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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

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What Do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Do?

Job Description & Duties Cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements. Assemble and mount lenses into frames or process other optical elements. Includes precision lens polishers or grinders, centerer-edgers, and lens mounters.

A Day in the Life of an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

  • Examine prescriptions, work orders, or broken or used eyeglasses to determine specifications for lenses, contact lenses, or other optical elements.
  • Control equipment that coats lenses to alter their reflective qualities.
  • Set dials and start machines to polish lenses or hold lenses against rotating wheels to polish them manually.
  • Mount, secure, and align finished lenses in frames or optical assemblies, using precision hand tools.
  • Lay out lenses and trace lens outlines on glass, using templates.
  • Immerse eyeglass frames in solutions to harden, soften, or dye frames.

Skills Needed to be an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

When polled, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Job Titles

  • Optical Lab Technician (Optical Laboratory Technician)
  • Hand Glass Cutter
  • Cylinder Worker
  • Precision Lens Polisher
  • Artificial Glass Eye Maker

Job Opportunities for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 29,100 jobs in the United States for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,400 new jobs for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician by 2026. The BLS estimates 3,700 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician are Utah, North Dakota, and Kentucky. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Massachusetts, or South Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians ranges between about $22,360 and $50,200 a year.

Salary Ranges for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians who work in New Hampshire, Maryland, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $29,230
Arizona $34,010
Arkansas $29,770
California $36,400
Colorado $42,060
Connecticut $37,240
Florida $32,490
Georgia $31,240
Illinois $38,860
Indiana $35,880
Iowa $34,370
Kansas $30,430
Kentucky $27,630
Louisiana $26,240
Maine $33,640
Maryland $44,310
Massachusetts $36,810
Michigan $34,300
Minnesota $34,370
Mississippi $32,550
Missouri $33,120
Montana $32,090
Nebraska $32,550
Nevada $29,690
New Hampshire $45,730
New Jersey $35,000
New Mexico $33,570
New York $36,040
North Carolina $29,870
North Dakota $33,940
Ohio $34,680
Oklahoma $33,550
Oregon $37,100
Pennsylvania $33,130
Rhode Island $36,710
South Carolina $33,300
South Dakota $32,180
Tennessee $34,240
Texas $31,050
Utah $28,570
Vermont $42,780
Virginia $33,210
Washington $38,660
West Virginia $35,270
Wisconsin $31,340

What Tools & Technology do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Electronic medical record EMR software

Becoming an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

What education is needed to be an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Work Experience

Where Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Are Employed

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Sectors

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians work in the following industries:

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Industries

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Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla via U.S. Air Force photo

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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