Optical Laboratory Technician

What does an Optical Laboratory Technician do?

The emergence of eyewear as a fashion item, with an assortment of shapes and colors, has been enticing many people to purchase two or three pair of glasses rather than just one. Most new jobs for optical laboratory technicians will be in retail optical chains that manufacture prescription glasses on the premises and provide fast service.

What might an Optical Laboratory Technician do in a workday?

Optical laboratory technicians (optical mechanics) set up and operate machines to cut, grind and polish lenses according to prescriptions. Most optical laboratory technicians work in optical laboratories under the direction of lab supervisors. Others work for dispensing opticians, ophthalmologists or optometrists.

Optical laboratory technicians:

  • read lens and frame specifications from prescriptions, select proper lens blanks and mark them, using lens measuring equipment.
  • grind and polish lens blanks to specified curvatures and thickness, mount lenses in metal, plastic or rimless frames, and ensure they meet specifications.
  • modify lenses as needed.
  • examine broken lenses to identify original prescriptions.

Developing a Career as an Optical Laboratory Technician

In large laboratories, optical laboratory technicians may specialize in one phase or operation. In small labs, they may work in all areas, using lathes, drills, grinders and precision measuring instruments.

How much salary do Optical Laboratory Technicians make?

Average Salary Range
$15,000-$22,000

How do I become an Optical Laboratory Technician?

Students who wish to pursue a career as an optical laboratory technician should take challenging high school courses in science, math and English. Following high school graduation (or GED), students receive six months to one year of training in an optical laboratory or in a vocational program or college.

Where else can I learn about becoming an Optical Laboratory Technician?

Professional Associations:

National Academy of Opticianry
8401 Corporate Drive
Suite 605
Landover, MD 20785
(800) 229-4828
www.nao.org

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