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Summary 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Coating Manager, Engineering Technician (Engineering Tech), Engineering Technologist, Fiber Optics Technician, Laser Technician, Lead Technician, Optomechanical Technician, Photonic Laboratory Technician (Photonic Lab Tech), Photonics Technician, Ruling Technician

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Maintain clean working environments, according to clean room standards.
  • Compute or record photonic test data.
  • Adjust or maintain equipment, such as lasers, laser systems, microscopes, oscilloscopes, pulse generators, power meters, beam analyzers, or energy measurement devices.
  • 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.
  • Document procedures, such as calibration of optical or fiber optic equipment.
  • Perform diagnostic analyses of processing steps, using analytical or metrological tools, such as microscopy, profilometry, or ellipsometry devices.
  • Assist engineers in the development of new products, fixtures, tools, or processes.
  • Mix, pour, or use processing chemicals or gases according to safety standards or established operating procedures.
  • Assist scientists or engineers in the conduct of photonic experiments.
  • Assemble fiber optical, optoelectronic, or free-space optics components, subcomponents, assemblies, or subassemblies.

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Tools & Technology

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
Lasers — Diode lasers; Excimer lasers; Liquid dye lasers; Solid state lasers
Power saws — Cutoff saws; Die saws; Die shears; Wire saws
Semiconductor process systems — Chemical vapor deposition CVD systems; Electron cyclotron resonance ECR reactive ion etchers RIE; Plasma strippers; Sputter deposition systems

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
Graphics or photo imaging software — Image processing software
Word processing software

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Knowledge

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Skills

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Abilities

Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

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Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
32   Associate's degree
16   Some college, no degree
12   High school diploma or equivalent Help

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

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.
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.
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.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

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Work Values

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.
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.
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.

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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 (2013) $29.12 hourly, $60,560 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 68,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Little or no change (-2% to 2%) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 14,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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