Optician supplies eyeglasses or contact lenses according to the prescription prepared by an ophthalmologist or optometrist or by analyzing the client’s eyeglasses or contact lenses and by measuring client’s eye curvature, pupillary distance and bridge width, using optical measuring devices. They assist clients in selecting eyeglasses by advising on lens materials, frames, tints and anti-reflection coating. Advise on use and care of contact lenses. Arrange for grinding and polishing of lenses, cut and edge lenses, and fit lenses into frames. Adjust finished eyeglasses to fit client. May supervise or manage the activities of other opticians or student opticians. They prepare work orders for optical lab technicians (who grind lenses) assemble and repair eyeglasses. In some provinces such as in Alberta, they may provide refractions (measures of required eyeglass lens power) under remote supervision by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Some opticians become certified as contact lens practitioners. They may design, supply, and assess contact lenses for the patients based on the prescriptions. Learn more.

Average Hourly


Range Hourly

$15.00 – $33.85

Average Yearly


Range Yearly

$29,250 – $66,000

Opticians (3231)

Apprentice optician

Contact lens dispenser

Contact lens fitter

Contact lens practitioner

Contact lens technician

Dispensing optician

Dispensing optician student

Eyeglasses fitter

Eyeglasses frame fitter

Intern optician

Licensed contact lens practitioner

Licensed dispensing optician

Licensed optician

Managing optician

Ophthalmic device dispenser

Ophthalmic dispenser

Optical device dispenser

Optical dispensing manager

Optical frame fitter

Optometric dispenser

Spectacle frame fitter

Student optician

Visual orthosis technician

Visual orthotic device technician

Completion of a two- or three-year college program in ophthalmic dispensing or optical sciences is required.

Learn more

Average hourly

Range hourly

Average yearly

Range yearly


$15.00 - $33.85


$29,250 - $66,000


Employment outlook is mostly good across provinces. More information is available here.

With experience managerial position can be obtained. Also, owning an optics store is often chosen by many opticians

Programs available at across countries. For example:

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT): Optical Sciences- Eyeglasses, Optical Sciences - Refraction Program, Optical Sciences- Contact Lenses Douglas College - Opticianry Program. Graduates will receive a Diploma in Dispensing Opticianry, Contact Lenses and Refraction Technologies.

Seneca College

Cégep Garneau (French)

List of accredited programs can be found here.

Outstanding customer service and salesmanship, the ability to study and interpret customer issues, the ability to focus on details, diligence, a good sense of spatial relationships, good fine motor skills (to manipulate small objects and instruments), people’s person

Opticians usually work on their feet all day. Retail store opticians also work in the evenings and weekends. Workplaces include retail stores, educational settings, refractive surgery clinics, low-vision practices, contact lens specialty practices. Some opticians work in association with ophthalmologists, optometrists, or a group of optical practitioners. Learn more

To become a Licensed Optician in Canada, and individual must complete an Opticianry Program from an accredited educational institution, pass the NACOR National Optical Sciences Examination and register with Provincial Regulatory Agency (often called a College of Opticians e.g., Alberta College and Association of Opticians: ACAO).

In Ontario and Quebec, opticians are always dual-licensed, meaning trained and licensed for both eyeglasses and contact lenses and passed both the exams for optical sciences and contact lenses. In other provinces, they need to complete a Contact Lens program, sit the NACOR National Optical Sciences Examination for Contact Lenses, and then apply to their Provincial Regulatory Agency (College of Opticians) for a license to dispense contact lenses.