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Coherent Overview

Santa Clara, CA
5001 to 10000 employees
Company - Public (COHR)
Industrial Manufacturing
$1 to $2 billion (USD) per year
Coherent was founded in May of 1966. The company specializes in light wave manipulation, called photonics, to manufacture and market all types of lasers. Operations straddle high-volume production of commercial lasers and components, and specialized, custom lasers. Products are ... Read more

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Coherent – Why Work For Us?

Who We Are

Coherent was founded in May of 1966. As it was for most companies starting out in the mid-60’s, the company’s start was modest. With limited financial resources, Coherent established its headquarters in the Palo Alto, CA home of one of its founders. At that time, the most pressing need was for a 220-volt power outlet, which forced Coherent’s brain trust to build their first laser in a laundry room. In the summer of 1966, next to a washer and dryer, and using a piece of rain gutter as a key component, Coherent’s founders began building their first laser. Four months later, Coherent unveiled the very first CO2 commercially available laser.

Today, Coherent is one of the world’s leading photonics manufacturers and innovators. With headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, and offices spanning the globe, Coherent offers a unique and distinct product portfolio that touches many different markets and industries.


Photonics has taken its place alongside electronics as a critical technology in the twenty-first century. Photonics-based solutions are entrenched in a broad range of industries from industrial automation to scientific research and medical diagnostics, where lasers are displacing conventional technologies because they can do the job faster, better, or more economically. For over 50 years, Coherent has been providing high performing and highly reliable photonics-based solutions that have become the enabling tool in many applications. As a leader in the photonics space, we continue to identify opportunities in which our technology portfolio and applications expertise offer innovative solutions to both commercial and scientific customers, allowing them a distinct advantage as they seek breakthroughs in the development of cutting-edge applications.


To support the needs of our diverse customer base, we drive innovation not only in our diversified mix of product technology and applications expertise, but also in technical development, operational excellence, and customer satisfaction. We are dedicated to providing the best support in the industry, and are recognized across the globe as having the most experienced, knowledgeable, and easily accessible sales, service and support teams.


Commitment to quality and customer satisfaction remains a cornerstone of our business. As such, we design and produce many of our own components and sub-assemblies – including fibers, crystal and wafer growth. We also design and implement proprietary manufacturing tools, equipment and techniques that are utilized across our product lines ensuring the highest quality product for all our customers. This commitment to quality differentiates us from other laser manufacturers.

A Career at Coherent

Coherent is one of the world’s leading suppliers of laser and laser-based solutions to a broad range of commercial and scientific research customers - designing, manufacturing and marketing lasers, laser-based systems, and related accessories for a diverse group of customers and markets. Since 1966, Coherent has expanded through a combination of internal growth and the strategic acquisition of related companies.


One of Coherent’s key values is respect for individuals. As a global company, Coherent values diversity of individuals, their ideas and experiences and are focused on mutual trust, respect and teamwork in the work environment. Coherent is an equal opportunity employer that hires without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status or other prohibited factors under applicable federal, state and local laws. Any individual using assistive technology (such as a screen reader, Braille reader, etc.) who experiences difficulty should contact us for assistance by sending an email explaining their accessibility problem.

Coherent benefit programs are an integral part of the total compensation strategy and are designed to meet the challenges of a growing global organization. These programs are aligned with local legislation and practices in each country where Coherent operates and are established to provide a framework of competitive benefit offerings in the global market place for talent.

Coherent offers a suite of benefit programs that are designed to meet the needs of its employees and their families. Coherent’s benefit packages include:

  • Health coverage (medical, dental, and vision)
  • Life and Accident Insurance
  • 401(k) Program with Employer Matching
  • Vacation and Paid Holidays
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  • Educational Assistance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Service Awards
  • Credit Union
  • Employee Discount Program
  • Patent Incentive Program
  • Tuition Reimbursement Program
  • Commuter Flex Spending Account

For additional details on many of these programs, please download Coherent’s Benefits Summary Document

Coherent Reviews

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Coherent President, CEO, and Director John R. Ambroseo
John R. Ambroseo
73 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Supportive and flexible"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plymouth, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plymouth, MI
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Coherent full-time


    Lots of changes at the Plymouth facility after the Coherent acquisition, majority an improvement. More approachable leadership, updated IT systems, more investment in people… to name a few.

    Personally, Coherent management was supportive of a difficult career choice I made, even though it wasn’t what was most expedient for them. My boss makes sure I have what I need to get my job done and that I’m challenged & engaged. Because the focus is on my work results, it affords me some flexibility in where and when I get my job done. Exactly what I needed at this point in my career & life, so I’m happy with my experience as a Coherent employee so far.


    The usual trade-offs between resources and speed of decisions as a company gets bigger; more corporate bureaucracy & organization complexities

    Medical benefits are probably good overall, but what we had previously was even more generous

    Advice to Management

    New processes & tools may be needed after doubling in size to increase speed and allow local leadership to make more decisions

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Coherent Photos

Coherent photo of: Photonics West
Coherent photo of: Tucson Facility
Coherent photo of: HQ
Coherent photo of: The high light of the Coherent head quarter building
Coherent photo of: Coherent
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Coherent Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview


    Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) in February 2018.


    The interview was very comfortable and straightforward, the interviewers were nice and made the process as comfortable as they could. I interviewed with 4 people total, 2 in person and 2 via Skype.

    Interview Questions

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Coherent Awards & Accolades

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