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Become A Senior Optical Engineer

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Working As A Senior Optical Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $101,760

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Optical Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Senior Optical Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Senior Optical Engineer jobs

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Senior Optical Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

73.3%

Unknown

15.3%

Female

11.3%
Ethnicity

White

60.7%

Asian

29.8%

Hispanic or Latino

7.4%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Chinese

33.3%

Mandarin

16.7%

Japanese

16.7%

French

16.7%

Cantonese

16.7%
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Senior Optical Engineer Education

Schools

University of Arizona

21.4%

University of Rochester

10.7%

University of Alabama at Huntsville

8.9%

University of Central Florida

7.1%

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

7.1%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.6%

University of Connecticut

3.6%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.6%

Cleveland State University

3.6%

University of California - Davis

3.6%

University of Alabama

3.6%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

University of Washington

3.6%

The Academy

3.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.6%

University of Dayton

1.8%

Virginia Tech University Falls Church

1.8%

Cornell College

1.8%

Monroe Community College

1.8%

University of California - Berkeley

1.8%
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Majors

Physics

50.4%

Electrical Engineering

24.8%

Mechanical Engineering

3.9%

Materials Science And Engineering

3.1%

Business

2.3%

Engineering Physics

2.3%

Engineering

2.3%

Education

1.6%

Engineering Technology

0.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.8%

Physical Sciences

0.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

0.8%

Industrial Technology

0.8%

Aviation

0.8%

Elementary Education

0.8%

Environmental Science

0.8%

Computer Networking

0.8%

Theology

0.8%

Materials Sciences

0.8%

English

0.8%
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Degrees

Doctorate

29.9%

Masters

29.2%

Bachelors

26.3%

Other

10.2%

Certificate

2.2%

Associate

1.5%

Diploma

0.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Optical Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Optical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 06, 2016 $164,000
Senior Optical Test Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Aug 26, 2015 $164,000
Senior Display Optical Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2010 $150,000
Senior Optical Coating Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 24, 2014 $148,200 -
$160,000
Senior Optical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 06, 2015 $147,000
Senior Optical Systems Engineer 3D Robotics, Inc. Berkeley, CA Jan 12, 2015 $140,000
SR. Panel Optical Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 19, 2014 $140,000 -
$160,000
Senior Optical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 10, 2013 $140,000
Senior Optical Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jun 10, 2013 $140,000
Senior Optical Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 21, 2014 $140,000 -
$160,000
Senior Optical Packaging Engineer Finisar Corporation Fremont, CA Sep 01, 2014 $135,000
Senior Optical Packaging Engineer Finisar Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Sep 01, 2014 $135,000
Senior Optical Engineer Lytro, Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 01, 2015 $130,000
SR. Engineer II-Optical Alcon Research, Ltd. Lake Forest, CA Mar 20, 2016 $113,131
Senior Optical Engineer Infinera Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Aug 31, 2016 $112,271 -
$130,000
Senior Optical Engineer Infinera Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Sep 13, 2016 $112,271 -
$130,000
SR. Engineer II-Optical Alcon Research, Ltd. Lake Forest, CA Sep 16, 2015 $111,862
Senior, Optical Engineer Infinera Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Aug 31, 2015 $111,640 -
$124,800
Senior Panel Optical Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 04, 2014 $110,032 -
$130,000
Senior Optical Engineer Calient Technologies, Inc. Goleta, CA Jul 15, 2015 $110,000
Senior Display Optical Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2011 $110,000
Senior Engineer Optical Devices Axsun Technologies, Inc. Billerica, MA Oct 01, 2014 $101,327
Senior Optical Test Engineer Jabil Circuit, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 15, 2014 $100,000
Senior Optical Engineer Magic Leap, Inc. Pflugerville, TX Sep 03, 2015 $100,000
Senior Optics Engineer Acacia Communications, Inc. Maynard, MA Sep 02, 2014 $100,000 -
$110,000
SR. Optical Engineer Cooper Crouse-Hinds, LLC Windsor, CT Jan 10, 2016 $99,445 -
$100,288
Senior Optical Engineer Cymer, Inc. San Diego, CA Apr 19, 2013 $99,258 -
$151,900
Senior Optical Engineer Cymer LLC San Diego, CA Nov 04, 2013 $99,258 -
$151,900

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Top Skills for A Senior Optical Engineer

LaserSystemOpticalDesignProgramsOpticalSystemsZemaxOpticalEngineeringOpticalComponentsFiberOpticIRIlluminationSystemsMatlabRTestEquipmentThinFilmOpticalPerformanceTestProceduresWDMLCDToleranceAnalysisUVMTF

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Top Senior Optical Engineer Skills

  1. Laser System
  2. Optical Design Programs
  3. Optical Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed high accuracy, automatic alignment techniques for large, multi-beamed laser systems.
  • Used the Zemax and Code V optical design programs.
  • Designed free space optical systems.
  • Work includes optics selection, optical throughput predictions, illumination uniformity simulations, and tolerance analysis in Zemax.
  • Created optical and mechanical requirements for optical and lens assemblies and optical engineering processes, procedures, requirements, and documentation.

Top Senior Optical Engineer Employers