Photonics Technicians

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About the Job

Build, install, test, or maintain optical or fiber optic equipment, such as lasers, lenses, or mirrors, using spectrometers, interferometers, or related equipment.

It is also Called

  • Thin-film Technician
  • Test Technician
  • Strain Technician
  • Service Technician
  • Ruling Technician
  • Precision Optics Technician
  • Photonics Technician
  • Photonics Engineering Technologist
  • Photonics Engineering Technician
  • Photonic Laboratory Technician (Photonic Lab Tech)
show all

What They Do

  • Fabricate sensors to be used to control wind turbines.
  • Develop solar power sources for lasers used in fiber optics.
  • Assemble devices or equipment to be used in green technology applications, including solar energy, high efficiency solid state lighting, energy management, smart buildings, or green processes.
  • Build photonics tools to be applied to electrical grids to detect hot spots, such as failing insulators or conductors.
  • Fabricate devices, such as optoelectronic or semiconductor devices.
  • Perform laser seam welding, heat treatment, or hard facing operations.
  • Lay out cutting lines for machining, using drafting tools.
  • Assemble components of energy-efficient optical communications systems involving photonic switches, optical backplanes, or optoelectronic interfaces.
  • Build prototype optomechanical devices for use in equipment such as aerial cameras, gun sights, or telescopes.
  • Optimize photonic process parameters by making prototype or production devices.

Interests

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

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

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Support 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.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $56,950 with most people making between $31,640 and $91,170

Outlook

0.10%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,970 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,990 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 2 openings due to growth and about 48 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education