Laser Technician Job Duties, Salary Info and Career Options

Laser technicians require little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and career options to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Laser technicians are photonics technicians who work with lasers in a variety of industries. They might be responsible for assembling, calibrating, testing, troubleshooting and maintaining devices with lasers or actual lasers. Jobs in this career field are attainable with a range of education and experience, from workforce training programs to bachelor's degree programs.

Required Education Ranges from postsecondary training to bachelor's degree programs, depending on the job and desire for advancement
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* .9% for the group of engineering technicians including photonics technicians
Median Salary (2013)* $60,560 annually for the group of engineering technicians including photonics technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties of a Laser Technician

Laser technicians work for a variety of employers, including hospitals and the government, as well as in industry, manufacturing and research. Their job duties vary depending on where they work. A laser technician may be responsible for assembling, dismantling, installing, calibrating, testing, operating and repairing lasers. They also may perform alignment procedures, clean optics, integrate lasers with opto-mechanics parts, work on laser documentation and troubleshoot. They may also assist staff in the operation of the laser and function as the laser safety officer.

Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that laser technicians earned median annual pay of $60,560 in 2013. This rate breaks down to a median hourly rate of $29.12 hourly.

Career Options

Laser technicians may work in the laser development and research, industrial lasers, consumer electronics, biotechnology, medicine or telecommunication fields. Career options depend upon the level of education. Workforce training programs, which may consist of courses in lasers, prepare graduates for entry-level positions. Workers with an associate's degree in electronics, electronic engineering, electro-optics or laser technology may be able to acquire more technical positions than technicians who have completed a workforce program. Laser technicians who want to advance may enroll in a 4-year degree program in engineering technology, concentrating in electronics manufacturing, physics or engineering physics.

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