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What Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Do

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians make prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. They are also commonly known as manufacturing opticians, optical mechanics, or optical goods workers.


Ophthalmic laboratory technicians typically do the following:

Although they make some lenses by hand, ophthalmic laboratory technicians often use automated equipment. Some technicians manufacture lenses for other optical instruments, such as telescopes and binoculars.

In small laboratories, technicians may handle every phase of production. In larger ones, technicians may be responsible for only one phase of production, such as polishing.

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians should not be confused with workers in other vision care occupations, such as ophthalmologists, optometrists, and dispensing opticians. For more information, see the profiles on physicians and surgeons (including ophthalmologists), optometrists, and opticians, dispensing.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition