Optical Engineer


Optical engineers apply the concepts of optics to research, design, and develop applications in a broad range of areas. Optics, which involves the properties of light and how it interacts with matter, is a branch of physics and engineering. Optical engineers study the way light is produced, transmitted, detected, and measured to determine ways it can be used and to build devices using optical technology. Optical engineers may work in any of the many subfields or related branches of optics. Three of the largest areas are physical optics, which is concerned with the wave properties of light; quantum optics, which studies photons, or individual particles of light; and geometrical optics, which involves optical instruments used to detect and measure light. Other subfields of optics include integrated optics, nonlinear optics, electron optics, magneto-optics, and space optics.Optical engineers combine their knowledge of optics with other engineering concepts, such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering, to determine applications and build devices using optics technology. Optical engineers design precision optical systems for cameras, telescopes, or lens systems. They determine the required specifications and make adjustments to calibrate and fine-tune optical devices. They also design and develop circuitry and components for devices that use optical technology. Some optical engineers design and fabricate inspection instruments to test and measure the performance of optics systems. In designing this equipment, they test that all parts perform as required, diagnose any malfunctioning parts, and correct any defects. Together with electrical and mechanical engineers, they work on the overall design of systems using optical components.In creating a new product using optical technology, optical engineers go through a multistep engineering process. First, they study the application or problem to understand it thoroughly. Then they brainstorm to come up with possible solutions to the problem. After developing a creative concept, engineers transform it into a design or several designs. They work out all of the details and create a computer-generated model or test unit. This model or unit is tested, and any required revisions to the design are made and tested again. This process continues until the design proves satisfactory. The design is then sent to production, and a product is manufactured. The process is completed with marketing of the product. (

Job Prospect

Very High

Work Environment

Optical Engineers work environment comprise of Office, Labouratory and Workshop.

General and Personal Skills Required

Average Salary

Cost of Training

Recommended Level of Education


Professional Skills / Tools Required

Associated Disciplines

Physics or Electrical Engineering with specialization in Optics