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Optical Scientist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real optical scientist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage sample inventory via in-house laboratory information management system (LIMS) and implement additional systems for sample and chemical organization.
  • Key activities include process chemistry development, synthesis of intermediates, compound purification and structure identification, and comprehensive scientific documentation.
  • Perform engineering research and development for numerous government fund projects, with problems focuse on adaptive optics and direct energy systems.

Optical Scientist Job Description

When it comes to understanding what an optical scientist does, you may be wondering, "should I become an optical scientist?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, optical scientists have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 9% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of optical scientist opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 1,900.

On average, the optical scientist annual salary is $83,856 per year, which translates to $40.32 an hour. Generally speaking, optical scientists earn anywhere from $52,000 to $132,000 a year, which means that the top-earning optical scientists make $84,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become an optical scientist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a research physicist, nuclear physicist, health physicist, and physicist.

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Optical Scientist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 21% of Optical Scientists are proficient in System Design, Zemax, and Optical Design. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Curiosity, and Problem-solving skills.

We break down the percentage of Optical Scientists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • System Design, 21%

    Led the team to complete the mechanical, optical, electronic, and system design with simulation and modeling.

  • Zemax, 17%

    Designed and implemented system modifications to improve optical performance using ZEMAX.

  • Optical Design, 15%

    Managed the optical design of multiple-surface progressive addition lenses.

  • Prototyping, 11%

    Invented, designed and led the prototyping of a high contrast Fresnel lens/projection screen and its ultra-thin cabinet-less projection display.

  • Asap, 11%

    Hired for non-existent stray light work and stayed busy teaching ASAP usage and modeling baffles.

  • Optical Components, 10%

    Utilized lasers, optical components, fiber-optics and fiber-optics components, and detectors including RF instrumentation.

Some of the skills we found on optical scientist resumes included "system design," "zemax," and "optical design." We have detailed the most important optical scientist responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for an optical scientist to have happens to be analytical skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "physicists and astronomers need to think logically in order to carry out scientific experiments and studies" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that optical scientists can use analytical skills to "developed a mems-based optical spectral analyzer (osa) using a transmission grating. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many optical scientist duties rely on curiosity. This example from a optical scientist explains why: "physicists and astronomers work in fields that are on the cutting edge of technology." This resume example is just one of many ways optical scientists are able to utilize curiosity: "reproduced various chemistry experiments which sparked curiosity and submersed students within the scientific method. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among optical scientists is problem-solving skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a optical scientist resume: "physicists and astronomers use scientific observation and analysis, as well as creative thinking, to solve complex scientific problems" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "work with method development group on robotic dissolution, and post column method. "
  • An optical scientist responsibilities sometimes require "communication skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "physicists and astronomers present their research at scientific conferences, to the public, or to government and business leaders" This resume example shows how this skill is used by optical scientists: "led test team in building and testing next generation space to ground laser communication telescopes. "
  • Another common skill for an optical scientist to be able to utilize is "interpersonal skills." Physicists and astronomers must collaborate extensively with others in both academic and industrial research contexts an optical scientist demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "team oriented professional with excellent interpersonal and communication skills. "
  • Another skill commonly found on optical scientist resumes is "math skills." This description of the skill was found on several optical scientist resumes: "physicists and astronomers perform complex calculations involving calculus, geometry, algebra, and other areas of math" Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day optical scientist responsibilities: "develop advanced mathematical & statistical analysis and modeling service for clients in oil and gas industry. "
  • See the full list of optical scientist skills.

    We've found that 42.9% of optical scientists have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 30.4% earned their master's degrees before becoming an optical scientist. While it's true that most optical scientists have a college degree, it's generally impossible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every ten optical scientists did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those optical scientists who do attend college, typically earn either physics degrees or electrical engineering degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for optical scientists include mechanical engineering degrees or mathematics degrees.

    Once you're ready to become an optical scientist, you should explore the companies that typically hire optical scientists. According to optical scientist resumes that we searched through, optical scientists are hired the most by Corning Incorporated, Apple, and CFD Research. Currently, Corning Incorporated has 3 optical scientist job openings, while there are 2 at Apple and 2 at CFD Research.

    If you're interested in companies where optical scientists make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Meta, Apple, and Corning Incorporated. We found that at Meta, the average optical scientist salary is $143,385. Whereas at Apple, optical scientists earn roughly $139,648. And at Corning Incorporated, they make an average salary of $107,673.

    View more details on optical scientist salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire optical scientists from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Pfizer, Glaxosmithkline, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious optical scientists are:

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    What Research Physicists Do

    A research physicist's job is to conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories based on observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories. Their duties and responsibilities include describing observations, developing simulations, and advising authorities on procedures to be followed.

    We looked at the average optical scientist annual salary and compared it with the average of a research physicist. Generally speaking, research physicists receive $9,193 lower pay than optical scientists per year.

    Even though optical scientists and research physicists have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require co2, r, and aperture in the day-to-day roles.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. An optical scientist responsibility is more likely to require skills like "system design," "zemax," "optical design," and "prototyping." Whereas a research physicist requires skills like "laser," "python," "data collection," and "rf." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Research physicists tend to make the most money in the technology industry by averaging a salary of $97,662. In contrast, optical scientists make the biggest average salary of $120,234 in the technology industry.

    Research physicists tend to reach lower levels of education than optical scientists. In fact, research physicists are 13.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 3.7% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Nuclear Physicist?

    A health physicist investigates research principles by which radiation interacts with living systems and matter. Health physicists study environmental radioactivity levels. Part of their research is radiation's effects on biological systems in space and on earth. They ensure the proper functioning of the x-ray and the storage of radiation therapy. Part of their responsibility is to make sure that scientists are following regulations and safely using their radioactive materials. Also, they are advocates of human and environmental protection.

    Next up, we have the nuclear physicist profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to an optical scientist annual salary. In fact, nuclear physicists salary difference is $16,643 lower than the salary of optical scientists per year.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that optical scientist responsibilities requires skills like "system design," "zemax," "optical design," and "prototyping." But a nuclear physicist might use skills, such as, "nuclear medicine," "doe," "experimental design," and "gamma cameras."

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, nuclear physicists tend to reach higher levels of education than optical scientists. In fact, they're 6.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 3.7% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Health Physicist Compares

    Physicists explain the effect of structures, phenomena, and forces on the natural world. Physicists determine and explore the primary principles governing the behavior and structure of matter. They study energy generation and transfer as well as the interaction between matter and energy. Their job involves the development of theories on the properties of matter, time, space, and energy. The position requires extensive research for technical papers and reports contributing to the industry. Physicians teach and lecture students on the laws associated with physics.

    Let's now take a look at the health physicist profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than optical scientists with a $8,914 difference per year.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from optical scientists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "system design," "zemax," "optical design," and "prototyping." But a health physicist might have skills like "radioactive materials," "oversight," "alara," and "radiation safety."

    Additionally, health physicists earn a higher salary in the energy industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $101,563. Additionally, optical scientists earn an average salary of $120,234 in the technology industry.

    Health physicists are known to earn lower educational levels when compared to optical scientists. Additionally, they're 10.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 25.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Physicist

    Physicists tend to earn a higher pay than optical scientists by about $27,013 per year.

    While both optical scientists and physicists complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like interferometers, ir, and r, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "system design," "zemax," "optical design," and "prototyping," which might show up on an optical scientist resume. Whereas physicist might include skills like "patients," "radiology," "oncology," and "radiation safety."

    Physicists reach similar levels of education when compared to optical scientists. The difference is that they're 4.9% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 9.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.