Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Careers
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What an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician does:
An Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician, also referred to as an Ophthalmic Technician or Ophthalmic Technologist (OT), makes prescription eyeglass or contact lenses to improve a patients vision.
An Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician is also known as a manufacturing optician, optical mechanic, or optical goods worker. Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians can work in small laboratories where they are responsible for every phase of production. In large laboratories, Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians are responsible for operating equipment that automates production of lenses.
The main duties of an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician include:
- Curving prescription lenses to ensure that light is correctly focused into the retina
- Manufacturing lenses for telescopes and binoculars
- Cutting, grinding and edging lenses according to specifications
- Working with dispensing opticians optometrists and ophthalmologists
- Using automated equipment
- nspecting the finished lenses for quality and accuracy through a lensometer
- Inserting lenses into dye if tinted lenses are required
- Inserting lenses into frames
Education & Qualifications:
Previously many Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians received on the job training. Today more and more employers are opting to hire technicians with formal training. Programs are run by private schools, vocational colleges and trade schools.
Typical subjects covered include, optical theory, surfacing and lens finishing, and the reading and applying of prescriptions. Programs vary in length from 6 months to 1 year, and certificates or diplomas are awarded to successful graduates.
Ophthalmic laboratory technicians can progress to become supervisors and managers. Some continue through education and become Dispensing Opticians.
Salary & Job Prospects:
Salaries for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians are in the region of $15,000 - $30,000, depending on experience, location and qualifications. As few people seek a career as an Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician, job opportunities for those with certification should be favorable.
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