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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians picture    Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians image

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians also known as optical mechanics, manufacturing opticians and optical goods workers make prescription eyeglass lenses and contact lenses based on an ophthalmologist's or an optometrist's prescription. Some ophthalmic laboratory techs make precision lenses for microscopes, telescopes, cameras and military equipment.

Manufacturing opticians cut, grind, edge and finish lenses. Most Ophthalmic laboratory technicians utilize automated equipment to produce lenses, however some are still made by hand. In large laboratories, practically every stage of the operation is automated and technicians operate computerized equipment. They also inspect the lenses for accuracy and quality. In small laboratories, technicians typically handle all the stages of the operation.

Responsibilities

  • Select the proper blank lens
  • Cut, grind, edge and finish lenses
  • Check the curvature of the lens with a lensometer
  • Fit the lenses to the glasses' frame
  • Fit lenses into optical equipment
  • Adjust lenses and frames in order to correct alignment
  • Assemble eyeglass frames and attach nose pads, shields and temple pieces
  • Inspect lens blanks in order to detect flaws

Job Characteristics

They work in clean, well-ventilated and well-lighted laboratories. Manufacturing opticians have limited public contact. Most of these technicians work 40 hours a week. Laboratory techs should have good manual dexterity and good vision. They should also be detailed oriented.

Employment Outlook

The employment of ophthalmic laboratory technicians has been forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 15 percent during the 2008 to 2018 timeframe which is faster than average for all occupations. Demand for these workers will expand due to the growth of the middle aged and older population. Middle aged is often the time when people need corrective lenses for the first time. However, automated machinery is increasingly being used in the industry which may tone down the demand for employment for ophthalmic laboratory technicians.

The median annual earnings for ophthalmic laboratory technicians in 2008 was $27,210. Experienced optical mechanics can move up to supervisor or management positions.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Employers seek candidates that have a high school diploma and some employers prefer to hire those with formal training. Most ophthalmic laboratory technicians learn their trade on the job. Classes in science, computers, mathematics, drafting, metal shop and wood shop are beneficial.

A small number of ophthalmic laboratory technicians learn their trade from a vocational school. In 2008 there were two programs in ophthalmic technology that had received accreditation from the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation. These programs typically take six months to one year to complete and provide certificates or diplomas.

Resources

Major Employers

The top job providers are medical equipment and supplies manufacturing companies, health and personal care stores, optometrists offices, and professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 120 N/A
Mesa 120 N/A
Phoenix 120 N/A
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 120 $30,750
North Little Rock 120 $30,750
Little Rock 120 $30,750
Jonesboro 30 $22,760
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 780 $30,580
Los Angeles 780 $30,580
Long Beach 780 $30,580
Sacramento 490 $28,630
Arcade 490 $28,630
Roseville 490 $28,630
Arden 490 $28,630
Carlsbad 190 $36,540
San Diego 190 $36,540
Sunnyvale 70 N/A
Santa Clara 70 N/A
San Jose 70 N/A
Hayward N/A $35,490
Oakland N/A $35,490
San Francisco N/A $35,490
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 240 $29,780
Lakewood 240 $29,780
Denver 240 $29,780
Colorado Springs 200 $31,340
Boulder 100 $37,940
Greeley 30 $36,120
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Norwalk 190 $46,310
Stamford 190 $46,310
Bridgeport 190 $46,310
New Haven 60 $38,570
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 740 $26,070
Fort Lauderdale 740 $26,070
Miami 740 $26,070
Clearwater 710 $28,110
St. Petersburg 710 $28,110
Tampa 710 $28,110
Jacksonville 340 $35,460
Kissimmee 240 $28,160
Sanford 240 $28,160
Orlando 240 $28,160
Bradenton 120 $25,190
Sarasota 120 $25,190
North Port 120 $25,190
Winter Haven 90 $27,440
Lakeland 90 $27,440
Tallahassee N/A $19,910
Daytona Beach N/A $25,950
Ormond Beach N/A $25,950
Deltona N/A $25,950
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 650 $29,270
Sandy Springs 650 $29,270
Atlanta 650 $29,270
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 80 $24,090
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City N/A $31,860
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria N/A $28,570
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 120 $36,620
Carmel 120 $36,620
Indianapolis 120 $36,620
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Topeka 40 $28,200
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 270 $30,950
New Orleans 270 $30,950
Alexandria 70 $23,660
Lake Charles 50 $25,590
Shreveport N/A $26,450
Bossier City N/A $26,450
Baton Rouge N/A $31,510
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson N/A $29,910
Columbia N/A $29,910
Baltimore N/A $29,910
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 520 N/A
Warren 520 N/A
Detroit 520 N/A
Wyoming N/A $25,850
Grand Rapids N/A $25,850
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 790 $29,220
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hattiesburg N/A $31,720
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 30 $29,840
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 30 $27,720
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester N/A $24,030
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque N/A $28,090
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 720 $30,520
Syracuse 180 $27,510
Albany 130 $38,810
Troy 130 $38,810
Schenectady 130 $38,810
Rome N/A $34,480
Utica N/A $34,480
Cheektowaga N/A $50,250
Buffalo N/A $50,250
Niagara Falls N/A $50,250
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Asheville 50 $33,330
Salem N/A $20,830
Winston N/A $20,830
High Point N/A $21,340
Greensboro N/A $21,340
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 130 $27,960
Elyria 130 $27,960
Dayton N/A $23,650
Springfield N/A $26,770
Columbus N/A $27,540
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City N/A $26,270
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 50 $25,280
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 410 $31,700
Barre 220 $28,110
Hazleton 220 $28,110
Wilkes 220 $28,110
Scranton 220 $28,110
Lancaster 80 $40,860
Hanover 70 $26,850
York 70 $26,850
Erie N/A $30,510
Harrisburg N/A $37,750
Carlisle N/A $37,750
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas N/A $18,290
Carolina N/A $18,290
San Juan N/A $18,290
Ponce N/A $21,830
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 50 $27,290
Charleston 50 $27,290
Mauldin 40 $28,530
Greenville 40 $28,530
Anderson 40 $28,530
Columbia N/A $29,640
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Johnson City 30 $22,560
Knoxville N/A $27,080
Franklin N/A $29,250
Murfreesboro N/A $29,250
Nashville N/A $29,250
Davidson N/A $29,250
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 1230 $28,620
Fort Worth 1230 $28,620
Dallas 1230 $28,620
New Braunfels 330 $27,640
San Antonio 330 $27,640
Lubbock 70 $22,810
Killeen 50 $22,010
Temple 50 $22,010
Mission N/A $24,180
McAllen N/A $24,180
Edinburg N/A $24,180
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 130 N/A
Orem N/A $28,980
Provo N/A $28,980
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roanoke N/A $33,380
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 210 $32,570
Tacoma 210 $32,570
Seattle 210 $32,570
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 30 $31,560
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 170 $30,760
West Allis 170 $30,760
Milwaukee 170 $30,760
Madison 90 $30,350
Green Bay 70 $30,790
Oshkosh 50 $29,350
Neenah 50 $29,350

Most Popular Industries for :
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Miscellaneous Manufacturing 11,380 34% $25,230
Drug Stores 8,070 24% $25,580
Medical Office 7,860 24% $30,650
Durable Goods Wholesale 2,560 7% $24,870
Machinery 2,100 6% $33,610
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