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Working as a Photonics Engineer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a photonics engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.9 an hour? That's $89,223 a year!

What Does a Photonics Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many photonics engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, listening skills and mechanical skills.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the photonics engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most photonics engineers actually find jobs in the technology and telecommunication industries.

How To Become a Photonics Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a photonics engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 11.1% of photonics engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 44.4% of photonics engineers have master's degrees. Even though most photonics engineers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a photonics engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a photonics engineer, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on photonics engineer resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or None degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a photonics engineer. In fact, many photonics engineer jobs require experience in a role such as engineering services manager. Meanwhile, many photonics engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as service engineer or teaching & research assistant.

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Average Salary$89,223
Job Growth Rate4%

Average Salary for a Photonics Engineer

Photonics Engineers in America make an average salary of $89,223 per year or $43 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $132,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $60,000 per year.
Average Salary
$89,223

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Seattle, WA
Salary Range93k - 142k$116k$115,626
Sunnyvale, CA
Salary Range84k - 133k$106k$106,451
Albuquerque, NM
Salary Range73k - 114k$92k$91,640
Cambridge, MA
Salary Range72k - 113k$90k$90,486
Durham, NC
Salary Range70k - 112k$89k$89,050
Newark, DE
Salary Range68k - 107k$86k$85,914
$51k
$142k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Advanced Photonics Engineer
Advanced Photonics Engineer
Honeywell
Honeywell
12/28/2020
12/28/2020
$97,60012/28/2020
$97,600
Photonics Engineer, IC Design
Photonics Engineer, IC Design
Sensor Creations, Inc.
Sensor Creations, Inc.
07/23/2019
07/23/2019
$100,56807/23/2019
$100,568
Engineer Photonics-Color Engineer
Engineer Photonics-Color Engineer
Cascade Engineering Services, Inc.
Cascade Engineering Services, Inc.
05/13/2019
05/13/2019
$135,65505/13/2019
$135,655
Photonics Engineer
Photonics Engineer
Hisense Photonics Inc.
Hisense Photonics Inc.
03/20/2019
03/20/2019
$78,05403/20/2019
$78,054
Photonics Engineer
Photonics Engineer
Microscale Inc.
Microscale Inc.
03/18/2019
03/18/2019
$90,00003/18/2019
$90,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Photonics Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

81.8 %

female

13.6 %

unknown

4.5 %

Ethnicity

White

71.9 %

Asian

15.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

See More Demographics

Photonics Engineer Education

Degrees

Masters

44.4 %

Doctorate

44.4 %

Bachelors

11.1 %

Top Colleges for Photonics Engineers

1. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

8. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

9. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$19,080
Enrollment
19,127

10. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
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Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Photonics Engineer

Best States For a Photonics Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a photonics engineer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Maine, Idaho, and Alaska. Photonics engineers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $114,306. Whereas in Maine and Idaho, they would average $110,264 and $105,124, respectively. While photonics engineers would only make an average of $99,470 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Photonics Engineer Jobs:
359
Highest 10% Earn:
$169,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Idaho

Total Photonics Engineer Jobs:
33
Highest 10% Earn:
$158,000
Location Quotient:
0.88
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Photonics Engineer Jobs:
20
Highest 10% Earn:
$155,000
Location Quotient:
1.14
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Photonics Engineer Employers

1. Faro Technologies
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$93,056
Photonics Engineers Hired: 
3+
2. Acacia Communications
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$93,248
Photonics Engineers Hired: 
3+
3. Thorlabs
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$101,695
Photonics Engineers Hired: 
2+
4. Cree
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$82,278
Photonics Engineers Hired: 
2+
5. Cascade Engineering
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$88,976
Photonics Engineers Hired: 
2+
6. Boston University
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$76,851
Photonics Engineers Hired: 
1+
Updated October 2, 2020