Optical Engineer

Design systems to fit within the physical limits of optical instruments.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $139,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Optical Engineers do?

Designs optical systems with specific characteristics to fit within specified physical limits of precision optical instruments, such as still- and motion-picture cameras, lens systems, telescopes, and viewing and display devices: Determines specifications for operations and makes adjustments to calibrate and obtain specified operational performance. Determines proper operation of optical system and makes adjustments to perfect system. Designs mounts for components to hold them in proper planes in relation to each other and instrument in which they will be used. Designs inspection instruments to test optical systems for defects, such as aberrations and deviations. May work with electrical and mechanical engineering staff to develop overall design of optical system.


Should I be an Optical Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Electro-optical Engineer, Electro Optical Engineer, Mathematical Engineer, Optical Design Engineer, Optical Designer See More

    How to become an Optical Engineer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Optical Engineer-related education!
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