What does an Optical Engineer do?

Optical engineers research, design, and test devices that use cameras, lasers, microscopes, and refractometers. They use light properties and other materials to produce, control, and manipulate light for use in high-tech devices. They work in agriculture, aerospace, lighting, textiles, and design and test object devices used in scientific instruments or optomechanical equipment. Optical engineers might also work with observatories, helping to maintain telescopes and test other astronomical instruments.

Optical engineers are responsible for developing and prototyping optical systems for commercial high-speed free-space communication systems and performing data collection and analysis of test links and field trials. They apply optics concepts to research, design, and develop applications in many areas and study the way light is produced, transmitted, detected, and measured to determine how to use it. Optical engineers need a minimum bachelor's degree in science with a concentration in physical objects, geometrical objects, optical communication systems, or related fields.

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Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
9%
2 - 4
60%
5 - 7
7%
8+
24%

Common Skill Sets

Idl
Security Clearance
MATLAB
ATOMIC Physics
Python
Sensitive
OPC
Motivated

Optical Engineer Seniority Levels

Electronics Engineer
3% made the transition
Controls Engineer
4% made the transition
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Optical Engineer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$105,057 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$73K
Median: $105K
$151K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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