Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians


Overview

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Introduction

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians make prescription eyeglass lenses. Also known as manufacturing opticians, optical goods workers, or optical mechanics, they cut, grind, edge, and finish lenses according to instructions provided by dispensing opticians, optometrists, or ophthalmologists. Though some lenses still are produced by hand, technicians increasingly use computerized technology to manufacture lenses. There are approximately 29,400 ophthalmic laboratory technicians working in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$37,370

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

Some Postsecondary Training


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Experience

Apprenticeship


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Skills

Math


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Personality Traits

Hands On

Earnings

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in May 2019 the median annual wage for ophthalmic laboratory technicians was $37,370. The lowest paid 10 percent earned $24,250 a year, and the highest paid 10 percent earned $62,110 a year).

Some ophthalmic workers are members of unions, and their wages and benefits are determined by negotiation. Those who start their own businesses have earnin...

Work Environment

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians usually work in well-lighted, well-ventilated surroundings. However, they usually work with noisy machinery. In addition, some of the equipment used for coating, dyeing, and some other processes generates noxious fumes. Safety measures, including wearing goggles and using exhaust hoods to lessen fumes, have reduced many of the hazards encountered in ophthalmic ...

Outlook

Employment for ophthalmic laboratory technicians is expected to grow by 11 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, much faster than the average for all occupations. Rising demand for corrective lenses and faster service in delivering finished eyeglasses will fuel employment growth. In addition, overall population growth and especially the growth in the elderly segment (...

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