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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

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What is an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?

Career 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.

What Do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Adjust lenses and frames to correct alignment.
  • Repair broken parts, using precision hand tools and soldering irons.
  • Clean finished lenses and eyeglasses, using cloths and solvents.
  • Lay out lenses and trace lens outlines on glass, using templates.
  • Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
  • Position and adjust cutting tools to specified curvature, dimensions, and depth of cut.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician?

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

  • Beveler
  • Benchroom Shop Optician
  • Lab Technician (Laboratory Technician)
  • Spotter
  • Optical Instrument Assembler

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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 3,700 job openings in this field each 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.

What is the Average Salary of an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

The salary for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians ranges between about $22,360 and $50,200 a year.


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

How much do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians make in each U.S. state?

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

What Tools & Technology do Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Use?

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 many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians?


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


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician might also be interested in the following careers:


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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