Electronics Technology

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The curriculum exposes students to a basic core of skills through advanced electronics principles and applications. By focusing on the idea that a career in high-tech involves constant and continuing education, the student learns the importance of life-long learning. Through this, the program prepares its graduates for entry level positions in the rapidly growing high-tech industries of the 21st century.

Graduates will be able to utilize the skills learned in this program to enter into either the electronics manufacturing industry as assemblers, inspectors, managers and testers, or into any high-tech industry maintaining one of the many multi-million dollar machines and devices utilized in almost all high-tech fields today.

New Certificate! Photonics Technology

Photonics Technology certificate of proficiency at Lake Washington Insitute of TechnologyThe Photonics Technology certificate is the result of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant that will develop a regionally-specific, application-based sequence, culminating in a photonics certificate aligned with 21st Century Skill standards to meet specialty needs of employers in the Pacific Northwest.

This project will increase enrollments in photonics and advanced manufacturing at the college by engaging both traditional and non-traditional students, as it seeks to enroll veterans, females, and older learners and create a more diverse workforce. Recruitment efforts will implement promising practices published by the Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science (IWITTS) and will contribute to the body of knowledge about recruiting and retaining underrepresented populations in technical programs at two-year institutions.

Photonics Technology Mission

Photonics is the technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. Photonics involves cutting-edge uses of lasers, optics, fiber-optics and electro-optical devices in numerous and diverse fields of technology.

Preparing Students for 21 Century Skills

A certificate in Photonics prepares students for proficiency in the principles and applications of optics and lasers, as well as components, devices, equipment, techniques, and safety aspects used in the development, systems integration, operations, and maintenance of photonics equipment. Photonics technicians work in laboratories, manufacturing facilities, healthcare fields and hospitals, field service, sales, and a variety of places where lasers and other photonics devices are used. Some photonics technicians work in teams composed of engineers, scientists, and possibly marketing or sales people. Other technicians work independently. Some photonics technicians own their own businesses.

Photonics technicians have great opportunities for rewarding careers in the Seattle area and beyond. Photonics employers around the U.S. need about eight hundred new photonics technicians each year. This demand far exceeds the supply of graduates in photonics.

Technical teams that create and improve photonics devices and systems in our country’s industries and laboratories are composed of a “three-legged stool”: scientists, engineers, and technicians. Scientists explore and discover new phenomena; engineers design new devices, systems, and processes; and technicians make these new devices, systems, and processes work. Technicians are the “geniuses of the lab” and the “masters of the equipment.”

Photonics has become an important focus for new businesses in the global economy. Companies that focus on optics and photonics create more than $3 trillion in revenues—ten percent of all U.S. public company revenues. They create 7.4 million jobs—six percent of public company jobs. $4.9 billion worth of laser sales enabled $7.5 trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2009 and 2010. And according to a National Research Council report, “In the United States, both large and small businesses are significant players in emerging photonics business activity.1 Photonics-related companies number more than 5000 and their net financial impact amounts to more than $50 billion annually.” 2

  1. National Research Council, Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012), http://www.nap.edu
  2. National Research Council, Overview: Harnessing Light: Optical Science and Engineering for the 21st Century (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1998).
What is Photonics?

We live in a world bathed in light. We see with light, plants draw energy from light, and light is at the core of most emerging technologies. The field of optics deals with phenomena, components, systems, and techniques that control light and enable it to perform useful tasks. Lasers provide coherent light and are a part of numerous electro-optic devices and applications, which together make up the field of photonics, encompassing opto-electronics, micro-optics, lasers, digital imaging, spectroscopy, optical instruments, and optical systems.

As this century is unfolding, light is playing an even more significant role than it has in the past. Today, photonics is not only a technology field in and of itself but also an enabler of nearly every other technology field, including solar energy, telecommunication, micro- and nanotechnology, information technology, biotechnology, bio-medicine, precision measurements, materials processing for manufacturing, remote sensing, solid state lighting, electro-optics displays and imaging, national defense, and homeland security. Advanced photonics technology is enabling a revolution in world fiber-optic communications, new modalities in the practice of medicine, enhanced scientific research, a more effective national defense system, advanced manufacturing, and much more.

Admission Requirements

Entry into this program requires completion of an admissions application.

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Gainful Employment

Regulations published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010 require institutions to report aggregated information for students who enrolled in Title IV eligible educational programs that lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE programs). These regulations include the disclosure of tuition and fees, books and supplies, on-campus room and board, number of students completing the program, median student loan debt, and job placement rates which must be available to all prospective students. Below lists disclosures for Title IV eligible certificates offered within this academic program. Please visit LWTech's Gainful Employment page for more details.