  • Explore career options and program specialization within the industry
  • Improve application for future positions by gaining industry experience and increasing your employability
  • Possibility of employment after graduation
  • Potential financial benefits if the placement is paid


Career Outcomes

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 Alliance of Canadian Opticians Regulators  (NACOR). After passing the exam, you can continue to the Optical Sciences Contact Lens program.

Work Experience Placements

Courses and Advanced Credit

Current and recently admitted students can find information and updates about their program on their My Program page in the MyNAIT Portal. To monitor your course progress and the courses still needed to graduate, visit your Academic Progress Report.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section, your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 2 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C in the course(s) or program

Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.


Expand each course below to see details about credits, requisites, scheduling, and more.

Tuition & Fees

Scholarships & Awards

The following scholarships and/or bursaries are available to you as a student in this program. To access your opportunities, visit the Student Portal.

Admission Requirements

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions. If you are a current or recently admitted student you can find program and course information as well as contact details for your program on the My Program page on the MyNAIT Portal.

General inquiries

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Program-specific questions

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal

The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or

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Learn how to register through Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) or begin the application process.

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