National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Version 1.0


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31111 - Optometrists

Optometrists examine eyes to assess and diagnose ocular diseases and disorders. They prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses and recommend treatments such as exercises to correct vision problems or ocular disorders. They work in private practice, hospitals, clinics, community health centres, rehabilitation centres, the optical industry, government and universities.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • doctor of optometry (OD)
    • optometrist

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • Ocularist (See 32129 Other medical technologists and technicians)
    • Ophthalmologist (See 31101 Specialists in surgery)
    • Opticians (See 32100 Opticians)
    • Optometric technician (See 33109 Other assisting occupations in support of health services)
    • Optometrist assistant (See 33109 Other assisting occupations in support of health services)
    • Orthoptist (See 31303 Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals)
    • Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating (See 31209 Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating)
  • Main duties

    This group performs some or all of the following duties:

    • Examine patients' eyes, conduct tests and use ophthalmoscopes, biomicroscopes and other specialized instruments to determine ocular health and visual efficiency
    • Prescribe and provide treatment (excluding surgery) to maintain, improve and correct vision and manage other ocular diseases and disorders
    • Prescribe, dispense and fit eyeglasses, contact lenses and other visual aids
    • Educate, counsel and advise patients on contact lens use and care, ocular hygiene, surgical and non-surgical options, and preventive care and maintenance related to occupation and lifestyle
    • Refer patients to ophthalmologists or other physicians and surgeons for treatment of ocular diseases or conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration and systemic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure
    • Collaborate with ophthalmologists and other healthcare professionals to provide pre- and post-operative care for patients undergoing eye surgeries such as laser vision correction
    • May prescribe from a limited list of medications
    • Conduct research and promote advancement in the visual sciences.

    Optometrists may specialize in fitting visual aids for people who are partially blind, fitting contact lenses or correcting special vision problems.

  • Employment requirements

    • Three years of university undergraduate studies or, in Quebec, completion of a college program in sciences and a four- to five-year university program in optometry are required.
    • Licensing by the provincial or territorial regulatory governing body is required.
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