Apr 16, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Program Description

The Optician program trains students to be in the forefront of eye care practice, working as part of a multi-disciplinary vision care team. Students will study ocular pathology, refracting and pharmacology, as well as business and retail aspects of the profession. Application of the theory will be demonstrated through clinical competencies focusing on refraction, filling eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions, ensuring a proper fit, and determining clients’ eyewear needs. These skills, along with business and retail skills, will be practiced and demonstrated in dynamic, patient-centered environments in the form of classroom lectures, laboratory practice, and clinical practicum placements.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • This program should be completed full-time
  • Program Length:
    • Full-Time (6 Semesters)
  • This program is delivered in a classroom or blended format
  • Full-Time Intakes:
    • Fall, Winter
  • Students require access to a personal computer and Internet in order to complete the required courses

Certain courses may be offered through Open Studies during the daytime, evenings, and/or weekends, as well as in a classroom, blended, or online format. All courses must be completed within the program completion timeframe. Please be advised that for the purpose of student loans, full-time student status requires that learners are enrolled in a minimum of 60% of a full course load per semester.

Your Career

Graduates of this program may find work as Opticians in optical retail stores, or a variety of other related medical settings.

Student Success

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • Have higher secondary and/or post-secondary grades
  • Have effective communication skills in English
  • Are detail oriented and enjoy working in a team environment
  • Have a keen interest in health, science, and technology


Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be awarded a SAIT Optician Diploma.

Additionally, graduates will be prepared to challenge the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) exam, and obtain a dual license as both a dispensing optician and a contact lens fitter.


The Optician program delivered by SAIT is aligned with the competencies outlined by the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) guidelines and will seek accreditation with Accreditation Canada starting in 2020/21.


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

A minimum grade of 65% in each of the following courses or their equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2
  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2
  • Physics 20* or Biology 30 or Science 30
  • Or,
  • Completion of the SAIT Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting program or equivalent
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

*Physics 30 is considered an asset

Program Outline

Total Credits 66

Program Outcomes

  1. Measuring, Fitting, and Dispensing - Demonstrate competency in measuring vision disturbances, fitting and dispensing contact lenses, eyewear, and low-vision aides, as well as educating patients about optimal ocular care.
  2. Clinical Judgement - Make clinical judgements when providing patient care.
  3. Communication - Communicate with patients, families, and other health professionals in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a patient-centered approach.
  4. Collaboration - Apply inter-professional collaboration and team approach when providing patient care.
  5. Professionalism - Plan professional life-long learning and continuing education opportunitities that support personal practice as an optician.
  6. Business and Retail - Apply retail best practices in optician business.
  7. Regulations and Ethics - Practice the protection and safety of practitioners, patients, and the public.
  8. Technology - Demonstrate proficient technical skills to promote best practice in the Optician role.

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