Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians, sometimes referred to as optical mechanics, are responsible for making prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. Read on to learn more about entry-level requirements for ophthalmic laboratory technicians, as well as how much they earn in the field.

Is Ophthalmic Technology For Me?

Career Overview

Unlike many other workers in the eye care industry, ophthalmic laboratory technicians do not treat eye conditions or write prescriptions. In fact, workers in this field actually spend very little time, if any, with patients. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians fill prescriptions written by doctors, then cut, tint and polish each lens to fit the proper specifications. As an ophthalmic laboratory technician, you'll spend most of your work day manufacturing lenses for eyeglasses, contacts and other instruments, such as binoculars or microscopes.

Although some technicians still create lenses by hand, most of them work with automatic machinery. Some ophthalmic lab technicians who gain enough experience go on to become laboratory supervisors or managers.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed ophthalmic lab technicians was expected to grow by 12% nationwide from 2012-2022, which is about average compared to all career fields. Job growth during this time is attributed to an increasing population of middle-aged adults who will need eyeglasses and vision care as they get older. As of May 2013, the mean annual salary for an ophthalmic laboratory technician was $30,450 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Become an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?

Education

Many aspiring technicians are able to find work after earning a high school diploma and completing an on-the-job training program. However, a few schools offer ophthalmic laboratory technician certificate programs, which may give you an advantage over other job candidates. In a certificate program, you may study eye anatomy, ophthalmic dispensing, contact lenses and vision care. In addition to classroom-based courses, you'll complete hands-on training sessions that teach you how to polish lenses, assemble frames for eyeglasses and operate specialized machines.

Related Articles for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

View More Articles

Related Videos

  • How Do I Become an Optical Technician? - Video

    Optical Technicians, or ophthalmic technicians as they are sometimes known, help ophthalmologists and other medical physicians provide eye care to patients. Learn more about the necessary education, training and certification to become an Optical Technician.
  • What is Histotechnology? - Video

    Sometimes known as medical laboratory science or medical laboratory technology, Histotechnology is a sub-specialty within the field of biomedical science. Students who study Histotechnology typically find work in hospitals or clinical pathology labs. Learn more about Histotechnology here.
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of the Southwest

    University of the Southwest responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of the Southwest:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • College of Health Care Professions

    College of Health Care Professions responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at College of Health Care Professions:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio
  • Altierus

    Altierus responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Altierus:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Tampa
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »