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Photonics Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Builds, installs, tests, or maintains optical or fiber optic equipment, such as lasers, lenses, or mirrors, using spectrometers, interferometers, or related equipment.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Maintains clean working environments, according to clean room standards.
  • Computes or records photonic test data.
  • Adjusts or maintains equipment, such as lasers, laser systems, microscopes, oscilloscopes, pulse generators, power meters, beam analyzers, or energy measurement devices.
  • Sets up or operates 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.
  • Documents procedures, such as calibration of optical or fiber optic equipment.
  • Performs diagnostic analyses of processing steps, using analytical or metrological tools, such as microscopy, profilometry, or ellipsometry devices.
  • Assists engineers in the development of new products, fixtures, tools, or processes.
  • Mixes, pours, or uses processing chemicals or gases according to safety standards or established operating procedures.
  • Assists scientists or engineers in the conduct of photonic experiments.
  • Assembles fiber optical, optoelectronic, or free-space optics components, subcomponents, assemblies, or subassemblies.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Coating Manager --
  • Engineering Technician (Engineering Tech) --
  • Engineering Technologist --
  • Fiber Optics Technician --
  • Laser Technician --
  • Lead Technician --
  • Optomechanical Technician --
  • Photonic Laboratory Technician (Photonic Lab Tech) --
  • Ruling Technician --