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Dispensing Opticianry

Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Dispensing Optician
Credits: 63.0
Length: Two years
Campuses: Coquitlam
Credential: Diploma
Admission Type: Limited enrolment
Learning Format: Full-time
Offered: Fall
program overview

Get a career that combines health care, technology and fashion.

With the Dispensing Optician program, you’ll study ocular anatomy and learn how to fit people with eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as advise them on frame styles, product care and more. In your second year, you’ll gain experience dispensing contact lenses and eyeglasses, as well as conduct automated sight-testing with a licensed eye-care professional.

Graduate with the hands-on technical skills, and the communications and customer-service experience, you need to work for a major optical company or to start your own business. The Dispensing Optician program qualifies you to write the national licensing exams to become a licensed optician.

Flexible schedule

The Dispensing Optician program is compressed to three days a week, so you’ll have more time to study or work. With this schedule, many of our students are hired part-time in the industry in their first or second semester and can work full-time over the summer break.

Second-year entry

If you are already a licensed optician and want to gain your contact-lens-fitting qualifications, you may be eligible for direct entry into the second year of our program.

High employment rate

Close to 100 percent of our grads are working in their field. With 5,700 job openings projected over the next 10 years across Canada, you’ll be joining an ever-growing field.

Further your education

If you want to continue your studies, our diploma transfers to the Bachelor of General Studies or Bachelor of Health Science at Thompson Rivers University.

curriculum framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 63 credits
  • 25% (16 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Minimum Grade: “C” in all courses except Mastery graded courses.

Course Requirements:

Course Number Course Title Credits

Semester I

DOPT 1100

Dispensing Optician Theory I


DOPT 1112

Dispensing Optician Lab Skills I


CMNS 1216

Interpersonal Skills for the Workplace


Semester I credits


Semester II

DOPT 1200

Dispensing Optician Theory II


DOPT 1210

Dispensing Optician Clinical Practice II


DOPT 1212

Dispensing Optician Lab Skills II


Semester II Credits


Semester III

DOPT 1310

Dispensing Optician Eyeglass Preceptorship


Semester III credits


Semester IV

DOPT 2101

Theory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies I


DOPT 2113

Laboratory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies I


Semester IV credits



Semester V

DOPT 2201

Theory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies II


DOPT 2211

Clinical in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies II


DOPT 2213

Laboratory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies II


Semester V credits


Semester VI 

DOPT 2311

Clinical in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies III


Semester VI credits



Total Program Credits


career transfer pathways
With an employment rate of close to 100 percent, Douglas College's Dispensing Optician Program has a strong track record with the optical industry. Graduates can work for independent opticians, large companies, optometrists, ophthalmologists, or become self-employed.      

Demand is strong for contact lens fitters. Students who continue to the second year to learn this skill will have enhanced employment options.

To work as a Dispensing Optician or a contact lens fitter in this province, you must complete a training program approved by the College of Opticians of B.C., and then pass their registration exam. Douglas College students have a high pass rate on the College of Opticians exam.
admission requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed below:

  • General College Admission Requirements
  • High School Graduation or equivalent *
  • Any Math 11 with a grade of "C-" or better (or equivalent)
  • A completed and signed Optical Tour Form
  • Applicants may be required to attend a personal interview that will be used for the purposes of providing information and academic counselling. Direct entry into second year of the program is available for those individuals already employed within the optical field as an Optician - Eyeglass Dispenser and desiring educational qualifications in the fitting of contact lenses
  • Criminal Record Check - This program requires students to train in an environment that demands individuals to provide proof of a satisfactorily completed, current CRS for the protection of the clients. To meet this requirement, prospective students must submit to a current CRC as a condition of entry to the program. All costs related to the completion of this search are the responsibility of the individual student.

* Successful completion of two three-credit university transfer courses may be substituted for high school graduation

program cost

You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

curriculum guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

tuition deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required. 

upcoming info sessions
Tuesday 5:00 PM July 21, 2020 Online room: #DOPT register»
Crafting their career Sara Moshurchak DOPT grads forge customized eyewear business with a difference. Read more