Optical Laboratory Technician
Another intriguing branch of laboratory technician careers is being an optical laboratory technician. They are also called optical mechanics. Their job is to develop spectacle lenses in accordance with prescriptions issued by ophthalmologists and optometrists. Optical laboratory technicians are trained to operate grinding machines. These machines are used in cutting, grinding and polishing lenses according to the specifications given by the eye medics. Optical mechanics are also responsible in creating lenses for optical equipment such as telescopes, microscopes, refractors and projectors. The heart of their job is focused on selecting and marking the appropriate lens blanks with the use of a lens measuring device so that they can cut the pieces in accuracy.
Once they are done cutting the polishing the lens, the optical laboratory technician will put the lens on the frames. The frames may be metallic, rimless or plastic. The finish product will undergo a final inspection to make sure that it meets the eye medic’s specifications. If there are any errors, then at least they can be corrected and adjusted before the lens is released to the patient or doctor. Optical lens technicians can also repair broken spectacles or lenses. In such cases, the optical mechanic can use the original prescription or analyze the remaining lens and copy them for the new lenses. Optical technicians must pay close attention to details so that they can correctly identify and calibrate the correct lenses. They should be able to follow the eye medic’s prescription with precision and accuracy.
Incorrect lenses can cause headaches, eye strains, and in worse cases, deteriorating eye sight for the patients. So it is very important that optical mechanics do their job well and deliver a set of correctly calibrated lenses. Errors cannot be tolerated in making lens for highly sensitive equipment like microscopes and telescopes. These equipment are deemed to be products of high technology so they are expected to have high performance as well. Incorrect lenses will affect the medical and scientific research or laboratory work that the equipment will be used for. The lens that is mounted on such equipment should be made with the highest degree of precision and accuracy. There is certainly no room for error in this type of laboratory technician career. It is considered vital that optical mechanics follow an eye medic’s prescription in utmost detail.
If you want to be an optical laboratory technician, you must have excellent grades in mathematics and science. A good aptitude in chemistry, geometry, biology, computer science and even algebra will be your stepping stone towards having a successful career in this field. One good thing about this career is it doesn’t require you to have a degree in college. Attending technical training programs and getting on-the-job experiences are the way to go to land a job as an optical laboratory technician. Technical programs usually last for six months to one year. Once you are done with the training, you can work in any optical laboratory. You can also opt to work in retail stores, optometrist’s or ophthalmologist’s clinic. This is definitely a career that you would want to look into as they are always high on demand.