How to become an Optical Mechanic

Optical mechanics make precision optical parts; grind, polish and surface prescription lenses and contact lenses; and fit lenses to spectacle frames.

Personal requirements for an Optical Mechanic

  • Good eyesight (or correctable by glasses or contact lenses)
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Patient and able to carry out accurate work
  • Aptitude for mathematics and physics.

Duties & Tasks of an Optical Mechanic

Optical mechanics may perform the following tasks:

  • Read and interpret prescriptions from eye specialists
  • Locate and mark optical centres and axes on lens blanks and make calculations to grind lenses to specifications
  • Grind and polish the surface of the lens by setting grinding and polishing machines
  • Test polished lenses for accuracy
  • Apply protective coatings and non-reflective material to lenses and apply heat and chemical treatment to glass lenses to harden them if required
  • Shape and fit lenses to spectacle frames
  • Repair damaged and broken spectacles
  • Cut and polish contact lenses to prescription requirements.


With further training, optical mechanics may specialise as optical dispensers who measure and fit clients with spectacles. See the separate entry for Optical Dispenser. Highly skilled and experienced optical mechanics make, repair and service binoculars, telescopes and other scientific optical equipment.

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