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Laser & Optical Technology Major

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Laser & Optical Technology

79 Associates's Degrees Annually
0 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#138 in Popularity (Associate's)
$65,720 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Laser & Optical Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many laser and optical technology/technician graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 79
Basic Certificate 72
Undergraduate Certificate 14

What Laser & Optical Technology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to laser and optical techn were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Laser and Optical Tech Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in laser and optical techn should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Skills for Laser and Optical Tech Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to laser and optical techn:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for Laser and Optical Tech Majors

As a laser and optical techn major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Laser & Optical Technology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with laser and optical techn:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Electronics Engineering Technologists 5.2% $63,200
Non-Destructive Testing Specialists 5.2% $63,200
Photonics Technicians 5.2% $63,200

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Laser & Optical Technology?

79 Associate's Degrees Annually
8% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 92% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of laser and optical techn majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2
Black or African American 4
Hispanic or Latino 12
White 55
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 6

How Much Do Laser & Optical Technology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to laser and optical techn is $65,720. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Laser & Optical Technology Major  65,720
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with laser and optical techn require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to laser and optical techn have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 1.3%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 14.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 15.8%
Some College Courses 7.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 39.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 17.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 2.6%
Master’s Degree 2.6%

Online Laser & Optical Technology Programs

In 2018-2019, 27 schools offered a laser and optical techn program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 14 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 11 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 19 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 14 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Laser & Optical Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a laser and optical techn grad is $65,720 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 65% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $516,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to laser and optical techn.

Major Number of Grads
Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician 7,209
Other Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians 1,734
Telecommunications Technology/Technician 624
Integrated Circuit Design 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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