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Photonics Engineer

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What You Need to Know About Photonics Engineer

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

Daily Life Of a Photonics Engineer

  • Design electro-optical sensing or imaging systems.
  • Analyze system performance or operational requirements.
  • Design or develop new crystals for photonics applications.
  • Design solar energy photonics or other materials or devices to generate energy.
  • Design or redesign optical fibers to minimize energy loss.
  • Assist in the transition of photonic prototypes to production.

Things a Photonics Engineer Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Photonics Engineers say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Other Photonics Engineer Job Titles

  • Optomechanical Engineer
  • Photonics Engineer
  • Fiber Optics Engineer
  • Electro-optical Engineer
  • Optics Engineer

Job Outlook for Photonics Engineers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 132,500 jobs in the United States for Photonics Engineer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,500 new jobs for Photonics Engineer by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 9,500 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Photonics Engineer are Nevada, Utah, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Minnesota, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Photonics Engineer Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Photonics Engineers is somewhere between $50,750 and $155,650.


Photonics Engineers who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Photonics Engineers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $115,710
Alaska $114,040
Arizona $94,450
Arkansas $71,510
California $107,700
Colorado $111,610
Connecticut $100,230
District of Columbia $132,530
Florida $82,970
Georgia $93,580
Hawaii $96,940
Idaho $110,270
Illinois $87,220
Indiana $73,340
Iowa $78,230
Kansas $82,060
Kentucky $79,690
Louisiana $90,580
Maine $85,800
Maryland $118,420
Massachusetts $109,220
Michigan $90,420
Minnesota $101,620
Mississippi $79,630
Missouri $86,850
Montana $79,590
Nebraska $82,760
Nevada $94,950
New Hampshire $99,070
New Jersey $114,990
New Mexico $114,790
New York $95,270
North Carolina $83,900
North Dakota $83,270
Ohio $93,370
Oklahoma $83,080
Oregon $90,720
Pennsylvania $96,550
Rhode Island $95,790
South Carolina $100,750
South Dakota $84,320
Tennessee $82,030
Texas $113,370
Utah $89,810
Vermont $81,960
Virginia $118,390
Washington $104,890
West Virginia $91,420
Wisconsin $86,600
Wyoming $97,040

What Tools do Photonics Engineers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Photonics Engineers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • C
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
  • Microsoft .NET Framework
  • Mathsoft Mathcad
  • C#
  • C++
  • Pattern recognition software
  • Spectroscopy software

How to Become a Photonics Engineer

Individuals working as a Photonics Engineer have obtained the following education levels:


What work experience do I need to become a Photonics Engineer?


Where do Photonics Engineers Work?


Below are examples of industries where Photonics Engineers work:


Similar Careers

Are you already one of the many Photonics Engineer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: NASA via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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