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Career and Education Opportunities for Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians in Palmdale, California

Ophthalmic laboratory technician career and educational opportunities abound in Palmdale, California. Currently, 2,100 people work as ophthalmic laboratory technicians in California. This is expected to grow 14% to 2,400 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for ophthalmic laboratory technicians are expected to grow by about 14.7%. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians generally cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements.

The income of an ophthalmic laboratory technician is about $14 hourly or $29,170 per year on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 hourly or $27,210 annually on average. Earnings for ophthalmic laboratory technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental in California and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental category earnings nationally.

The Palmdale area is home to 210 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Palmdale where you can get a degree as an ophthalmic laboratory technician. Given that the most common education level for ophthalmic laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Palmdale 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: Palmdale, California

Palmdale, California
Palmdale, California photo by Jamesb01

Palmdale is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 143,197, which has grown by 22.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Palmdale, 132, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Palmdale are priced at $218,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred seventy-four new homes were built in Palmdale, down from eight hundred thirty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Palmdale are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 43 minutes. More than 13.3% of Palmdale residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Palmdale is 15.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Palmdale residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Palmdale is home to the Ritter Ranch and the Palmdale City Library as well as McAdam Park and Tejon Park.