Discover your career path

Opto-Mechanical Engineer

Research, repair, and develop new optical equipment to help people see.

What does an Opto-Mechanical Engineer do?

Engineers are obsessed with science and math. It’s a good thing that you are, because you need to understand the dynamics of materials and elemental interactions that the rest of us can’t even begin to comprehend. Your skills allow you to choose from a multitude of specialties within the field of engineering. As an Opto-Mechanical Engineer, you take on two disciplines: mechanical engineering and optical engineering.

What does that mean? It means that you, the Opto-Mechanical Engineer, not only know how a telescope works, but you design, repair, and improve it as well. The mechanical part of your Opto-Mechanical Engineer job title focuses on the shape, design functions, and materials used in creating a product (telescope casing), while the optic part allows you to incorporate the proper optics into the design.

When you hear the word optics, you probably think of eyeglasses. While you do work with all kinds of lenses, you also use mirrors and prisms. There are an endless number of products that you could work with. Cameras, binoculars, microscopes, laser printers, projectors, endoscopes, and the Hubble Space Telescope are all examples.

So with your expertise, you can work on researching and developing new products. You can find a position in the medical industry or in the government, to name a few. You might work with imaging equipment, lasers, holographic images, infrared light, or fiber optics. Whatever your area of focus, you create prototypes, and assemble and test designs. This requires the ability to work with a team, and a passion for problem solving.