Optical Lab Technician

Oversee machines that grind glass used for prescription lenses.

What does an Optical Lab Technician do?

Eye problems can run the gamut. Some patients are farsighted, others are nearsighted, and still others need specially tinted lenses just to go outside. As an Optical Lab Technician, you play a vital role in correcting these issues. You operate the machines that create the specific lenses that go with each problem when you’re an Optical Lab Technician.

The machines you work with do it all. They grind, shape, cut, and polish lenses into different shapes for glasses of all varieties. They can even create the glass for telescopes and microscopes. For your Optical Lab Technician part, you oversee the machines as they work, and when they finish, you put the glasses together.

Your job starts with a prescription. You take a set of frames and make careful markings as to the type of lenses that will fit in them. Once you have the lenses, you get to work on the glass type. You insert basic lenses into the machine and, based on the specifications you give, the machine thins or polishes certain areas to fit with the prescription.

After the lenses are complete, you inset them into their frame. You carefully inspect the finished product for any broken or scratched parts, and ensure that the proper frames were matched with the proper lens. The glasses can be for a specific patient, or they might end up in a retail store.

Sometimes, you work backward, taking broken glasses and making them whole again. Through experience, you’re able to recognize different prescriptions and recreate the original pair of glasses.