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Career and Education Opportunities for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians in Los Angeles, California

Ophthalmic laboratory technician career and educational opportunities abound in Los Angeles, California. About 2,100 people are currently employed as ophthalmic laboratory technicians in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 14% to 2,400 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for ophthalmic laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.7% over the next eight years. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians generally cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements.

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians earn about $14 per hour or $29,170 per year on average in California and about $13 hourly or $27,210 annually on average nationally. Incomes for ophthalmic laboratory technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Medical and Dental in California, and not quite as good as the overall Medical and Dental category nationally.

The Los Angeles area is home to 274 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree as an ophthalmic laboratory technician. The most common level of education for ophthalmic laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become an ophthalmic laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, ophthalmic laboratory technicians cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements. They also assemble and mount lenses into frames or process other optical elements.

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians mount and secure lens blanks or optical lenses in holding tools or chucks of cutting or coating machines. Finally, ophthalmic laboratory technicians set dials and start machines to polish lenses, or hold lenses against rotating wheels so as to polish them manually.

Every day, ophthalmic laboratory technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. It is also important that they control objects and devices with precise control.

It is important for ophthalmic laboratory technicians to decide on lens blanks and polishing or grinding wheels, in line with production specifications. They are often called upon to clean finished lenses and eyeglasses, using cloths and solvents. They also examine prescriptions or broken or used eyeglasses in order to establish requirements for lenses and other optical elements. They are sometimes expected to prepare machines to polish and grind lenses, flats and other precision optical elements. Somewhat less frequently, ophthalmic laboratory technicians are also expected to examine prescriptions or broken or used eyeglasses in order to establish requirements for lenses and other optical elements.

They also have to be able to inspect lens blanks in order to uncover flaws, verify smoothness of surface, and insure thickness of coating on lenses And finally, they sometimes have to inspect and measure mounted or unmounted lenses after completion in order to confirm alignment and conformance to given requirements, using precision instruments.

Like many other jobs, ophthalmic laboratory technicians must believe in cooperation and coordination and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Aircraft Parts Assembler. Assemble, fit, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.
  • Buffing Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
  • Dental Laboratory Technician. Construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician Training

North-West College-West Covina - West Covina, CA

North-West College-West Covina, 2121 W Garvey Ave, West Covina, CA 91790. North-West College-West Covina is a small college located in West Covina, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 390 students and an admission rate of 85%. North-West College-West Covina has a less than one year program in Ophthalmic Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated five students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.