Optical instrument repairer

An example of optical instrument


Optical instrument repairers repair optical instruments, such as microscopes, telescopes, camera optics, and compasses. They test the instruments to ensure they function properly. In a military context they also read blueprints to be able to repair the instruments.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to optical instrument repairer:

optical instruments technician
optical instrument engineer
optical instrument technician
ophthalmic instrument repairer
binoculars repairer
optical instruments repairer
telescope repairer
optical instrument servicer
ophthalmic instruments repairer
telescopes repairer
optical instrument worker
optical instruments worker
binocular repairer
optical instruments servicer
optical instruments engineer

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally the minimum required to work as optical instrument repairer.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Optical instrument repairer is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Optical instrument repairer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to optical instrument repairer.

optical instrument assembler
photographic equipment assembler
precision instrument assembler
surface-mount technology machine operator
automated optical inspection operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of optical instrument repairer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of optical instrument repairer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

optical instrument production supervisor
optomechanical engineering technician
optical technician
optoelectronic engineering technician
photonics engineering technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of optical instrument repairer.

  • Glass tempering: Technique of treating glass with high temperatures to increase its durability and safety.
  • Optical equipment standards: The national and international quality and safety standards and regulations with regards to the use and manufacture of optical equipment, including optical materials, optical components, optical systems, ophthalmic equipment, optomechanical equipment, optical measuring equipment, photographic equipment, and optoelectronic equipment.
  • Optical glass characteristics: The characteristics of optical glass such as refractive index, dispersion, and chemical properties.
  • Types of optical instruments: Possess information on the types of optical instruments and lenses, such as microscopes and telescopes, as well as on their mechanics, components, and characteristics.
  • Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
  • Blueprints: Must be able to read and understand blueprints, drawings and plans and maintain simple written records.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of optical instrument repairer.

  • Remove defective products: Remove defective materials from the production line.
  • Operate optical measuring equipment: Operate optical measuring equipment to take client’s measurements; determine bridge and eye size, papillary distance, vertex distance, optical eye centres, etc., in order to manufacture customised eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Cut glass: Use glass cutting tools or diamond blades to cut pieces out of glass plates, including mirrors.
  • Manipulate glass: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of glass.
  • Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
  • Operate optical equipment: Use specific optical machinery in order to cut, polish, adjust and refine optics.
  • Operate automated optical inspection machine: Inspect the quality of assembled printed circuit boards (PCB) or surface-mount devices (SMD) through operating the automated optical inspection machine. During each test, dozens of images are captured with a special camera and compared to previous assembled boards.
  • Verify lenses compliance: Verify that lenses are according to the specifications.
  • Replace defect components: Remove defective parts and replace them with functioning components.
  • Meet deadlines: Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.
  • Use precision tools: Use electronic, mechanical, electric, or optical precision tools for precision work.
  • Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
  • Smooth glass surface: Smooth glass or lens surfaces of optical instruments with grinding and polishing tools, such as diamond tools.
  • Perform minor repairs to equipment: Conduct routine maintenance on equipment. Recognise and identify minor defects in equipment and make repairs if appropriate.
  • Use tools for construction and repair: Construct and repair ships and equipment using hand tools, machine tools, and measuring instruments. Safely carry out emergency or temporary repairs. Take measures to ensure a safe working environment. Use various types of sealants and packaging.
  • Repair optical equipment: Identify the problem of the optical instrument, check for deterioration, and replace deficient components.
  • Operate optical assembly equipment: Set up and operate optical processing or assembly equipment, such as optical spectrum analysers, power saws, lasers, die bonders, soldering irons, and wire bonders.
  • Ensure conformity to specifications: Ensure that the assembled products are conform to the specifications given.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of optical instrument repairer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Optomechanical devices: Devices which combine mechanical and optical properties, such as precision mirror mounts used in the construction of lasers, optical mounts used in the manufacture of cameras, and optical tables used for optics experiments and engineering.
  • Optics: The science that studies the elements and reaction of light.
  • Refractive power: Refractive power or optical power is the degree to which an optical system, such as a lens, converges or diverges light. Diverging lenses possess negative refractive power, while converging lenses possess positive refractive power.
  • Optical engineering: Subdiscipline of engineering that deals with the development of optical instruments and applications, such as telescopes, microscopes, lenses, lasers, fibre optic communication, and imaging systems.
  • Microoptics: Optical devices with a size of 1 millimeter or smaller, such as microlenses and micromirrors.
  • Optoelectronic devices: Electronic devices, systems, and components that possess optical features. These devices or components may include electrically driven light sources, such as LEDs and laser diodes, components that can convert light into electricity, such as solar or photovoltaic cells, or devices that can electronically manipulate and control light.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of optical instrument repairer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • Resolve equipment malfunctions: Identify, report and repair equipment damage and malfunctions; communicate with field representatives and manufacturers to obtain repair and replacement components.
  • Test optical components: Test optical systems, products, and components with appropriate optical testing methods, such as axial ray testing and oblique ray testing.
  • Maintain optical equipment: Diagnose and detect malfunctions in optical systems, such as lasers, microscopes, and oscilloscopes. Remove, replace, or repair these systems or system components when necessary. Execute preventative equipment maintenance tasks, such as storing the equipment in clean, dust-free, and non-humid spaces.
  • Cut lenses for eyeglasses: Shape and cut lenses to fit into frames for eyeglasses, according to prescriptions or specifications.
  • Colour glass: Apply colouring to glass through a range of glass colouring techniques, such as adding colouring ions, striking or applying heat treatment, using colouring inclusions, applying light scattering techniques or colour coatings.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
  • Order optical supplies: Order optical equipment and materials, paying attention to the price, quality, and suitability of the supplies.
  • Apply health and safety standards: Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.

ISCO group and title

7311 – Precision-instrument makers and repairers

  1. Optical instrument repairer – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Photo by dlxmedia.hu on Unsplash
Last updated on September 28, 2022

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