Optical Mechanics operate machines to grind, polish and surface optical lenses to meet prescription requirements, and fit lenses to spectacle frames.
Selects and assembles optical elements for instruments and fits them in position.
Scrapes, files and laps mount of instrument to align optical elements.
Centres, focuses, adjusts and calibrates instrument on standard targets.
Anchors lenses and other optical elements with adhesives or retaining ring.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Other Technicians and Trades Workers, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 81% of people employed as Optical Mechanics work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Optical Mechanics work in industries like:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Optical Mechanics||All Jobs Average|
Around 75% of Optical Mechanics live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Optical Mechanics is 46 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 27% of the workforce. This is 21 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Optical Mechanics||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||5.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as an Optical Mechanic. Although some workers have a certificate III or IV in optical technology.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Health Industry, Plastics, Rubber & Cablemaking and Property Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Optical Mechanics||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||2.4||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||7.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Other Technicians and Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
48%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
45%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
37%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Looking for ways to help people.
Talking to others.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
36%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
36%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Fixing machines or systems.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
29%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
58%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
49%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
40%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
35%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
35%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
30%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
22%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
21%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
20%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
18%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
17%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
15%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Read and understand written information.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
Make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
39%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
60%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
55%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
55%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
52%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
50%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
49%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
49%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
48%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
44%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
43%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
42%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
41%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
41%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
40%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
39%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
37%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
37%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
33%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
33%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
33%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
99%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work to strict deadlines.
92%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
85%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk with people face-to-face.
84%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
83%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Work with people in a group or team.
80%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
78%Pace of work set by equipment
Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.
77%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
77%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
75%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
71%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
71%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Talk on the telephone.
70%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
70%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
68%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9083.00 - Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.