Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Optics Tech Training


Valencia College is launching a 15-week accelerated training program in September to meet growing demand for skilled precision optics and photonics technicians in Central Florida.

The program will train students in optical fabrication — the process of producing lenses for industrial and military devices, equipment and systems — and optical assembly of lenses and wiring systems. They’ll also learn how to safely work with lasers in a testing environment as well as work with fiber-optic connections and sub-assemblies.

Optics are key components in everything from smartphones to the scanners in grocery store checkout lines to touch-less towel dispensers. The technology is also ubiquitous in the defense industry, with the military utilizing high-precision optics in a range of applications, from night vision goggles to surveillance systems to weaponry.

The Rochester-based American Center for Optics Manufacturing (AmeriCOM), a nationwide organization that works directly with the Department of Defense on workforce development, provided Valencia with the lab equipment for the program. The school also partnered with local employers to create the program.

At the end of their training, students will have the opportunity to earn three nationally recognized certifications to work as a precision optics technician, optics assembler or photonics technician. Starting pay in those fields ranges from $18 to $23 per hour.


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