Optical engineers are responsible for creating optical devices to be used in eye wear, cameras, telescopes, and lasers. Candidates for the position must be skilled researchers of light refraction and reflection and should have strong experimental and discovery skills, as well.
Optical engineers must be prepared to work with cohorts from different departments, and may work with the visual marketing department to design new eye-wear or with the biomedical department to create new contact lenses. Laboratory work is very regular, and prolonged periods of sitting or standing may be required, but occasional travel may also be necessary. Those in this position generally work forty hours per week, and some overtime work may be required depending on the employer.
Good communication skills are essential for optical engineers, as they will be required to report their findings and/or present their protocols. Although the hours are usually steady with no night-work required, they must still be timely and highly motivated, as there are often strict deadlines to be met.
An advanced degree in optics, physics, or biomedical engineering and a correlating background in engineering, physics, and mathematics are generally required for this position, and candidates should be well-versed in Microsoft Office programs such as Excel and PowerPoint.
Optical Engineer Tasks
Improve manufacturability of optical products.
Optimize product cycle of new optical designs for market realignment.
Design, analyze, test, and implement optical systems.