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Ophthalmic Laboratory Tech

Ophthalmic laboratory technology involves fitting contact lenses and eyeglass lenses. Learn about the responsibilities of professionals in this field, their salary and the training requirements to determine if this career is a good fit for you.

Inside Ophthalmic Laboratory Technology

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians make glasses and contact lens, either by hand or by using equipment that automates the procedure. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they cut, grind, edge, polish and finish the lenses based on the optometrists' instructions (www.bls.gov). They may fit lenses to frames and tint lenses or add coating as the prescription requires. In some instances, they may work with patients, teaching them to insert, remove and care for contact lenses. Some ophthalmic laboratory technicians manufacture telescopes and binoculars.

Laboratory technicians usually work in clean, ventilated and well-lit laboratories. In a small lab, they participate in all phases leading to a finished product. In larger labs, techs may specialize in one procedure, such as manufacturing contact lenses or generating precision lenses.

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