Average Optical Engineer Salary

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The average salary for an Optical Engineer is $88,158.
MEDIAN $88,158
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United States (change)
$62k - $133k
$979 - $15k
Profit Sharing
$2k - $25k
Total Pay
$61k - $139k

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Job Description for Optical Engineer

Optical Engineer Tasks
  • Design, analyze, test, and implement optical systems.
  • Optimize product cycle of new optical designs for market realignment.
  • Improve manufacturability of optical products.
The top respondents for the job title Optical Engineer are from the companies ASML Lithography, North American Lighting, Inc. and BAE Systems Inc.. Reported salaries are highest at Apple Computer, Inc where the average pay is $136,555. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Lockheed Martin Corp and ASML Lithography, earning around $116,000 and $100,430, respectively. North American Lighting, Inc. pays the lowest at around $76,444. BAE Systems Inc. and Harris Corporation also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $83,000 and $92,500, respectively.

Career Paths

Explore the most common career paths for Optical Engineer. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
Optical Engineer
Project Manager, Engineering
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Optical Engineer Job Listings

Popular Skills for Optical Engineer

Skills in Engineering Design are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Zemax, Data Analysis, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Matlab.

Pay by Experience Level for Optical Engineer

An entry-level Optical Engineer with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $73,896 based on 90 salaries. An early career Optical Engineer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $80,698 based on 323 salaries. A mid-career Optical Engineer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $95,256 based on 164 salaries. An experienced Optical Engineer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $110,967 based on 121 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $120,742.
Employees with Optical Engineer in their job title in San Jose, California earn an average of 34.0% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Los Angeles, California (25.5% more) and Boulder, Colorado (24.0% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Rochester, New York (18.7% less), Tucson, Arizona (9.3% less) and San Diego, California (0.9% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 763 survey responses.
Entry Level
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career