Physical Optics Corporation – Why Work For Us?

Founded in 1985, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) is a high technology company and a small systems integrator that generates over $50 million in annual revenues from a combination of government contracts and commercial sales. POC has developed a unique business model of achieving both research and technology advancements through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, then transitioning them into commercial and defense products. As a small, privately owned company, POC has made fundamental breakthroughs resulting in 91 granted U.S. and worldwide patents, with major applications in a unique blend of advanced technologies. These technologies underlie a broad portfolio of products that POC manufactures and sells to hundreds of customers worldwide.

In addition, POC has implemented a successful business model for launching spin-off companies to accelerate commercialization and attract investors. To date, POC has created six spin-off companies and provided a technology base for two additional ventures. POC is one of the few companies that have managed to retain the creative and innovative research environments, while developing the disciplined approach to manufacture products that meet and exceed customer requirements, on time and on budget. These technologies are positioned to respond to changing market needs faster, while providing better solutions, and with a higher value payoff to its customers. The company is poised for growth and expansion with its production capability, integrative engineering, intellectual property and strong financial position. Recently, POC achieved a prestigious number 24 position on Inc. magazine’s list (“The Innovation 50”) of the most innovative companies in America. Additionally, POC has won SPIE’s prestigious 2011 Prism Award for Photonics Innovation in the category of Defense and Security.

POC’s talented staff has delivered over $200 million in products to its customers, and this number will certainly grow. Currently, POC has a staff of 188 highly skilled employees, 54 of whom hold Ph.D. degrees. An additional 76 employees work at the affiliated spin-offs. Supported by a vast technology portfolio that covers: optics, electro-optics, holography, photonics, fiber optics, optical instrumentation, sensor systems, chemical-bio-medical, standoff detection, avionics, information assurance, wireless systems, metrology, renewable energy, surveillance systems, electronic warfare, ISR, and less-lethal solutions, POC is ready for expansion. In fact, POC is anticipating one of our best years in 2013.

Our innovative products and highly advanced technologies have a positive impact on the lives of many people. POC creates disruptive technologies and these solutions can be found in aircraft, automobiles, ground vehicles, displays, movie theatres, machine vision, instrumentation, elevators, microscopes, medical, biomedical, communication, wireless sensing, law enforcement, right down to the individual war-fighter. POC’s technologies really do make a difference, and our future is still ahead. This creates opportunities for employees to develop and advance based upon hard work and real contribution – Please click on “Working at POC” for more.

Inc. and Prism Awards:

Imagine working in an environment where your professional contributions assist in protecting lives around the world. Whether you are developing state-of-the-art technologies, performing in business operations, meeting with prospective customers or partners, or working in critical administrative support functions, at POC you will know that the work you do is ultimately making the world a safer place.

Physical Optics Corporation, located in sunny Southern California, is a fast-growing high tech company specializing in advanced defense, biomedical, and homeland security solutions. POC’s facilities were significantly expanded in 2012 to a total of 110,000 square feet and house the most advanced and unique research laboratories, prototyping, demonstration, and production facilities. We hold 7 licensing agreements, boast 6 spinoff companies, have 91 U.S. Patents covering over 40 technologies, and have introduced 100 new products to world-wide markets since our inception in 1985. At POC you will work with "technologies that make a difference®".

POC’s CEO, Joanna Jannson, recognizes that the company’s success is all about the people of POC. “The contributions come from all of our people; from scientists and engineers, to marketing, operations, and administration. We all work together to make the difference.” The Company’s annual anniversary and holiday parties provide the opportunity to recognize and reward these contributions. POC has a unique and highly diversified culture requiring a hard work ethic and a passion for making a difference.

We create a unique opportunity for the right candidate.

At POC, we are as committed to our employees as we are to our customers. We demonstrate this by offering a competitive and rewarding benefits program.

Highlights include the following:

Health & Wellness

We recognize the importance of our benefits offerings to our employees and their families and we are proud to offer a competitive and comprehensive package that includes coverage options in the following areas:

  • Medical
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Live - Work - Play

POC benefits are designed to make our employees’ lives happier, healthier and more convenient because we recognize the importance of work-life balance.

  • Paid Vacation
  • Holiday Schedule
  • Flexible Work Schedule
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Corporate Discounts

Financial Well Being

POC offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package, including plans and resources designed to help you achieve your financial goals.

