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

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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.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
3%

Limited freedom
23%

Some freedom
46%

A lot of freedom
28%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
10%

Limited freedom
9%

Some freedom
19%

A lot of freedom
62%


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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 range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $25 $51,630
Senior (Top 25%) $20 $41,810
Middle (Mid 50%) $17 $34,440
Junior (Bottom 25%) $14 $28,290
No experience (Bottom 10%) $12 $24,120

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%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
32%

Very important
30%

Extremely important
38%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
37%

Fairly important
0%

Important
8%

Very important
4%

Extremely important
51%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
23%

Fairly important
3%

Important
26%

Very important
25%

Extremely important
23%

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%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
20%

Once a year
29%

Once a month
9%

Once a week
35%

Every day
7%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
10%

Once a year
10%

Once a month
4%

Once a week
73%

Every day
3%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
73%

Once a year
24%

Once a month
3%

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%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
10%

Important
17%

Very Important
22%

Extremely Important
51%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
7%

Minor impact
19%

Moderate impact
12%

Important impact
35%

Very important impact
27%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
16%

Once a year
10%

Once a month
15%

Once a week
5%

Every day
55%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
19%

Limited responsibility
36%

Moderate responsibility
22%

High responsibility
4%

Very high responsibility
19%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
25%

Limited responsibility
22%

Moderate responsibility
7%

High responsibility
19%

Very high responsibility
28%

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 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 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.

100%

33%

14%

14%

29%

52%

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.

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FAQ


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