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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians
Quick Facts : Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians*
2010 Median Pay$27,970
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201229,800
Job Outlook13% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change3,800

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians make prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. They are also commonly known as manufacturing opticians, optical mechanics, or optical goods workers. Even though they make some lenses by hand, ophthalmic laboratory technicians often use automated equipment. Some manufacture lenses for other optical instruments, such as telescopes and binoculars.

What Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Do

  • Cut lenses to the appropriate prescription that they get from ophthalmologists, dispensing opticians, or optometrists
  • Shape lenses so that they fit into frames
  • Dip lenses into dyes or coatings if the prescription requires the lenses to be tinted
  • Assemble lenses and frames together to create prescription glasses
  • Inspect the final product for quality and accuracy

Work Environment

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians work in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing laboratories, health and personal care stores, and offices of ophthalmologists and optometrists. They often have limited contact with the public.
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Job Outlook

Employment is expected to grow by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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In May 2010 the average salary of ophthalmic laboratory technicians was $27,970.
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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians*
Percent Change in Employment

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Most ophthalmic laboratory technicians learn through on-the-job training. They usually begin by marking or blocking lenses for grinding in a laboratory and learn more advanced skills such as grinding, cutting, and edging lenses as they gain experience. The length of the training varies from one laboratory to another.
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