Laser technology diploma programs focus on mathematics, science, optics, electronics and communications. Students learn about computer applications used with lasers and ways they are used on the job. Some programs provide training in fiber optics, which are used in the telecommunications industry. Students gain hands-on experience by participating in labs. A diploma program can prepare students for a degree program in a similar field.
Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent to apply.
Diploma in Laser Technology
These programs typically consist of 36-48 credits. Training may include the study of laser properties, safety measures, optical cavities and laser light properties. Many of the classes are laboratory based. Some topics may include:
- Laser fundamentals
- Lasers and geometrical optics
- Digital electronics
- Photonics technology
- Fiber optics
- Electronic devices
Popular Career Options
Graduates of these programs may find job opportunities in a variety of industries. Lasers are used for everything from hair removal to entertainment, where lasers are used in light shows. In industry, lasers are used for a variety of cutting operations due to their ability to make precise and thin cuts. Hospitals use lasers for surgical procedures and need medical laser technicians to maintain and troubleshoot laser equipment.
Some positions may require additional training beyond a diploma. Occupations may include:
- Laser technician
- Medical laser technician
- Machine operator
- Technical associate
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Estheticians, or skincare specialists, who use lasers for hair removal, earned an annual median salary of $31,290 as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Furthermore, the BLS predicts faster than average employment growth of 11% for these professionals from 2018 to 2028. Audio and video equipment technicians, who often set up and operate customized lighting systems, earned an annual median salary of $43,770 in 2018. In 2018, the BLS projected 12% job growth for these technicians through 2028, which is faster than the average occupation.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates with a diploma in laser technology may choose to further their education by enrolling in an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program in laser technology or a related field. These programs give individuals the opportunity to train in specialized areas such as electro-mechanical engineering, material science and photonics.
The medical field also uses lasers in surgery and eye care. Individuals interested in research and teaching at the college level may wish to earn a doctoral degree in physics. Research is conducted in optical, molecular and atomic physics.
Diploma programs in laser technology provide instruction in various aspects of lasers while providing hands-on training through laboratory experience. Depending on career goals, students can seek employment after graduating or look into more advanced degrees to further specialize in areas like photonics or engineering.