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Career profile Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

Also known as Edger Technician, Finishing Lab Technician, Lab Technician (Laboratory Technician), Lens Grinder and Polisher, Line Operator, Optical Lab Technician (Optical Laboratory Technician), Optical Technician, Polisher, Surfacing Technician

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

Also known as Edger Technician, Finishing Lab Technician, Lab Technician (Laboratory Technician)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$24,120 - $51,630 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Time Management
  • Operations Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Mount and secure lens blanks or optical lenses in holding tools or chucks of cutting, polishing, grinding, or coating machines.
  • Inspect lens blanks to detect flaws, verify smoothness of surface, and ensure thickness of coating on lenses.
  • Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
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What does an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician do?

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements.

In addition, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

  • assemble and mount lenses into frames or process other optical elements,
  • includes precision lens polishers or grinders, centerer-edgers, and lens mounters.

What kind of tasks does an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician perform regularly?

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Mount and secure lens blanks or optical lenses in holding tools or chucks of cutting, polishing, grinding, or coating machines.
  • Inspect lens blanks to detect flaws, verify smoothness of surface, and ensure thickness of coating on lenses.
  • Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
  • Inspect, weigh, and measure mounted or unmounted lenses after completion to verify alignment and conformance to specifications, using precision instruments.
  • Shape lenses appropriately so that they can be inserted into frames.
  • Clean finished lenses and eyeglasses, using cloths and solvents.
  • Mount, secure, and align finished lenses in frames or optical assemblies, using precision hand tools.
  • Examine prescriptions, work orders, or broken or used eyeglasses to determine specifications for lenses, contact lenses, or other optical elements.
  • Adjust lenses and frames to correct alignment.
  • Select lens blanks, molds, tools, and polishing or grinding wheels, according to production specifications.
  • Position and adjust cutting tools to specified curvature, dimensions, and depth of cut.
  • Assemble eyeglass frames and attach shields, nose pads, and temple pieces, using pliers, screwdrivers, and drills.
  • Set dials and start machines to polish lenses or hold lenses against rotating wheels to polish them manually.
  • Repair broken parts, using precision hand tools and soldering irons.

The above responsibilities are specific to Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians. More generally, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

What is an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician salary?

The median salary for an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician is $34,440, and the average salary is $36,640. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians earn less than $24,120 per year, 25% earn less than $28,290, 75% earn less than $41,810, and 90% earn less than $51,630.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians is expected to change by 11.3%, and there should be roughly 4,000 open positions for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$34,440
Typical salary range
$24,120 - $51,630
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
11.3%

What personality traits are common among Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

What education and training do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians need?

Working as an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

  • 4.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 26.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 34.7% completed some college coursework
  • 16.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 14.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians need abilities such as near vision, arm-hand steadiness, and finger dexterity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Critical Skills needed by Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians frequently use skills like operation and control, time management, and operations monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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