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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

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What You Need to Know About Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

Example of Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Job 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.

Life As an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician: What Do They Do?

  • Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
  • Repair broken parts, using precision hand tools and soldering irons.
  • Shape lenses appropriately so that they can be inserted into frames.
  • Mount, secure, and align finished lenses in frames or optical assemblies, using precision hand tools.
  • Clean finished lenses and eyeglasses, using cloths and solvents.
  • Lay out lenses and trace lens outlines on glass, using templates.

Skills Needed to be an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

When polled, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Optical Technician
  • Edger Technician
  • Lens Generator
  • Lens Mounter
  • Surfacer

Are There Job Opportunities for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians?

There were about 29,100 jobs for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician in 2016 (in the United States). 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.

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Average Salary

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians make between $22,360 and $50,200 a year.


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians 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

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians may use on a daily basis:

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

How do I Become an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?

Are there Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians education requirements?


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


Where Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Work


Below are examples of industries where Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians work:


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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