If you want to know how to become an optometrist in Canada, then we at Studyabroadnations are here to guide you in achieving this from the first step to the last. All you need to do is get your mind sound and ready because every step requires paying attention to avoid unnecessary errors.
You see, becoming an optometrist will take a good number of years but the wait is still worth it in the end, especially when you are in Canada. Canada, we all know is one of the most popular places to study medical-related courses of which optometry is one of them, not just one of them, but a very important one. You will agree with me if you have had any issues with your sight.
When at 9 years old, I had issues with my sight, so I was taken to a place where I was told to look at the alphabet and pronounce them from both far and near distances, I didn’t understand what was going on until I was told that the man who asked me to do that is an optometrist running a diagnosis on me to find out what issue I had with seeing. I learned that their job is to take care of any sight problems, so as a child then, I do call them “eye doctors”
In Canada, becoming an optometrist will take a period of about 8-9 years (starting from college). This contains an undergraduate degree, four years of a doctorate degree, and one year of a residency program. During this period you study, do practicals, write exams and many more.
Unlike optometry, some other courses may take 4-5 years to complete and will not cost as much as optometry does. It takes roughly $100k for instate students and even higher for international students to become an optometrist in Canada but it even takes much more effort and dedication to complete your study successfully.
You should know that becoming a healthcare professional with a degree that is specific to eye care is not an easy feat, why? because the eye is a very delicate organ in the body that needs professional care and never to be toyed with once. This is why it takes a long to complete your study in order for you to learn and acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the job. So, get yourself ready for the task ahead.
Now that you have known what studying optometry in Canada looks like, take a look at the steps you need to take in order to become one, but before that, let’s find out who exactly an optometrist is.
Who is an Optometrist?
Optometrists are persons who are trained to become professionals in providing eye and vision care ranging from sight correction to diagnosis and treatment of eye abnormalities and diseases. They conduct eye tests, detect eye defects and prescribe medications & corrective lenses, as well as monitor eye problems that may be caused by diseases.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Become an Optometrist in Canada
As we said earlier, becoming an optometrist in Canada takes a good number of years, money, hard work, and dedication, and there are things you must do to successfully become one. Here we will be giving a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
Step 1: Obtain a Bachelors Degree
The first step to becoming an optometrist in Canada is to complete a Bachelor’s degree program in sciences at any accredited university (could be outside Canada). You may choose a social science degree or a pre-med degree as those with science degrees are more preferred to that of the arts. An overall undergraduate university average of at least 75.0% is required for admission.
Step 2: Pass the Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
OAT is a standardized test that optometry schools use to checkmate or test the knowledge of the potential success of applicants. All applicants are expected to take and pass this multi-choice test in order to be considered eligible for enrolment into an optometry school. This test focuses on four main areas;
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Survey Of Natural Sciences
you may read some optometry books and past questions to broaden your knowledge and increase your chances of passing the OAT test.
Step 3: Register in an Optometry school
Once you pass the OAT, you can now enroll for a professional Doctor of Optometry Degree (OD) study at either Waterloo University, Ontario ( the only English-taught optometry university in Canada) or at the University of Montreal, which is also the only one that provides french-taught optometry programs). Here is a compiled List of English Universities In Montreal, Canada
Now that you are enrolled, the next thing is acquiring optometrist skills.
Acquire the Necessary Skills and Knowledge
This is a very important step in becoming an optometrist. This is the time you, study hard, do practicals as this will help you acquire the needed skills, connect with already professional optometrists and join relative communities, attend seminars, and lots more. This is where you mold yourself into an optometrist.
Pass the NBEO Exams
The National Body of Examinations in Optometry is the last exam you will take after obtaining a Doctor of Optometry Degree. This exam is to certify that you have acquired all that is necessary to work as an optometrist.
Get A License
Once you have finalized the NBEO, the next step is to get licensed, and this takes only a year to be done. You will have to obtain both national and provincial licenses in order to start practicing. You can renew your licenses annually or attend continuing education at gaps.
Now you are all set to work, so the last step is to “find a job”
Apply for Jobs
Once you have obtained your license, you can now apply for jobs. This is where the optometry communities you joined benefit you as you can easily get job updates from there. You can also communicate with some professionals you know about job vacancies. Online job search platforms will greatly help as well. Good luck!
Where to Work as an Optometrist
There are lots of places where optometrists can work in, this ranges from hospitals, Clinics, Optometry Offices, Optical stores, Doctor’s Offices, and more.
Work of Optometrists
Optometrists are known to do several works that relate to the eye medically. This includes
- Diagnosis of eye defects
- Prescription of corrective/aiding lenses
- Treatment of eye diseases and visual distortions
- Perform eye surgeries
- Perform vision tests and analyze results.
As the population ages, the demand for optometrists rises. Optometry is one of the high demanded jobs in many countries like Canada and America. It is also a job that pays well and you can choose where to work, whether for someone or have your own stand-alone optometry office. If you dream of becoming an optometrist, you should go ahead and make it true.