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Photonics Engineers

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

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Analyze system performance or operational requirements.
    • Develop optical or imaging systems, such as optical imaging products, optical components, image processes, signal process technologies, or optical systems.
    • Develop or test photonic prototypes or models.
    • Design, integrate, or test photonics systems or components.
    • Assist in the transition of photonic prototypes to production.
    • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, continue education, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in the field.
    • Write reports or proposals related to photonics research or development projects.
    • Conduct testing to determine functionality or optimization or to establish limits of photonics systems or components.
    • Determine applications of photonics appropriate to meet product objectives or features.
    • Conduct research on new photonics technologies.
    • Design electro-optical sensing or imaging systems.
    • Document photonics system or component design processes, including objectives, issues, or outcomes.
    • Design photonics products, such as light sources, displays, or photovoltaics, to achieve increased energy efficiency.
    • Train operators, engineers, or other personnel.
    • Analyze, fabricate, or test fiber-optic links.
    • Design gas lasers, solid state lasers, infrared, or other light emitting or light sensitive devices.
    • Create or maintain photonic design histories.
    • Oversee or provide expertise on manufacturing, assembly, or fabrication processes.
    • Determine commercial, industrial, scientific, or other uses for electro-optical applications or devices.
    • Design solar energy photonics or other materials or devices to generate energy.
    • Design or redesign optical fibers to minimize energy loss.
    • Develop photonics sensing or manufacturing technologies to improve the efficiency of manufacturing or related processes.
    • Develop laser-processed designs, such as laser-cut medical devices.
    • Design or develop new crystals for photonics applications.
    • Design laser machining equipment for purposes such as high-speed ablation.
    • Select, purchase, set up, operate, or troubleshoot state-of-the-art laser cutting equipment.


    • Critical Thinking

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


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Deductive Reasoning

      The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

    • Information Ordering

      The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).


    • 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.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • 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.

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    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 7,630
    • Yearly Projected Openings 570

    Typical Education


    Investigative: People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Innovation
    • Integrity
    • Achievement/Effort


    • Semiconductor process systems
    • Scanning light or spinning disk or laser scanning microscopes
    • Lasers
    • Interferometers
    • Fluorescent microscopes


    • Object or component oriented development software
    • Geographic information system
    • Development environment software
    • Computer aided design CAD software
    • Analytical or scientific software


    • InDemand occupations are considered a priority by the state of Ohio.
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