Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

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 28,760 ophthalmic laboratory technicians working in the United States.


Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Contact Lens Blockers, Contact Lens Cutters, Contact Lens Lathe Operators, Eyeglass-Lens Cutters, Glass Cutters, Hand Grinders, Layout Technicians, Lens Finishers, Lens Grinders, Lens Mounters, Multifocal-Lens Assemblers, Ophthalmic Finishers, Ophthalmic Surfacers, Precision-Lens Centerers and Edgers, Precision-Lens Generators, Precision-Lens Polishers, Sizers
Duties Cut, grind, edge, and finish prescription eyeglass lenses or use computerized technology to do so; assemble the lens and frames into finished glasses; inspect lenses for flaws
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Apprenticeship
School Subjects
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Apprenticeship; postsecondary training
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Skills
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Owner, Ophthalmic Laboratory or Opticianry Shop
  • Dispensing Optician
  • Manager of Ophthalmic Technicians
  • Ophthalmic Technician
  • Ophthalmic Assistant

Career Update Newsletter

Tips and tools to help you manage your ideal career.