Fact Sheet – Optometrist

Last updated: December 2019

Regulated profession:

  • Optometrist
NOC 2016¹ Occupation
3121 Optometrist


Regulated title:

  • Optometrist

National body:

  • Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC) is the national organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the profession. Through its Credentialing Office, FORAC oversees the application and credential assessment process for IEOs seeking registration to practice optometry in any Canadian province or territory (except QC). FORAC is not a regulatory body.

Credential assessment:

  • See MAO page for Internationally Educated Optometrists; Scroll to Step 1: Credential Assessment
  • See FORAC Pathway to Registration; Scroll to Step 3: Obtain a World Education Services (WES-ICAP) credential evaluation report. FORAC refers IEOs to World Education Services (WES)for purposes of degree verification and course-by- course assessment. WES is a member of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC). WES is not a regulatory body.
  • See FORAC Pathway to Registration; Scroll to Step 5: Complete the application for credential assessment

Language proficiency:

Bridge/gap program:

Professional competency profiles:

National examining body:


Membership associations:

Employment outlook:

  • Open Explore careers by outlook
  • Enter occupation name or NOC code in window; click “Search”
  • Scroll down to view employment outlook by provinces and regions across Canada.

Job search tools:

To search job postings in any occupation visit:

  • Government of Canada – Job Bank – Job Search
  • Government of Canada – Job Bank – Job Match

Related occupations / alternate careers:

There are many reasons an internationally-educated optometrist may be interested in working in a related occupation.  Related occupations provide an individual with the opportunity to:

  • apply his/her skills and experience in a different (but related) occupation;
  • gain meaningful, interim employment while pursuing professional certification;
  • gain meaningful, alternative employment (as a stepping stone or career goal) if he/she chooses not to pursue professional certification or if he/she is not eligible to pursue professional certification.

Listed below are examples of occupations in the broader field of optical health and services.  While each occupation will have its own set of employment requirements, none are regulated occupations in Manitoba and therefore do not have certification / registration requirements with a professional regulatory body.  Employers often, however, require applicants to have job-specific experience, training, and/or certification.  Always check the hiring criteria carefully.  Hiring criteria is set by the employer and will vary from employer to employer.

NOC 2016¹ Occupation
3237 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment (incl. ophthalmic assistant/technician)
3414 Other assisting occupations in support of health services (incl. ophthalmic laboratory technician – retail, ophthalmic lens grinder, optical laboratory assistant, and optometrist assistant)

Note: This Fact Sheet was developed by Manitoba Education and Training, Immigration and Economic Opportunities Division.  It serves as a guide and will be updated periodically. When researching information on professional registration policies and procedures, always refer to the regulator to ensure accurate, up-to-date information.

1 The Government of Canada updates the National Occupational Classification (NOC) every five years. At present, users can access three versions of NOC (2016, 2011, and 2006) on the NOC website. With each update, some NOC codes will change but the majority will stay the same. When searching an occupation on the NOC website always use the most recent version (NOC 2016). The Government of Canada also operates Job Bank using NOC codes. Job Bank, however, currently operates on NOC 2011. When navigating on Job Bank, always use 2011 NOC codes.