Dispensing Optician

  • Delivery Method: Combined Delivery
  • Duration: 55 weeks, including a 6-week full-time practicum and a 4-week full-time preceptorship
  • Starts: Twice per year (May and October)
  • Credential: Diploma
  • Designation: Licensed Optician
  • Wages: Up to $25/hour with the potential to earn up to $80,000/ year

Dispensing Opticians are integral members of the eye-care team who design, produce and fit eyeglasses, contact lenses and specialized products for their clients. If you are customer focused, organized and enthusiastic and want to work as part of a healthcare team, consider a career as a Dispensing Optician.

Stenberg’s Dispensing Optician program has been organized to ensure graduates gain skills in key areas valued within the field. Through theory and lab courses, students gain a comprehensive education in the areas of eyeglass dispensing, contact lens fitting and automated refraction. Emphasis is placed on interpersonal communication, customer service and professional practice. This program prepares students to successfully complete the national licensing exam.

Stenberg’s Dispensing Optician program provides instructor-led guided online learning in a highly supported environment. Stenberg’s combined delivery format allows you to pursue your education in your home community.

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 graduation or mature student status
  • Provide proof of English 10 or higher, or take the Reading Comprehension test Level C. A Stenberg College English Assessment is available
  • Any Math 11 with a grade of “C-” or higher (or equivalent); or completion of the Stenberg College Math Assessment
  • Any Science Grade 11 or 12 with a grade of C or higher (preferred)
  • Two years of retail or customer service experience with the same employer or a minimum six months of customer service experience with a reference letter from an employer
  • Passing Verbal Test of English if English is a second language
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance interview
  • Admissions Essay
  • Completion of Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act

Prior to Program Admission, Program Advisors will outline practice education requirements for the program. Upon enrollment, students will be informed of next steps and timelines. Non-compliance with Practice Education requirements could result in program dismissal. Requirements for practice education placements include:

  • Acceptable Criminal Record Search under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Proof of Immunity Status as required by industry

Financing Your Education

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

Student Stories

Read stories from our students and grads about their experience with the Dispensing Optician program at Stenberg.

Anthony Generoso

Anthony Generoso happened to be a late addition to the Dispensing Optician family, starting the 55-week program two weeks late in November after a customer [and Licensed Optician] recommended Stenberg’s program to him. “I was at work, cutting some custom blinds, and while I was reading my measurements this customer noticed I was squinting and having trouble reading them. He asked if he could see my glasses and just from glancing at them he could tell that my prescription was out of date and that the scratches on the lenses were interfering with my vision. I asked how he knew that and he explained that he was an optician and that it was his job to help people see better. We got to talking about the career and the industry and he recommended that I check out Stenberg. Although the program had already commenced, I was confident that I would be able to catch up, so I went ahead and enrolled.”

Anthony describes the first few weeks of the Dispensing Optician program as “intense”, as he worked to familiarize himself with Stenberg’s online learning platform, and immersed himself in the course content. “In the beginning, you’re learning about anatomy and physiology, and all the different scientific terms which wasn’t something I had much experience with at all, but right away I felt a sense of support from my classmates and from my instructors; I knew that I could manage it.”

Managing may be an understatement; Anthony graduated as one of the top students in the Dispensing Optician program. With high marks and prior experience in customer service, Anthony was hired directly after his practicum at an optical store, and hopes to own his own business someday. He is currently preparing to write his registration examination in June.

“I have experience working with people, I have strong sales skills, and most importantly, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others. I feel like as a Licensed Optician, I have the opportunity to have a much bigger impact on the lives of others.”

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