Outside the Classroom
In addition to the many research opportunities and innovation opportunities, UA optical science engineers enjoy many professional development advantages and community outreach activities through Women in Optics and the Student Optics Chapter. The groups do outreach, have biweekly meetings, and arrange large scale events. Learn more about optics-focused clubs and societies.
Optical Sciences and Engineering students receive numerous internship offers from a wide range of companies, including Northrop Grumman, Meta, Amazon, Raytheon, Apple, Microsoft, Boeing, National Labs, DOD Labs, ASML, Arizona Optical Metrology, Aerospace Corporation, Edmund Optics, Synopsys, Zemax, Quantinuum, MIT Lincoln Labs, and many others. There are also a number of opportunities for research experience at other institutions (REUs) and study abroad in locations such as Taiwan and Germany.
Graduates are ready to work in optical design, optical fabrication and testing, lasers, optical detectors, optical instrumentation, and optical fiber communications, to name only a few career opportunities. Graduates are also ready to pursue higher degrees and an academic or research career spanning opportunities in medical research to astronomy research.
Optical engineers do research and development in medicine and the military, develop new optics for space telescopes, improve fiber optic systems, and design metamaterials with unique optical properties. The opportunities and range of careers is expansive – if you can think of it, there is an opportunity! The US median salary (2022 report) is $145,000 (for-profit), $104,500 (academic), and $130,000 (all). Starting median salary in the US is over $70,000, over $90,000 by year five, and $120,000 after ten years.
Additionally, the Wyant College of Optical Sciences offers the unique opportunity to connect with alumni and professionals in the field through the Wyant College Industrial Affiliates Program. Twice a year, over fifty companies from all over the world flock to Tucson, AZ to meet and recruit the students of the Wyant College of Optical Sciences.
Learn more about how you can be part of lighting the future by contacting us today!