Photonics Technicians

Also called: Certified Laser Technician, Fiber Optic Assembler, Fiber Optic Technician, Fiber Optics Cabling Specialist, Fiber Optics Design Technician

Varies

estimated salary

Photonics technicians build, install, test, or maintain optical or fiber optic equipment, such as lasers, lenses, or mirrors, using spectrometers, interferometers, or related equipment.

  • 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.
  • Set up or operate prototype or test apparatus, such as control consoles, collimators, recording equipment, or cables.
  • Test or perform failure analysis for optomechanical or optoelectrical products, according to test plans.
  • Assemble or adjust parts or related electrical units of prototypes to prepare for testing.
  • Recommend optical or optic equipment design or material changes to reduce costs or processing times.
  • Monitor inventory levels and order supplies as necessary.
  • Repair or calibrate products, such as surgical lasers.
  • Monitor mechanical factors, such as turbine load or strain information.
  • Terminate, cure, polish, or test fiber cables with mechanical connectors.
  • Design, build, or modify fixtures used to assemble parts.
  • Splice fibers, using fusion splicing or other techniques.
  • Optimize photonic process parameters by making prototype or production devices.
  • Build prototype optomechanical devices for use in equipment such as aerial cameras, gun sights, or telescopes.
  • Assemble components of energy-efficient optical communications systems involving photonic switches, optical backplanes, or optoelectronic interfaces.
  • Lay out cutting lines for machining, using drafting tools.
  • Perform laser seam welding, heat treatment, or hard facing operations.
  • Fabricate devices, such as optoelectronic or semiconductor devices.
  • Build photonics tools to be applied to electrical grids to detect hot spots, such as failing insulators or conductors.
  • 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.
  • Develop solar power sources for lasers used in fiber optics.
  • Fabricate sensors to be used to control wind turbines.
Work Context
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded "Every day".
  • Electronic Mail — 76% responded "Every day".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 60% responded "Extremely important".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 72% responded "Every day".
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 56% responded "Every day".
  • Telephone — 48% responded "Every day".
  • Time Pressure — 44% responded "Once a week or more but not every day".
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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.
  • 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.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.
  • Maintain clean work areas.
  • Conduct quantitative failure analyses of operational data.
  • Assist engineers or scientists with research.
  • Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Computer aided design CAD software
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot Technology
  • ZEMAX Optical Design Program Hot Technology
Analytical or scientific software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB Hot Technology
  • Data acquisition software
  • Statistical analysis software
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • SAP Hot Technology
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Education

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
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