Summary Report for:
51-9083.00 - Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Edger Technician, Finishing Lab Technician, Grinder, Lab Technician (Laboratory Technician), Lens Grinder and Polisher, Line Operator, Optical Lab Technician (Optical Laboratory Technician), Optical Technician, Polisher, Surfacing Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Adjust lenses and frames to correct alignment.
- Mount, secure, and align finished lenses in frames or optical assemblies, using precision hand tools.
- Mount and secure lens blanks or optical lenses in holding tools or chucks of cutting, polishing, grinding, or coating machines.
- Shape lenses appropriately so that they can be inserted into frames.
- Assemble eyeglass frames and attach shields, nose pads, and temple pieces, using pliers, screwdrivers, and drills.
- Inspect lens blanks to detect flaws, verify smoothness of surface, and ensure thickness of coating on lenses.
- Clean finished lenses and eyeglasses, using cloths and solvents.
- Select lens blanks, molds, tools, and polishing or grinding wheels, according to production specifications.
- Examine prescriptions, work orders, or broken or used eyeglasses to determine specifications for lenses, contact lenses, or other optical elements.
- Set dials and start machines to polish lenses or hold lenses against rotating wheels to polish them manually.
- Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
- Repair broken parts, using precision hand tools and soldering irons.
- Position and adjust cutting tools to specified curvature, dimensions, and depth of cut.
- Inspect, weigh, and measure mounted or unmounted lenses after completion to verify alignment and conformance to specifications, using precision instruments.
- Remove lenses from molds and separate lenses in containers for further processing or storage.
- Lay out lenses and trace lens outlines on glass, using templates.
- Immerse eyeglass frames in solutions to harden, soften, or dye frames.
- Control equipment that coats lenses to alter their reflective qualities.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Binocular vision test sets or accessories — Potential acuity meters PAM
- Blow torch — Soldering torches
- Calipers — Lens thickness calipers
- Corneal camera — Specular microscopes
- Corneal topographers — Pachymeters
- Curved nose pliers — Bent post pliers
- Cutting disc — Ball cutters; Wheel cutters
- Cutting machines — Lens cutting machines
- Drilling machines — Drill presses
- End cut pliers — Side cutting pliers
- Exophthalmometers — Exophthalometers
- Flat nose pliers
- Fundus camera — Retinal cameras
- Glass cutters — Chipping pliers
- Grinding wheels — Bench polishers
- Hammers — Riveting hammers
- Hand clamps — Soldering clamps
- Keratoscopes — Keratometers
- Lens grinding machines — Lens groovers
- Lens measuring equipment — Prescription lens aligners
- Lens polishing equipment — Edge polishers; Lens polishing machines
- Mallets — Nylon-brass mallets
- Nut drivers — Hex nut wrenches; Nut wrenches
- Ophthalmic eye test lenses or accessories — Trial lens sets
- Ophthalmic lensometers — Lensometers; Sagitta gauges
- Ophthalmic prisms — Optical prisms
- Ophthalmic retinoscopes — Diagnostic retinoscopes
- Ophthalmic slit lamps — Optical slit lamps
- Ophthalmic tonometers or accessories — Handheld tonometers
- Ophthalmic visual field plotters — Visual field testers
- Optical vacuum coating equipment — Lens coating machines; Lens tinting equipment
- Opticians tools or accessories — Angling pliers; Snipe nose pliers; Tapered eyewire closure pliers; Zylonite files (see all 14 examples)
- pH meters — pH testers
- Phoropter units — Phoropters
- Power drills — Mini power drills
- Pupillometer — Pupillary distance rulers; Pupilometers
- Screw extractors — Screw extracting pliers; Screw grippers
- Screwdriver set — 3-way screwdrivers
- Screwdrivers — Flathead screwdrivers; Mini screwdrivers; Phillips screwdrivers
- Scribers — Rimless scribe tools
- Shears — Lab snips
- Soldering iron — Electric soldering kits; Soldering irons
- Surgical lasers or accessories — Argon lasers; Carbon dioxide CO2 lasers; Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet Nd:YAG lasers
- Tweezers — Self-closing tweezers
- Ultrasonic cleaning equipment — Ultrasonic cleaners
- Vision testing stereoscopes — Stereopsis testers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- 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.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Wrist-Finger Speed — The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Detailed Work Activities
- Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
- Select production equipment according to product specifications.
- Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
- Repair medical or dental assistive devices.
- Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Shape glass or similar materials.
- Polish materials, workpieces, or finished products.
- Weigh finished products.
- Construct customized assistive medical or dental devices.
- Set equipment controls to meet cutting specifications.
- Operate painting or coating equipment.
- Clean workpieces or finished products.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
- Solder parts or workpieces.
- Immerse objects or workpieces in cleaning or coating solutions.
- Remove workpieces from molds.
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 77% responded “Extremely important.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 66% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Time Pressure — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 64% responded “Very important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 49% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 39% responded “Some freedom.”
- Level of Competition — 52% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Physical Proximity — 57% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 77% responded “40 hours.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 49% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 27% responded “Important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 36% responded “Moderate results.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Degree of Automation — 53% responded “Moderately automated.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|76||High school diploma or equivalent|
|5||Less than high school diploma|
Interest code: RC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$13.89 hourly, $28,890 annual|
|Employment (2012)||31,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Average (8% to 14%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||14,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.