Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians, sometimes referred to as optical mechanics, create eyeglass lenses according to prescriptions and fit them into frames. Some may manufacture lenses for optical instruments such as telescopes or microscopes.

Work Activities/Work Locations

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians usually work in laboratories or in a retail store that manufactures lenses. They are trained to operate machinery that grinds and polishes eyeglass lenses and to select appropriate lenses according to a prescription. They do not have a lot of contact with the general public and can work part or full-time. Most work eight-hour days which sometimes can include evenings and weekends depending upon the employer.

Quick Facts

  Education: 120 hours

Patient Interaction: Low

Physical Activity: Low

 Salary: $39,388

  Job Growth: Medium

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Getting Started

High school students should study mathematics and the sciences. A high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. Technicians may start out as trainees in a laboratory, while others may take a program through a technical school or the Armed Forces. Some technicians become opticians, although additional training is required.

There currently are no programs for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians in Wisconsin.

American Academy of Ophthalmology
655 Beach Street
San Francisco, CA, 94109
415/561-8500
www.aao.org

Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology
2025 Woodlane Dr.
St. Paul, MN, 55125-2998
651/731-2944 or 800/284-3937
www.jcahpo.org

National Academy of Opticianry
8401 Corporate Dr., Suite 605
Landover, MD, 20785
800/229-4828
www.nao.org/

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 450
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 30,200
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 33,200
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 10%
Expected Annual Openings: 1,020
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $39,388

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.