Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians Job Description video

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In between the health care specialist who examines the eyes and writes a prescription for a lens…and the eyeglass store where a suitable frame is selected, is a technician with a very important role. A precision optical goods worker makes the lenses to fit the prescription and prepares the frames to hold them. He or she might also be called an ophthalmic laboratory technician, manufacturing optician or optical mechanic. They work behind the scenes at large eyeglass stores, or at laboratories where stores send the prescriptions once a frame has been selected. Most technicians use automated equipment to make lenses that used to be produced by hand. Lenses can be glass or plastic. Each lens is marked, cut, ground, edged and finished in accord with the prescription. Whether working by hand or with machines, the precision optical goods worker must be able to follow directions precisely. Employers generally hire people with a high school degree, and provide training on the job. They look for careful students who work well with their hands; coursework in science, mathematics and computers can be very helpful. Precision optical goods workers also learn their craft at technical schools and in the armed forces. The skills used for prescription lens making can also be applied to making lens for telescopes, binoculars and other optical equipment. Automation has resulted in a declining demand for these workers. It can take up to six months to learn the various procedures necessary to finish a lens. The customers rarely see the technician…but they see better, because of the technician!

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