CareerGPS

Photonics Engineers
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Engineers, All Other
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
766 809 43 5.65% 9 50 59 $42.41 $88,206 Bachelor's degree
Description: Apply knowledge of engineering and mathematical theory and methods to design technologies specializing in light information and light energy.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Design electro-optical sensing or imaging systems.
  • Determine commercial, industrial, scientific, or other uses for electro-optical applications or devices.
  • Conduct research on new photonics technologies.
  • Design, integrate, or test photonics systems and components.
  • Analyze system performance or operational requirements.
  • Conduct testing to determine functionality and optimization or to establish limits of photonics systems or components.
  • Design gas lasers, solid state lasers, infrared, or other light emitting or light sensitive devices.
  • Determine applications of photonics appropriate to meet product objectives and features.
  • Develop and test photonic prototypes or models.
  • Develop optical or imaging systems such as optical imaging products, optical components, image processes, signal process technologies, and optical systems.
  • Document design processes including objectives, issues, and outcomes.
  • Assist in the transition of photonic prototypes to production.
  • Oversee or provide expertise on manufacturing, assembly, or fabrication processes.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, continue education, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in the field.
  • Train operators, engineers, or other personnel.
  • Write reports or research proposals.

Knowledge

93%
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.
86%
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.
83%
Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
83%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
68%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
62%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
52%
Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
52%
Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

78%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
62%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
62%
Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
60%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
60%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
60%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
60%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
56%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
56%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
53%
Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
53%
Technology Design - Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
53%
Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
53%
Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
53%
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
50%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
50%
Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
50%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
50%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Abilities

69%
Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
69%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
65%
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).
65%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
62%
Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
62%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
62%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
62%
Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
62%
Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
62%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
62%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
60%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
60%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
60%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
60%
Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
56%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
56%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
56%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
53%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
53%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
50%
Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
50%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa

Work Activities

91%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
85%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
85%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
83%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
83%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
75%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
75%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
74%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
73%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
71%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
69%
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
67%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
67%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
64%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
63%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
62%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
62%
Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
60%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
60%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
58%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
57%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
57%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
56%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
54%
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
52%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
50%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
50%
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Overall Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Interests

Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.