Ophthalmic laboratory technicians or optical mechanics, make prescription eyeglass or contact lenses. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians cut, grind, edge, polish, and finish lenses according to specifications provided by dispensing opticians, optometrists, or ophthalmologists.
Although some lenses still are produced by hand, technicians are increasingly using automated equipment to make lenses.
Ophthalmic laboratory technicians work in wholesale and retail optical laboratories and offices of ophthalmologists, optometrists, and dispensing opticians.
Baby boomers will increasingly require glasses or contacts for age-related vision problems, which should increase the demand for these workers in coming years.
Training is available on the job, in vocational technical institutes and in community colleges. Training programs include instruction in optical theory, surfacing and lens finishing, and reading and applying prescriptions. Programs vary in length from six months to one year.
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