What to expect from a career in Opticianry

Opticianry programs at Ontario colleges are one of the most practical ways to get started in a career helping people – in this case, helping them see better. As an optician, you’ll use your understanding of the principles of sight to help dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses to satisfy a range of client conditions.

If you’re interested in a hands-on career that puts academic learning and technical training to work, and you can see yourself as a dispensing optician, here’s what you need to know.

Opticianry Courses

Ontario college opticianry programs offer a mixture of theory classes along with plenty of hands-on time in the lab.

Theory courses cover ocular science and physiology components, but you’ll also learn practical information and skills in marketing and customer service to prepare for work in the field. In the lab, you’ll learn procedures and techniques for patient assessment, as well as for fabricating, fitting and repairing eyeglass lenses, frames and contact lenses.

Field placements are included in the curriculum for optician courses. You’ll have the opportunity to practice your skills and observe the techniques of professionals in the industry.

General Opticianry Program Requirements

Opticianry programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English, grade 12 mathematics and grade 11 or 12 biology credit.

Note: In order to become a Registered Optician, you will have to write the provincial registration examination, as outlined by the College of Opticians of Ontario. Graduates of an Ontario college opticianry program are eligible to write this exam.

Opticianry Jobs and Salaries

Opticians have a number of practice areas open to them, including (but not limited to):

  • Retail optical dispensaries
  • Medical clinics
  • Contact lens clinics

Many graduates choose to join existing practices for experience, with the ultimate goal of operating their own businesses. Other career opportunities include frame and lens distributor sales positions or contact lens and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The average starting salary for graduates of opticianry programs at Ontario colleges is $41,000 a year, and will increase with experience and skill level.

Ontario Colleges Offering Opticianry Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of opticianry programs at Ontario colleges.

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