When we were younger, becoming a doctor or an astronaut may have seemed like an easy thing to do. But as we got older, we realized that there were other factors out of our control that could limit our dreams. While many careers require mental capabilities, some jobs require our physical abilities, like perfect vision. While perfect vision isn’t necessary for every profession or craft, when it comes those that require you to have people’s lives in your hands, there’s no exceptions.

Before you look further into these jobs, it’s important to know the difference between your eyesight and your vision. Allaboutvision.com describes eyesight as having the ability to ‘see’ or ‘view’ and is initially tested by identifying numbers and letters from a chart. Good vision is the ability to aim, track moving objects, focus, depth perception and speed and accuracy. Here’s four career choices that require precise or perfect vision:


Law Enforcement

The application process for a career in policing is an extremely competitive process. Mypolice.ca states that police agencies are looking to hire the best available candidates and to ensure they have the best, they require all recruits to be physically and mentally fit. To work in law enforcement in Winnipeg, police officers need to have excellent vision. Here are the standards defined by the City of Winnipeg that you must meet in order to even apply:

Uncorrected Vision:

  • 20/20 Vision both eyes

Corrective Lenses Needed:

  • With corrective lenses at least 20/20 with both eyes
  • Without corrective lenses at least 20/40 both eyes with one eye no worse than 20/80

Colour Vision:

  • Colour vision should be normal

Peripheral Vision:

  • 150 continuous degrees along the horizontal meridian and 20 degrees above and below the fixation point with both eyes

Corrective Surgery:

  • No significant difficulty with glare or night vision
  • No significant diurnal instability in visual testing or function

The City of Winnipeg’s website also notes that for applicants who have had corrective surgery, additional medical information and a minimum waiting period of six months’ post-op is required. Although the application process is highly competitive, there are ways to properly correct your vision that will help you achieve your goal of working in law enforcement!


Dentist & Dental Assistants

To work in the dental industry, you must have a good eye for detail, great eyesight and coloured vision (no colour blindness). Medipathways.com says that as a dentist or dental assistant you’ll be treating people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, and you’ll need to be able to make them feel at ease and confident in your skills. If you choose to become a dentist or hygienist, it’s not a career where mistakes can be tolerated.

Dentists wear Loupes, which are magnifying glasses that enlarge everything in a patient’s mouth. When becoming a dentist, the first reason you’ll need to wear these are to improve your vision because everything in the field of view will be much bigger. Many dentists also wear them to help them avoid slouching and ruining their posture. Wearing Loupes would give you the chance to see closer without bending over a patient and getting into their personal space!

There’s an element of creativity, judgement and aesthetics that are required when crafting a patient’s tooth. You’ll need to be able to see the shapes you are carving into the natural teeth and with an enlarged view of the work area, you’ll be able to give your patient a better diagnosis and technique.


Commercial Airline Pilot 

Pilots have a lot responsibility to ensure that thousands of people arrive to their destination safely each day. Their jobs rely on them to have excellent health, vision and the ability to deal with stress quickly. Like many of the other jobs on this list, Air Time Canada explains that first you’ll need to pass regular medical exams in order to hold a license.

Although the Pilot Medical Exam focuses more on the things that can suddenly disable their functions like heart attacks, strokes and seizures, detecting potential blindness and colour blindness can be a major cause of reason for failure failing for prospective pilots. Air Time Canada explains that a pilot’s vision is corrected with either with glasses, contacts or Laser Eye Surgery, they should be eligible. It’s important to note that Commercial pilots can wear contact lenses, but because of the low relative humidity in a cockpit, the lenses prescribed cannot be high in water content.

Although glasses or contacts may seem like the answers to your problems, it’s important to remember that it isn’t a long term solution. Long flights, extreme weather conditions, lack of sleep, stress, cabin pressure and environmental controls all affect your vision. More permanent solutions like laser eye surgery are not only advantageous in the training and licensing stages, but are invaluable over your life in that role.



If you are thinking about becoming a firefighter, you need to think about the conditions you will face that are uncontrollable. Firefighters face extreme conditions like heavy smoke, extreme heat and darkness making it necessary to be able to judge distances accurately and track fast moving objects. You’ll also need to have the ability to see clearly and focus on their surroundings in case there is falling objects.

City of Winnipeg’s website states that all firefighter applicants must be in ‘peak mental and physical’ condition. They also require a physician conducted medical checkup on applicant’s vision and hearing. As an applicant you’ll need to meet the following strict vision standards:

  • Far visual acuity no less than 20/40 binocular, correct with contact lenses or spectacles
  • Uncorrected, far visual acuity not less than 20/100 binocular for wearers of hard contacts or spectacles
  • Colour perception sufficient to use imaging devices

It’s important to start thinking about your future as early as possible. Don’t let bad vision get in the way of you completing your dreams, visit Image Plus today for your complimentary personal assessment with one of our vision care specialists. We’ll test your eyesight thoroughly and work with you to help you meet your goals and pursue your dreams without boundaries!