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 $46.6 an hour? That's $96,918 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 12,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

Learn more about what a Photonics Engineer does

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 44.4% of photonics engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 22.2% of photonics engineers have master's degrees. Even though most photonics engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Average Salary for a Photonics Engineer

Photonics Engineers in America make an average salary of $96,918 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $143,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $65,000 per year.
Average Photonics Engineer Salary
$96,918 Yearly
$46.60 hourly
$65,000
10 %
$96,000
Median
$143,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Photonics Engineer
How To Become a Photonics Engineer Career Overview

States With The Most Photonics Engineer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active photonics engineer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where photonics engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Photonics Engineer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California1,688$107,078
2Texas641$106,334
3Virginia603$95,191
4New York446$90,498
5Florida444$78,875
6Washington405$111,819
7Maryland369$100,696
8Massachusetts331$110,784
9Illinois294$99,247
10Colorado286$95,970
11North Carolina243$91,857
12Georgia242$84,728
13Oregon214$88,014
14Ohio213$92,998
15Michigan204$79,075
16Pennsylvania199$81,213
17New Jersey195$105,988
18Arizona191$110,969
19Indiana165$63,011
20Minnesota136$86,813
21Alabama126$77,766
22Utah112$100,606
23Wisconsin94$80,900
24South Carolina80$93,252
25Tennessee76$76,592
26Missouri72$86,482
27Connecticut71$99,991
28Delaware68$101,291
29Nebraska59$86,161
30Louisiana49$99,003
31Nevada48$114,135
32Iowa47$97,617
33Arkansas46$104,693
34Oklahoma46$85,204
35New Hampshire45$97,067
36Kentucky43$89,330
37Idaho41$109,393
38New Mexico39$117,211
39Kansas35$100,301
40Alaska24$102,337
41Mississippi23$92,641
42Hawaii22$77,041
43Vermont20$104,959
44Rhode Island19$99,607
45Wyoming18$91,372
46West Virginia18$94,032
47Montana17$94,062
48Maine15$97,153
49South Dakota12$87,865
50North Dakota10$86,636

Photonics Engineer Education

Photonics Engineer Majors

21.7 %

Photonics Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

44.4 %

Masters

22.2 %

Doctorate

16.7 %

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 • Private

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 • Private

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 • Private

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

9. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

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

Top Skills For a Photonics Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 35.9% of photonics engineers listed modulators on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and listening skills are important as well.

Photonics Engineer Demographics

Photonics Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
91%
Female
Female
9%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among photonics engineers, 9.1% of them are women, while 90.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among photonics engineers is White, which makes up 71.6% of all photonics engineers.

Work Experience Programs For Photonics Engineers

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Globally Responsible Engineering Program

Company: Engineers Without Borders UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Civil Engineering Program

Company: John Holland Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-4.5 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Blackbird Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-10 hours

Advanced Software Engineering Program

Company: Walmart India

Cost: Free

Duration: 3.5-4 hours

Product Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 4 hours

Engineering Program

Company: General Electric

Cost: Free

Duration: 3-4.5 hours

Agile Methodology Program

Company: Cognizant USA

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Electronic Arts

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-6 hours

Commercial Banking Innovation Development Program Program

Company: JPMorgan Chase

Cost: Free

Duration: 8-12 hours

Online Courses For Photonics Engineer That You May Like

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Quantum Optics 2 - Two photons and more
coursera

"Quantum Optics 1, Single photons", allowed learners to be introduced to the basic principles of light quantization, and to the standard formalism of Quantum Optics. All the examples were taken in single photons phenomena, including applications to quantum technologies. In the same spirit, "Quantum Optics 2, Two photons and more", will allow learners to use the Quantum Optics formalism to describe entangled photon, a unique feature at the root of the second quantum revolution and its application...

Quantum Optics 1: Single Photons
coursera

This course gives you access to basic tools and concepts to understand research articles and books on modern quantum optics. You will learn about quantization of light, formalism to describe quantum states of light without any classical analogue, and observables allowing one to demonstrate typical quantum properties of these states. These tools will be applied to the emblematic case of a one-photon wave packet, which behaves both as a particle and a wave. Wave-particle duality is a great quantum...

Optical Engineering
coursera

The courses in this specialization can also be taken for academic credit as ECEA 5600-5602, part of CU Boulder's Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree. Enroll here.\n\nOptical instruments are how we see the world, from corrective eyewear to medical endoscopes to cell phone cameras to orbiting telescopes. This course will teach you how to design such optical systems with simple graphical techniques, then transform those pencil and paper designs to include real optical components incl...

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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 New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, and Arizona. Photonics engineers make the most in New Mexico with an average salary of $117,211. Whereas in Nevada and Washington, they would average $114,135 and $111,819, respectively. While photonics engineers would only make an average of $110,969 in Arizona, 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:
405
Highest 10% Earn:
$156,000
Location Quotient:
1.74

2. Arizona

Total Photonics Engineer Jobs:
191
Highest 10% Earn:
$159,000
Location Quotient:
1.03

3. Massachusetts

Total Photonics Engineer Jobs:
331
Highest 10% Earn:
$159,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Full List Of Best States For Photonics Engineers

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Top Photonics Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Photonics Engineer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Waymo$140,695$67.641
2Nokia$108,429$52.131
3Rockley Photonics$102,948$49.491
4Aurora Innovations$102,146$49.111
5Acacia Communications$101,700$48.893
6FARO Technologies$101,690$48.893
7Skorpios Technologies$101,226$48.672
8Elenion Technologies$101,035$48.572
9AEVA$101,029$48.572
10*n/a*$100,909$48.512