Employment is expected to grow by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Most people need vision correction at some point in their lives. As the total population continues to grow, people will need more vision aids, such as glasses and contacts.
Middle age is a time when many people use corrective lenses for the first time, and the need for vision care continues to increase with age. As the large baby-boom generation and their children get older, the need for vision correction will create a demand for ophthalmic laboratory services.
As laser vision correction becomes less expensive, there will be an increase in the demand for that service and a decrease in the demand for eyeglasses. However, even with laser correction, almost all adults need reading glasses or corrective eyewear later in their lives. The cause is retinal hardening, which happens naturally as people age, making it harder for the eye to focus.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition