Optical Element Coater

Control vacuum coating equipment to coat optical elements with chemical.
picture of Optical Element Coater

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $43,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Optical Element Coaters do?

Controls vacuum coating equipment to coat optical elements with chemical or metal film to alter reflective properties of elements: Reads work order to ascertain thickness of optical element and type coating material specified. Installs heating filament in coating machine according to type coating applied, using screwdriver. Fills crucible with coating material and positions crucible under heating filament. Secures optical element in jig and centers jig in vacuum chamber of machine to ensure uniform coating of optical surface. Places dome-shaped lid over jig or lowers lid equipped with window depending upon machine used. Starts machine that creates vacuum and releases chemicals or metal to form coating on optical element by process of sublimation or atomization. Observes changing colors of element through vacuum bell or through window in lid to determine when element is coated to specifications, or reads exposure meter to determine coating thickness. Applies and removes strip of cellophane to test adherence of coating to optical element. May immerse elements in chemical solution to clean elements. May operate ultrasonic vibrator to clean element. May inspect optical elements prior to coating to detect defects, such as blemishes, abrasions, and rough edges, using microscope. May cement optical elements together to form multiple laminated elements [CEMENTER]. May spray emulsion on lens preparatory to coating.


Should I be an Optical Element Coater?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Flat Optical Element Maker, Optical Worker, Surface Room Floater

    How to become an Optical Element Coater

    Most Optical Element Coaters have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9hgaaa&chl=no+college+%2881%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,81,81
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