Optical / Laser Engineer
What Does a Professional in this Career Do?
Researches and develops technology that uses the science of light (optics). Optical technology includes fiber optic cables, which enable high-speed internet connections across long distances, and lasers, which can be used to make very small incisions and measurements. Works closely with scientists and engineers from other fields on advances in technology.
There were 66 Optical / Laser Engineer job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 3144 in the United States.
In combination with other careers in the Optical / Laser Engineer industry, which includes the Optical / Laser Engineer career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2012:
Many new Optical / Laser Engineer jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.
The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $79,785.
The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $57,737.
Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Optical / Laser Engineer postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $49,775.
Education and Experience
Posted Optical / Laser Engineer jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.
Posted Optical / Laser Engineer jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.
|Years of Experience||Percentage|
|0 to 2 years||27%|
|3 to 5 years||44%|
|6 to 8 years||13%|
Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Optical / Laser Engineer positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.
A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.
- Communication Skills (31%)
- Troubleshooting (21%)
- Research (20%)
- Teamwork / Collaboration (20%)
- Problem Solving (16%)
A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.
- Physics (36%)
- MATLAB (25%)
- Zemax (21%)
- Optical design (19%)
- Fiber Optics (9%)
A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.
- Python (17%)
- Simulation (15%)
- Systems Engineering (14%)
- Data Analysis (12%)
- Product Development (12%)
A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.
- Hardware Experience (6%)
- Optical System Design and Analysis (4%)
- Image Processing (4%)
- Tolerance Analysis (4%)
- Digital Signal Processing (DSP) (3%)
Alternative Job Titles
Sometimes employers post jobs with Optical / Laser Engineer skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:
- Optical Engineer
- Optical Technician
- Senior Optical Engineer
- Optical Staff
- Optical Systems Engineer
If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.
- Opto-Mechanical Engineer
- RF Engineer
- Hardware Test Engineer
- Manufacturing Test Engineer
- Computer Circuit Design Engineer
- Mechatronics Engineer
- Electronic Design Engineer
- Power Electronics Engineer
Here are the employers that have posted the most Optical / Laser Engineer jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.
- Raytheon (185)
- L3Harris (96)
- Facebook (90)
- Lockheed Martin Corporation (80)
- The Boeing Company (50)
- Ifb Solutions (11)
- Winston Salem Industries For The Bl (8)
- Cisco Systems Incorporated (2)
- Cushman & Wakefield (2)
- Kci Telecommunications (2)
NC State Programs Relevant to this Career
If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!