  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
  • Life and Accident Insurance (AD&D)
  • Long & Short Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Life Insurance


Angie L. – Contracts

“I have been with Physical Optics Corporation (POC) for 15 amazing years. Whenever you can walk into work smiling and singing, you know you must be in a great place.”

​​Fanny L. – Production

“POC has given me every opportunity to excel and contribute throughout my career. It is exciting to be a part of a company that is at the cutting edge of technology.”

Gordon D. – Finance

“Since its inception in 1985, POC has been a growing and profitable company. The company is in excellent financial condition and has good relationships with banks and other financial institutions. POC has sufficient resources to support its expanding operations for continued business growth in the future. “

Martin L. - Engineer

I started at POC as an intern and have been a full-time employee for over 5 years now. I personally have been involved with biomedical, chemical/nuclear detection, RF filter design, and imaging system integration groups. A true benefit of working at POC is I am allowed to pursue my areas of interest and growth due to our diverse technologies.

Eddie N. - Engineer

POC has awesome vision in many ways. As a high tech company, it sees innovative ideas and turns them into advanced technologies for men and women in uniform. As an employer, POC sees a family behind each employee which makes this company great.

EunHee H. - Scientist

At POC, I work with great people on innovative and exciting projects that have the potential to address important global issues.


Shaz K. - Scientist

POC has provided me an exciting research and development environment where learning possibilities seem limitless. I particularly enjoy the opportunity to work across a huge variety of projects. There is never a dull moment at POC!

Rex G. - Technician

It is very exciting to work for a company where the products and technology that are developed can be implemented in real world situations. POC has also afforded me the opportunity to take good care of my family.

George G. – Government Relations

Prior to joining POC, I spent many years as a Marine Corps customer. I always received more, sooner, and at lower cost than expected. Now I see the dedication and effort that led to that performance on hundreds of diverse technology developments. The brainpower at POC is enormous!​​​​

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Physical Optics Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Joanna Janson
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    Innovation, Growth, & Stability = Tremendous Opportunity

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    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Physical Optics Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)

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    I’ve worked at Physical Optics for almost 3 years. Plimsoll World recently released an independent evaluation of the global “medical & scientific research” industry that includes POC in the top 500 companies in the world. POC achieves this by beating the industry average in these categories: sales growth, profitability, and multiple other categories measuring stability, availability of capital & low debt. POC’s commercialization rate is very high – in fact, POC ranks in the top 30% of companies in commercialization of technologies that begin with SBIRs. We have commercialized over 100 products and generated over $100 million through products shipped. We have also launched six spin-off companies (Luminit LLC, Broadata Communications Inc., WaveBand Corp, FarLight Corp, Intelligent Optical Systems Inc., Optech Ventures LLC) through our research and development efforts, which further represent commercialization success. POC’s turnover rate is actually very low (9%) and the growth of our business is very high (+78% since 2007) resulting in a relatively “young” staff (55% have been at POC less than 5 years). POC is a vibrant and diverse workplace – POC fosters innovation and autonomy and embraces rapidly changing conditions and requirements. It is POC’s ability to rapidly adapt that ensures our growth and our future. POC promotes hard work and dedication.


    Not everyone is a perfect fit for this Company. Some people leave and need to find other opportunities that may fit their skills better. The culture may be difficult for them to fit into. Some of these same people often come back, and many have returned to POC. Most of the people that had worked for a much bigger company come to POC expecting a 'big' company management style. They will need to adjust their ways and put forward effort and dedication. They often cannot adjust and end up blaming the company.

    Advice to Management

    Communication and respect of all employees is essential to make people feel they are successful and part of the team. People need to know they contribute and their talent is appreciated. The communication and cooperation amongst the departments needs to improve. More management training would be helpful.

Physical Optics Corporation Interviews

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    Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
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    Average Interview


    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Physical Optics Corporation.


    Received a call from the recruiter, had a 20 min + conversation. A few days later got a call from the recruiter again for an in person interview. Interviewed with a team of engineers asked a bunch of technical questions. They were all very professional.

    Interview Questions

    • A lot of behavior questions from the Recruiter   1 Answer

Physical Optics Corporation Awards & Accolades

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AS9100C , SAI Global, 2012
Certification Awards AS9110A , QMI, 2012
CMMI Certification , SAI Global, 2012
ISO 9001:2008 Certified , QMI, 2012
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Additional Info

Headquarters Torrance, CA
Size 150 to 499 Employees
Founded 1985
Type Company - Private
Industry Manufacturing
Revenue $50 to $100 million (USD) per year

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