SPIE Career Center
Salary Report

2019 Optics and Photonics Global Salary Report

Country Overview

The countries in the survey represent a broad range of incomes, job satisfaction, and gender balance. Workers in Switzerland, the United States, and Israel enjoy the highest median salaries. Among these high-earning countries, the United States has the highest percentage of women in the workforce, while Swiss workers are happiest with the amount they are paid.
Median Salary, Happiness with Pay, and Women Workers
In comparison to broader populations within surveyed countries, the optics and photonics community fares quite well. For example, the median earnings of Swiss survey participants is $121,467 versus the average for the general population at $88,159. In Chile, survey participants earn $79,398 versus $18,645 for the country.3
Survey Responses by Region

I would recommend this field to any person who feels attracted to optics, not because of the money that might be earned, which might be below expectations, but rather for the life experiences, which by far are more treasurable.