Freelance optical engineers are necessary for any business that deals with instruments that apply the concepts of optical engineering. These may be companies designing, manufacturing, or working in any capacity with lenses, lasers, cameras, fiber optics, telescopes, and medical appliances. You can hire optical engineers for as low as $15 an hour, though the average hourly pay for optical engineers runs between $50 and $65.
What Is an Optical Engineer?
An optical engineer is a professional that works in the design, development, and application of instruments that rely on the principles of optics—how light is produced, transmitted, detected, and measured, as well as how it interacts with matter. They work in various fields, building technology ranging from contact lenses to phone cameras to medical machines. An optical engineer can effectively identify optical product needs, test their designs and functions, and help in their maintenance.
How Much Does an Optical Engineer Cost?
An optical engineer’s average hourly pay ranges from $50 to $65. That said, you can find some rare hires that go for cheaper rates–even as low as $15; although it’d be best to be wary of candidates like these and take extra precautions to qualify their background and experience. Some more skilled and experienced optical engineers can also charge as high as $80 to $100 per hour, which may be a good choice if you need a high level of expertise or are dealing with particularly complex instruments.
Hiring an Optical Engineer
Here are some tips on how to hire optical engineer experts:
Know What to Look For
Create a list of requirements and a set of criteria for your ideal candidate, which will help you breeze through the application process. You can even include these criteria in your job post so that you can proactively weed out any candidates that don’t meet your needs.
Consider an expert’s optical engineer background and take a look at their experience in the field you’re in. Be sure that they’re also adept in the basics of physics and math, which make up a large chunk of the field. It would also be beneficial to hire an optical engineer with great research, design, and product development skills; of course, you want to find someone with careful analytical skills, as well.
Prepare Your Interview Questions
Optical engineering is a specialized field, and it’s important that you find candidates who are knowledgeable and skilled about the science, tasks, and tools at hand. To do this, prepare job-specific interview questions. You can include the following:
- What is your experience working with optical products in the past?
- What do you think is key to developing stable optical or imaging systems?
- How do you determine the specifications when designing a new optical product?
- What is your testing process for a new optical design?
- What is your experience applying new optical technology or information to a project, and how did it change the outcome?
- How do you organize, plan, and prioritize your work?
- How do you work with a large amount of information or data?
- How do you analyze information or evaluate results to make decisions on a project?
- What are some long-range objectives that you reached in your last project?
- How often do you perform routine maintenance on optical products?
- What would you do if you made a mistake in the design of an optical product?
- What is your experience with programming?
- What would you do to address bugs in the programming of an optical system?
- Are you comfortable working with a team to develop optical products?
Look Into Their Work Experience
Remember to ask about previous projects–if possible, ask for some kind of portfolio or have them explain the process and outcomes of their past work. This will help you determine if their knowledge, experience, and work process are fit for the job you have lined up.
Find Someone in the Same Industry
Optical engineers often have specializations. Some are experts in medicine, others in aeronautics, and others in cameras. It would be beneficial to hire someone with experience related to the industry you’re in so that they can more effectively apply their expertise in your specific job.
Know Where to Look
You can find freelance optical engineers online, but when doing so, make sure that you’re on a trusted platform like Guru. This way, you can rest assured that you’re only choosing from a pool of verified experts.
Find the Best Optical Engineers on Guru
Guru makes finding the best optical engineer as easy as possible. You can search the platform for qualified candidates or upload a job post to have interested applicants reach out to you. Hiring is just a couple of clicks away—find your ideal freelancer on Guru today!