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 t ...
o 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 prescription 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 6 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.
Cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements. Assemble and mount lenses into frames or process other optical elements. Includes precision lens polishers or grinders, centerer-edgers, and lens mounters.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Repair broken parts, using precision hand tools and soldering irons.
Shape lenses appropriately so that they can be inserted into frames.
Clean finished lenses and eyeglasses, using cloths and solvents.
Mount and secure lens blanks or optical lenses in holding tools or chucks of cutting, polishing, grinding, or coating machines.
Adjust lenses and frames to correct alignment.
Select lens blanks, molds, tools, and polishing or grinding wheels, according to production specifications.
Mount, secure, and align finished lenses in frames or optical assemblies, using precision hand tools.
Set up machines to polish, bevel, edge, or grind lenses, flats, blanks, or other precision optical elements.
Set dials and start machines to polish lenses or hold lenses against rotating wheels to polish them manually.
Examine prescriptions, work orders, or broken or used eyeglasses to determine specifications for lenses, contact lenses, or other optical elements.
Inspect lens blanks to detect flaws, verify smoothness of surface, and ensure thickness of coating on lenses.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People
Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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