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Canada’s Optical Job Market

Looking for a job can be intimidating, but we are here to help make the process as easy as possible. The key is to be ready when a job opportunity presents itself. The first thing you’ll want to consider is what job opportunities exist and where those jobs are.

The Government of Canada compiles various statistics to help you find the job that is right for you. These stats include things like aging demographics, optician shortages, and average salaries.

Location

First you’ll want to know where opticians are in high demand.

The Government of Canada Job Bank website gives you a detailed look at the employment outlook for opticians in each province.

Moderate to large numbers of opticians expected to retire indicates they will be leaving openings for new opticians to fill. Moderate to strong employment growth indicates more opportunities are expected to be available in the near future. Low levels of unemployment indicate that most trained opticians have successfully found employment.

Income

The next thing you’ll want to consider is salary.

The Government of Canada Job Bank website also publishes a wage report for opticians organized by province. This report will show you low, median, and high wage expectations for each province and some major cities within the provinces. You can also look at the payscale website to find more graphs and charts about wage statistics for opticians.

When you are investigating the wage reports, it is important to remember that the cost of living also varies between provinces. For more information on the cost of living please visit Statistics Canada.


How to Find a Job

To find the position that is right for you, you should try looking for a job in various ways. You could research companies you have heard of in the industry and check their websites for job postings, or call their offices directly to ask if they are hiring. Some cities and towns also hold job fairs, where you will be able to meet potential employers and discuss job opportunities face to face.

In recent years, most employment opportunities have been advertised through job bank websites or on social media. For more information and links, visit the Job Banks and Opportunities page on this website.


Resumé

Once you find a job you’re interested in, you’ll usually need to apply by sending a cover letter and a resumé. A cover letter is a short description of what makes you right for the job.

Most employers accept these documents online or via email. Your cover letter and resumé should look professional and be tailored to the position you are applying for. They should provide your potential employer with evidence that best demonstrates your knowledge, skills, and good reputation as a professional. You have to put aside any sense of modesty and analyze the positive attributes you would bring to a position.

Need help creating an effective cover letter and resumé? Visit these websites for some guidance:

Live Career

Prepare for Canada


Interview


After you have submitted your cover letter and resumé for consideration, the employer will decide whether or not to invite you for an interview. The interview process gives the employer a chance to meet you face to face, ask questions about you and your experience, and it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about the employer and the position you have applied for.

Remember, it is common for people to send many resumés and cover letters to different employers before being invited for an interview!


Job Offer Process

After the interview process is complete, you can expect to be contacted by the employer with a formal job offer if they have decided that you are right for the position. Depending on the employer, this offer may be made in writing, via email, or over the phone.

You are not obligated to take any position that is offered to you. You may find that you have multiple job offers to choose from, or that a particular employer or position didn’t feel right for you.


Work Conditions

Most opticians work in retail locations. Some own retail dispensaries or small retail chains. Others are employed by large optical retail chains with national and international outlets.
Opticians can also work in clinical settings and may perform specialty skills; for example, contact lens fitting or remote refracting. Opticians can also work in laser clinics, as ophthalmology assistants, or in optometric practices.

No matter which setting you work in, employment standards remain the same. Provincial and federal labour laws set these standards, including minimum salaries and paid vacation, health and safety, work hours, and protected parental leave.

Employment standards also protect employees from employer discrimination based on sex, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender expression.

Each province has a department or ministry responsible for labour. For more information about labour laws and employment standards, refer to the links below.

British Columbia
B.C. Ministry of Labour
Telephone: 1-800-663-7867 or 604-660-2421

Alberta
Alberta Employment and Immigration
Telephone: 310-0000 within Alberta

Manitoba
Manitoba Labour and Immigration
Telephone: 1-866-626-4862

Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration
Telephone: 1-800-667-1783 or 306-787-9478

Ontario
Ontario Ministry of Labour
Telephone: 1-877-202-0008 or 1-800-531-5551

Quebec
Travail Quebec
Telephone: 1-800-265-1414 or 418-643-4817

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Labour and Workforce Development
Telephone: 902-424-5301

New Brunswick
Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Telephone: 506-453-2597

Newfoundland and Labrador
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
Telephone: 1-800-563-6600

Prince Edward Island
P.E.I. Labour and Industrial Relations
Telephone: 1-800-333-4362


 

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