SPIE Career Center
Salary Report

2019 Optics and Photonics Global Salary Report

Job Satisfaction and Workplace

More than 90% of optics and photonics workers enjoy their work (95%), find it meaningful (95%), and feel that their peers respect it (92%). Majorities would recommend their field to their child or a friend (82%), feel they are paid fairly (76%), and perceive that promotions are handled fairly in their workplaces (67%).
Job Satisfaction
While 76% of workers say they are paid fairly, only 62% are happy with their pay. The highest earners also enjoy their work the most—the median salary for the happiest respondents is $110,000 versus $43,327 for the least satisfied.
I Enjoy My Work
More than two-thirds of respondents feel they have an excellent work/life balance. Workers at 35-39 hours per week fall into the “sweet spot” for the balance between career and private life, with over 81% deeming it excellent. At the other end of the spectrum, only 47% of people working 60 hours or more per week agree that they have an excellent work/life balance.
I Have an Excellent Work/Life Balance

I am very happy at my institution and with my work.

I have a great job. I love it but I don’t earn enough!

I left a previous employer because my promotions were not considered fairly.