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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

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Life As an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

Occupation Description Cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements. Assemble and mount lenses into frames or process other optical elements. Includes precision lens polishers or grinders, centerer-edgers, and lens mounters.

Daily Life Of an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

  • Adjust lenses and frames to correct alignment.
  • Remove lenses from molds and separate lenses in containers for further processing or storage.
  • Inspect, weigh, and measure mounted or unmounted lenses after completion to verify alignment and conformance to specifications, using precision instruments.
  • Assemble eyeglass frames and attach shields, nose pads, and temple pieces, using pliers, screwdrivers, and drills.
  • Lay out lenses and trace lens outlines on glass, using templates.
  • Set dials and start machines to polish lenses or hold lenses against rotating wheels to polish them manually.

What an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Should Know

These are the skills Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians say are the most useful in their careers:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation 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.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Jobs

  • Lens Shaper Grinder
  • Optical Goods Drill Operator
  • Optical Technician
  • Lens Cementer
  • Optical Lab Technician (Optical Laboratory Technician)

Is There Job Demand for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 29,100 jobs in the United States for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,400 new jobs for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician by 2026. There will be an estimated 3,700 positions for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician per year.


The states with the most job growth for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician are Utah, North Dakota, and Kentucky. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Massachusetts, or South Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Make?

The typical yearly salary for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians is somewhere between $22,360 and $50,200.


Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians who work in New Hampshire, Maryland, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $29,230
Arizona $34,010
Arkansas $29,770
California $36,400
Colorado $42,060
Connecticut $37,240
Florida $32,490
Georgia $31,240
Illinois $38,860
Indiana $35,880
Iowa $34,370
Kansas $30,430
Kentucky $27,630
Louisiana $26,240
Maine $33,640
Maryland $44,310
Massachusetts $36,810
Michigan $34,300
Minnesota $34,370
Mississippi $32,550
Missouri $33,120
Montana $32,090
Nebraska $32,550
Nevada $29,690
New Hampshire $45,730
New Jersey $35,000
New Mexico $33,570
New York $36,040
North Carolina $29,870
North Dakota $33,940
Ohio $34,680
Oklahoma $33,550
Oregon $37,100
Pennsylvania $33,130
Rhode Island $36,710
South Carolina $33,300
South Dakota $32,180
Tennessee $34,240
Texas $31,050
Utah $28,570
Vermont $42,780
Virginia $33,210
Washington $38,660
West Virginia $35,270
Wisconsin $31,340

Tools & Technologies Used by Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Electronic medical record EMR software

How do I Become an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?

What education is needed to be an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?


How Long Does it Take to Become an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?


Where do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

Those interested in being an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician may also be interested in:


Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla via U.S. Air Force photo

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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