What Does An Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians 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.

Salary
$36640
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians 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.

  • Mount and secure lens blanks or optical lenses in holding tools or chucks of cutting, polishing, grinding, or coating machines.
  • Inspect lens blanks to detect flaws, verify smoothness of surface, and ensure the thickness of the coating on lenses.
  • Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
  • Inspect, weigh, and measure mounted or unmounted lenses after completion to verify alignment and conformance to specifications, using precision instruments.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians clean-finished lenses and eyeglasses, using cloths and solvents. They mount, secure, and align finished lenses in frames or optical assemblies, using precision hand tools.

A typical day for an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician will also include:

  • Examine prescriptions, work orders, or broken or used eyeglasses to determine specifications for lenses, contact lenses, or other optical elements.
  • Inspect lens blanks to detect flaws, verify smoothness of surface, and ensure the thickness of the coating on lenses.
  • Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
  • Adjust lenses and frames to correct alignment.
  • Inspect, weigh, and measure mounted or unmounted lenses after completion to verify alignment and conformance to specifications, using precision instruments.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians also control equipment that coats lenses to alter their reflective qualities. They may also repair broken parts, using precision hand tools and soldering irons.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians immerse eyeglass frames in solutions to harden, soften, or dye frames. They might also select lens blanks, molds, tools, and polishing or grinding wheels, according to production specifications.

In addition, they layout lenses and trace lens outline on glass, using templates.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them shape lenses appropriately so that they can be inserted into frames.

To some Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians, it is also their responsibility to set dials and start machines to polish lenses or hold lenses against rotating wheels to polish them manually.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

High

53% said they were satisfied with their job and 63% said they found their job meaningful.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Demand for this career is growing fast.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

How much do they make

Average salary

$36640 per year

Average hourly wage

$18 per hour

Entry-level Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $24,120 to $28,290 per year or $12 to $14 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $51,630 $25
Senior (Top 25%) $41,810 $20
Median $34,440 $17
Junior (Bottom 25%) $28,290 $14
No experience (Bottom 10%) $24,120 $12

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Outpatient Care Centers $51980 $24.99
Federal Executive Branch $50030 $24.05
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing $44020 $21.16
Offices of Physicians $40370 $19.41
Employment Services $36620 $17.61
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing $36110 $17.36
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $34720 $16.69
Health and Personal Care Stores $34670 $16.67
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $34470 $16.57

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing 8660 $36110 $17.36
Health and Personal Care Stores 6100 $34670 $16.67
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 4060 $34720 $16.69
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 2420 $34470 $16.57
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing 2190 $44020 $21.16
Offices of Physicians 1840 $40370 $19.41
Outpatient Care Centers 250 $51980 $24.99
Employment Services 140 $36620 $17.61
Federal Executive Branch 110 $50030 $24.05

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
24%

40 hours
62%

More than 40 hours
14%

Working schedule

82%

15%

3%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
1%

Every day
41%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
3%

Every day
57%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
10%

Every day
64%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
72%

Once a year
14%

Once a month
14%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
19%

Slightly competitive
24%

Moderately competitive
32%

Highly competitive
24%

Extremely competitive
1%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
1%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
99%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
83%

Once a year or more
9%

Once a month or more
1%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
7%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
99%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
100%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
5%

High School Diploma or equivalent
56%

Post-Secondary Certificate
9%

Some College Courses
15%

Associate’s Degree or similar
7%

Bachelor’s Degree
4%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
4%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
1%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technology

A program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of ophthalmologists and optometrists, to cut, grind, edge, and finish corrective lenses and to fabricate eyewear. Includes instruction in optical theory, applied mathematics, lens surfacing and finishing, tinting and coating, impact resistance treatment and testing, frame construction and repair, prescription interpretation, equipment operation and maintenance, follow-up adjustment, record-keeping, and laboratory safety procedures.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
23%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
18%

6 months to 1 year
26%

1 to 2 years
27%

2 to 4 years
4%

4 to 6 years
2%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
0%

1 month
21%

1 to 3 months
28%

3 to 6 months
14%

6 months to 1 year
31%

1 to 2 years
2%

2 to 4 years
4%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
100%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
33%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
14%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
29%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
52%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
43%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
45%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
38%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
48%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
62%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
48%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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