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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 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 80
Associate Degree 49
Undergraduate Certificate 24

What Laser & Optical Technology Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, laser and optical techn majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the 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:

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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

laser and optical techn majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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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 you progress with your laser and optical techn degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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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?

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
Photonics Technicians 5.2% $63,200

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

49 Associate's Degrees Annually
12% Percent Women
24% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 88% 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 0
Black or African American 2
Hispanic or Latino 7
White 36
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 4

How Much Do Laser & Optical Technology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Laser and Optical Techn majors often go into careers with median salaries of $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 degrees associated with laser and optical techn may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for laser and optical techn careers below.

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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 the 2019-2020 academic year, 26 schools offered some type of laser and optical technology/technician program. 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
Associate’s Degree 18 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 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 6,597
Other Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technologies 1,590
Telecommunications Technology 646
Audio Engineering Technology 34
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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