Optical technicians work in laboratories to produce prescription lenses for eyeglasses and contact lenses. They are also known as ophthalmic lab technicians. They produce optical instruments lenses, such as binoculars and telescopes. The optical technician uses a lensmeter to inspect completed lenses and then uses a protective coating to fit eyeglass frames, cameras, or telescopes before shaping the lenses. Optical technicians are also repairing damaged eyeglasses.
The production of lenses requires the use of machines that perform tasks such as cutting, grinding, cutting, and finishing. While many technicians are still grinding and edge lenses by hand, they are expected to know how to operate each machine. Optical technicians work with computer-based generators, automatic edgers, lens measurement instruments, and small hand tools.
A high school diploma or GED is the basic level of education required for a career as an optical technician. Many optical technicians gain knowledge and skills through on-the-job training. However, vocational, technical, and community colleges offer certificates or associate degree programs to become optical technicians.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an optical technician. For example, did you know that they make an average of $16.85 an hour? That's $35,058 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 7% and produce 5,400 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many optical technicians have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed business skills, communication skills and customer-service skills.
If you're interested in becoming an optical technician, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 26.6% of optical technicians have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.2% of optical technicians have master's degrees. Even though some optical technicians have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an optical technician. When we researched the most common majors for an optical technician, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on optical technician resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an optical technician. In fact, many optical technician jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many optical technicians also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or customer service representative.