The emergence of eyewear as a fashion item, with an assortment of shapes and colors, has been enticing many people to purchase two or three pair of glasses rather than just one. Most new jobs for optical laboratory technicians will be in retail optical chains that manufacture prescription glasses on the premises and provide fast service. Optical laboratory technicians (optical mechanics) set up and operate machines to cut, grind and polish lenses according to prescriptions. Most optical laboratory technicians work in optical laboratories under the direction of lab supervisors. Others work
for dispensing opticians, ophthalmologists or optometrists.
Optical laboratory technicians:
• read lens and frame specifications from prescriptions. Select proper lens blanks
and mark them, using lens measuring equipment.
• grind and polish lens blanks to specified curvatures and thickness. Mount lenses
in metal, plastic or rimless frames and ensure they meet specifications.
• modify lenses as needed.
• examine broken lenses to identify original prescriptions.
In large laboratories, optical laboratory technicians may specialize in one phase or operation. In small labs, they may work in all areas, using lathes, drills, grinders and precision measuring instruments
Average Salary Range
$15,000 – $22,000
Students wishing to pursue a career as an optical laboratory technician should take challenging high school courses in science, math and English. Following high school graduation (or GED), students receive six months to one year of training in an optical laboratory or in a vocational program or college.
National Academy of Opticianary
8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 605
Landover, MD 20785