Laser & Optical Technology
Types of Degrees Laser & Optical Technology Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many laser and optical technology/technician graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Laser & Optical Technology Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to laser and optical techn and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Laser and Optical Tech Majors
Laser and Optical Techn majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- 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
When studying laser and optical techn, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- 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
A major in laser and optical techn will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- 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?
People with a laser and optical techn degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Electronics Engineering Technologists||5.2%||$63,200|
|Non-Destructive Testing Specialists||5.2%||$63,200|
Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Laser & Optical Technology?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of laser and optical techn majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||2|
|Hispanic or Latino||7|
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Laser & Optical Technology
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.
|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%|
|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%|
Online Laser & Optical Technology Programs
In 2019-2020, 26 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)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||11||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||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!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Trades Related to Laser & Optical Technology
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||6,597|
|Other Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technologies||1,590|
|Audio Engineering Technology||34|
|Integrated Circuit Design||0|
*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.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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