Details Report for:
17-3029.08 - Photonics Technicians
Build, install, test, or maintain optical or fiber optic equipment, such as lasers, lenses, or mirrors, using spectrometers, interferometers, or related equipment.
This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.
- Adjust or maintain equipment, such as lasers, laser systems, microscopes, oscilloscopes, pulse generators, power meters, beam analyzers, or energy measurement devices.
- Assemble fiber optical, optoelectronic, or free-space optics components, subcomponents, assemblies, or subassemblies.
- Build prototype optomechanical devices for use in equipment such as aerial cameras, gun sights, or telescopes.
- Fabricate devices, such as optoelectronic or semiconductor devices.
- Perform laser seam welding, heat treatment, or hard facing operations.
- Repair or calibrate products, such as surgical lasers.
- Set up or operate assembly or processing equipment, such as lasers, cameras, die bonders, wire bonders, dispensers, reflow ovens, soldering irons, die shears, wire pull testers, temperature or humidity chambers, or optical spectrum analyzers.
- Set up or operate prototype or test apparatus, such as control consoles, collimators, recording equipment, or cables.
- Splice fibers, using fusion splicing or other techniques.
- Terminate, cure, polish, or test fiber cables with mechanical connectors.
- Assemble or adjust parts or related electrical units of prototypes to prepare for testing.
- Assist engineers in the development of new products, fixtures, tools, or processes.
- Design, build, or modify fixtures used to assemble parts.
- Lay out cutting lines for machining, using drafting tools.
- Mix, pour, or use processing chemicals or gases according to safety standards or established operating procedures.
- Optimize process parameters by making prototype and production devices.
- Perform diagnostic analyses of processing steps, using analytical or metrological tools, such as microscopy, profilometry, or ellipsometry devices.
- Assist scientists or engineers in the conduct of photonic experiments.
- Record test results and compute test data.
- Test or perform failure analysis for optomechanical or optoelectrical products, according to test plans.
- Document procedures such as calibration.
- Maintain activity logs.
- Maintain clean working environments, according to clean room standards.
- Monitor inventory levels and order supplies as necessary.
- Recommend design or material changes to reduce costs or processing times.
- Assemble components of energy-efficient optical communications systems involving photonic switches, optical backplanes, or optoelectronic interfaces.
- Assemble devices or equipment to be used in green technology applications, including solar energy, high efficiency solid state lighting, energy management, smart buildings, or green processes.
- Build photonics tools to be applied to electrical grids to detect hot spots, such as failing insulators or conductors.
- Develop solar power sources for lasers used in fiber optics.
- Fabricate sensors to be used to control wind turbines.
- Monitor mechanical factors, such as turbine load or strain information.
Tools used in this occupation:
|Integrated circuit testers — Digital logic analyzers; Digital logic probes; Logic pulsers|
|Interferometers — Optical spectrum analyzers; Shearing interferometers; Twyman-Green interferometers; Wavelength meters (see all 9 examples)|
|Laser cutting tools — Laser cutting machines; Laser drills|
|Lasers — Diode lasers; Excimer lasers; Liquid dye lasers; Solid state lasers (see all 6 examples)|
|Oscilloscopes — Analog oscilloscopes; Digital oscilloscopes|
|Polishing machines — Fiber polishers|
|Positioning jig — Micropositioners; Positioning stages|
|Power meters — Optical power meters; Photoelectric power meters|
|Power saws — Cutoff saws; Die saws; Die shears; Wire saws|
|Refrigerated and heated reach in environmental or growth chambers — Humidity chambers; Temperature chambers|
|Semiconductor process systems — Chemical vapor deposition CVD systems; Electron cyclotron resonance ECR reactive ion etchers RIE; Plasma strippers; Sputter deposition systems (see all 9 examples)|
|Surface testers — Contact profilometers; Non contact profilometers|
Technology used in this occupation:
|Analytical or scientific software — Data acquisition software; Statistical analysis software; The MathWorks MATLAB|
|Computer aided design CAD software — ZEMAX Optical Design Program|
|Computer aided manufacturing CAM software|
|Data base user interface and query software — Database software|
|Graphics or photo imaging software — Image processing software|
|Internet browser software|
|Word processing software|
|100||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 outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.|
|72||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.|
|50||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.|
|22||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.|
|6||Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.|
|0||Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.|
|61||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.|
|61||Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.|
|56||Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.|
|56||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.|
|56||Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.|
|56||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.|
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other.
Employment data collected from Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other.
Industry data collected from Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other.
|Median wages (2012)||$28.58 hourly, $59,440 annual|
|Employment (2010)||71,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2010-2020)||Slower than average (3% to 9%)|
|Projected job openings (2010-2020)||16,800|
|Top industries (2010)||
Government (37% employed in this sector)
State & National
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data and 2010-2020 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2010-2020). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.