Who is the licensing body responsible for Opticians in Alberta?

In Alberta, you must be registered with the College of Opticians of Alberta (COA) to practice as an Optician. Only registered members may call themselves Registered Opticians, Registered Contact Lens Practitioners, or Provisional Opticians.

What are the registration requirements for internationally educated Opticians?

Internationally educated Opticians must 

1. Apply to the COA with the appropriate documentation. You will be required to demonstrate that your training and experience are substantially equivalent to training from an accredited Canadian Optician program. Documents that must accompany your application include 
    • Resume of work experience 
    • Transcripts of formal education 
    • Letters of personal reference 
    • Letters of professional competence 
    • Letters of good standing 

2. Complete the on-line Competency Gap Analysis, which includes a competency exam and an interview. 

3. Upon completion of the Registration Committee’s assessment, complete any requirements assigned by the committee. This would include completing specific courses at NAIT. 

5. Register with the COA with the appropriate documents and fees For complete registration requirements, visit the Non-Accredited Education Candidates page on the College of Opticians of Alberta website.

What are the educational requirements for Opticians in Alberta?

Note: Licensing bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards. 

In Alberta, opticians must have a combination of internship (practicum) experience and technical courses. 

In Alberta, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton offers a two-year independent study Optical Sciences - Eyeglasses diploma program.

What are the accepted English language proficiency tests and where can I be tested?

There are no formal English requirements for Opticians; however, Opticians must have a high level of English in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening in order to be successful in the profession. COA will assess an applicant’s ability to communicate in English as part of the interview and competency exam. To learn more about where to take an English language proficiency test in Alberta, visit English Language Proficiency Tests and Locations.

What supports are available to support internationally educated health professionals to integrate into the Canadian labour force?

Directions for Immigrants, Clear Communication for Health Professionals 

Developed for health care professionals, Clear Communication for Health Professionals is a facilitated study group that focuses on the essence of effective communication in a health care setting. Participants will learn more about Canadian workplace culture, developing effective listening skills and other techniques designed to help you succeed in the workplace. Please visit the Job Success Groups tab on the Study Groups page.

What information resources are available for Opticians in Alberta?

College of Opticians of Alberta

Additional Occupational Information 

For more information on occupations, duties and wages, visit