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Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life -
Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations -
Overview PowerPoint - Overview Podcast


Preparation
Most ophthalmic laboratory technicians learn their craft on the job; however, many employers prefer to hire those with formal training.

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians start on simple tasks if they are training to produce lenses by hand. They may begin with marking or blocking lenses for grinding; then, they progress to grinding, cutting, edging, and beveling lenses; finally, they are trained in assembling the eyeglasses. Depending on individual aptitude, it may take up to 6 months to become proficient in all phases of the work.

Employers filling trainee jobs prefer applicants who are high school graduates. Courses in science, mathematics, and computers are valuable; manual dexterity and the ability to do precision work are essential. Technicians using automated systems will find computer skills valuable.

A few ophthalmic laboratory technicians learn their trade in the Armed Forces or in the few programs in optical technology offered by vocational-technical institutes or trade schools. These programs have classes in optical theory, surfacing and lens finishing, and the reading and applying of prescriptions. Programs vary in length from 6 months to 1 year and award certificates or diplomas.

The Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA), a not-for-profit agency, that accredits ophthalmic laboratory technology programs in the United States. The following is a list of currently accredited programs at the associate or certificate level.

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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