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Photonics Engineer

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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

Photonics Engineers Career Video

About This Career

Designs technologies specializing in light information or light energy, such as laser or fiber optics technology.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Engineering and Technology pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Analyzes system performance or operational requirements.
  • Develops optical or imaging systems, such as optical imaging products, optical components, image processes, signal process technologies, or optical systems.
  • Develops or tests photonic prototypes or models.
  • Designs, integrates, or tests photonics systems or components.
  • Assists in the transition of photonic prototypes to production.
  • Reads current literature, talks with colleagues, continues education, or participates in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in the field.
  • Writes reports or proposals related to photonics research or development projects.
  • Conducts testing to determine functionality or optimization or to establish limits of photonics systems or components.
  • Determines applications of photonics appropriate to meet product objectives or features.
  • Conducts research on new photonics technologies.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Laser Engineer — Designs new laser components and products that rely on laser technology.
  • Optical Design Engineer
  • Optical Engineer
  • Optical Systems Engineer
  • Optoelectronics Engineer
  • Research and Development Engineer (R and D Engineer)
  • Research Engineer — Independently evaluates, selects and applies standardized scientific or engineering procedures and techniques to area of specialization.
  • Optical Specialist
  • Algorithm Developer


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