Photonics Engineers

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About the Job

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

It is also Called

  • Technology Director
  • System Engineer
  • Process Engineering and Metrology Manager
  • Photonics Engineer
  • Optomechanical Engineer
  • Optoelectronics Engineer
  • Optics Engineer
  • Optical Systems Engineer
  • Optical Scientist
  • Optical Fabricator
View All

What They Do

  • Develop photonics sensing or manufacturing technologies to improve the efficiency of manufacturing or related processes.
  • Design solar energy photonics or other materials or devices to generate energy.
  • Design photonics products, such as light sources, displays, or photovoltaics, to achieve increased energy efficiency.
  • Design or redesign optical fibers to minimize energy loss.
  • Design or develop new crystals for photonics applications.
  • Select, purchase, set up, operate, or troubleshoot state-of-the-art laser cutting equipment.
  • Design laser machining equipment for purposes such as high-speed ablation.
  • Develop laser-processed designs, such as laser-cut medical devices.
  • Create or maintain photonic design histories.
  • Analyze, fabricate, or test fiber-optic links.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $95,560 with most people making between $53,940 and $145,550

Outlook

0.36%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 2,790 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 2,890 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 10 openings due to growth and about 60 replacement openings for approximately 70 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education