Optician with blonde hair and a white lab coat smiling while placing a pair of prescription eye glasses on a patient

Join the eye care field as an optician

Opticianry Ontario College Diploma, Co-op program

Become a valuable member of the eye health team. Learn in our nationally accredited state-of-the-art facility. Over 95% job placement.

Program code OPTI
Duration 2 Years
Credential Ontario College Diploma, Co-op
Delivery Full-time

Program information

Program description

In this program, students experience a unique blend of health care and business management. Through theory and practical experience in labs/clinics, students learn to competently dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses and sub-normal vision devices, and learn about basic refraction. Students gain a strong foundation of ocular sciences in optics and anatomy, and are provided the expertise necessary to layout and edge lenses for frame insertion, as well as repair, customize and modify eyewear to the patient/clients’ needs. Emphasis is also placed on professional services. Through critical thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurial skills, students learn how to establish and operate a small business, how to use effective sales techniques, and enhance communication and interpersonal skills in order to be successful in the optical retail environment.

Upon successful completion of the academic and co-operative education semesters, students are eligible to write the national registration examinations which allow them, if successful, to practice in Canada as a Registered Optician.

Intake information

Start dateCampus
Winter 2023 Barrie
Fall 2023 Barrie

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

This program includes a co-op work term component where you will gain practical, on-the-job experience in your field.

What are the admission requirements for the Opticianry program?

Opticianry admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)  
    • OR Grade 11 (U) or Grade 12 (C or U) Chemistry 
    • OR Grade 11 or 12 (U), or Grade 12 (C) Physics

Applicants must meet minimum averages to receive final acceptance.​​

First-year enrolment is limited, satisfying minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/


Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:

Selection Process

Selection is based on admission requirements and academic grades.

Additional information

In order for a student to register for the national examinations the students must have:

  • Successfully completed all academic semesters
  • successfully completed two co-operative work terms
  • successfully completed the practice requirements including:
    • 1000 hours of supervised dispensing experience
    • 250 spectacle fittings broken down into the specific areas
      • 15 soft contact lens fittings
      • 5 rigid lens fittings

Criminal Reference Check – College of Opticians

When registering as a student or intern with the College of Opticians of Ontario, applicants are required by legislation to inform the College of Opticians of Ontario if they have been found guilty of any criminal offence(s) or have been the subject of disciplinary or incapacity proceedings from other governing bodies. This self-reporting requirement protects the public interest by informing the College of findings that may affect an optician’s suitability to practice.

The reporting of offences, findings of guilt and proceedings that occur before and after your initial registration with the College is a non exemptible requirement. All questions in the application section must be answered and full details provided at the time of registration and throughout your membership with the College if applicable. Failure to provide this information could be considered professional misconduct. Only answer ‘Yes’ if any of the following statements apply to your situation:

  • You have been found guilty of a criminal offence related to opticianry.
  • You have been found guilty of a criminal offence, even if you have been pardoned, or were conditionally or absolutely discharged.
  • You have been found guilty of any offences under federal statutes and/or any provincial offences.
  • There has been a finding of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity against you in relation to the opticianry profession outside of Ontario or by any other health profession, whether in Ontario or in any other jurisdiction.

What career paths can I take as an optician?

Your Opticianry diploma gives you many career opportunities

Opticians are long-standing members of the health care delivery team in a field for which there is a growing universal need. Registered Opticians may dispense eyewear independently or as part of the eye care team. Consequently, graduates may aspire to operate their own businesses. As recognized professionals under the Regulated Health Professions Act, fulltime career possibilities, including managerial roles, exist in large retail optical chains, independent dispensaries and medical clinics in Ontario and across Canada. 

What courses are included in the Opticianry diploma program?

Course overview

38 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses
2 Co-op Work Terms

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Opticianry program outline.

  • HUMN 1000 – Critical Thinking
  • OPTI 1022 – Eyeglass Dispensing Lab 1
  • OPTI 1023 – Eyeglass Dispensing Theory 1
  • OPTI 1024 – Eyeglass Fabrication and Customization 1
  • OPTI 1025 – Contact Lens Dispensing Lab 1
  • OPTI 1026 – Contact Lens Dispensing Theory 1
  • OPTI 1027 – Ocular Science for Contact Lenses 1
  • OPTI 1028 – Applied Optics 1
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Do you have questions about Opticianry? Contact us!

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