Fact Sheet - Optometrist

Regulated profession (NOC 2021)
Regulatory bodyManitoba Association of Optometrists (MAO)
Regulated titles
  • Optometrist
National bodiesThe Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC) is the national voice of optometric regulatory bodies across Canada. It oversees the credential assessment process for internationally educated applicants who are seeking to apply for registration to practice optometry in any province or territory (except Quebec).
Membership associationsMembership in the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) is automatic upon registration with an optometric regulatory body in Canada.
Registration processSee MAO - Internationally Educated Optometrists.
Credential assessmentSee the following pages:
Language proficiencySee FORAC - Applying in English (Step 3: Confirmation of English proficiency test).
Bridging/gap programsThe University of Waterloo offers the Advanced Standing Optometry Preparatory Program.
Professional competency profilesSee Canadian Examiners in Optometry (CEO) - National Competency Profile for Entry-Level Optometry.
Essential skills profileGo to Job Bank - Explore careers by essential skills, search for the occupation via name or NOC code, and view the essential skills profile.
Employment outlookGo to Job Bank - Explore job outlooks, search the occupation name or NOC code, and view employment outlook by provinces and regions across Canada.
Job search toolsSee MAO - Optomart Classifieds.

To search job postings in any occupation, visit Job Bank or Work in Manitoba.
Related occupations/alternate careers (NOC 2021)Below are examples of occupations in the broader field of optical health and services:

  • 32109 – Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
  • 33109 – Other assisting occupations in support of health 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.
Last updated December 2022.


  1. This fact sheet serves as a guide and will be updated periodically. When researching information on professional registration processes, always refer to the regulator to ensure accurate, up-to-date information.
  2. The Government of Canada updates the National Occupational Classification (NOC) every five years. At present, users can access four versions of NOC (2021, 2016, 2011, and 2006) on the NOC website. When searching an occupation on the NOC website, always use the most recent version (NOC 2021).
  3. The regulatory body is the only organization that can grant entry into a regulated occupation via registration and the issuing of a licence or certificate. Other organizations (e.g., national bodies, regional bodies, membership associations, etc.) are not regulatory bodies.