Both certificate and associate degree programs in laser technology are available. They may also be found as laser and fiber optic technology or laser photonic technology programs. Some certificate programs may require a college degree or that applicants pass a placement exam in English. Courses can also be found online, to the extent that students may only need to attend hands-on training segments. Certificate programs can last anywhere from two semesters to sixteen credit hours.
Associate of Science Degree in Laser Technology
Completing a laser technology associate degree program gives students the training necessary for careers as laser or photonics technicians. To enroll in these 2-year programs, students must have a high school diploma or GED. Laser technology programs focus heavily on science and technology. They combine traditional lecture courses with practical hands-on labs due to the technical nature of the subject. Examples of laser technology courses are:
- Computer-aided drafting
- Electric systems and circuits
- Laser and lab safety
- Data acquisition
- Applied optics
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Certificates in Laser Technology
Since certificate programs are shorter in duration, they are geared toward currently employed individuals who want specific training in laser technology for career advancement purposes. Depending on the school, students can go on to earn additional certificates for further study in related areas like biophotonics or applied photonics. Students receive technical instruction through lab courses. Laser technology students may take the following courses:
- Manufacturing process
- Light and lasers fundamentals
- Photonics elements
- Photonic CAD applications
Popular Career Options
Completing a laser technology certificate program can prepare individuals for a number of different careers in the field of engineering technology. Some possible careers follow below:
- Science technician
- Engineering technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), around 14,720 electro-mechanical technicians were employed across the nation as of 2015. This group earned an average annual salary of approximately $56,320. The BLS predicted that job growth for laser technicians will have almost no change at only a 1% increase from 2014-2024.
Associate's and certificate degrees in laser technology teach students about working with fiber optics and laser equipment, preparing them for the work and tasks that require installation and maintenance of these devices.