ETA International Hears National Academy of Sciences call for US Photonics Initiative

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ETA attends SPIE's Optics + Photonics exhibition in San Diego where the National Academy of Sciences report and its findings were recently discussed. The report recommends a coordinated national photonics initiative and demands better economic data to support the case for funding it.

ETA International

ETA Targets Schools with New Photonics and Precision Optics Certifications.

The report makes a series of observations and recommendations that are intended to ensure that the US takes a lead role in shaping the future industry. While the report has been welcomed by the sponsors, there is also a realistic acknowledgement that enacting its key recommendation of setting up and funding a national photonics initiative will require a degree of political support that may be hard to come by. The committee’s task of assessing the impact of photonics on such a wide-ranging field of applications, as well as identifying a coherent set of actions to ensure its future, has just begun.

ETA Targets Schools with New Photonics and Precision Optics Certifications.

ETA is in the process of recruiting postsecondary schools around the world to offer students valuable certification in Photonics and Precision Optics.

The ETA Photonics and Precision Optics certifications were developed in response to the growth potential for optics and photonics specialists and technician jobs. The ETA Photonics and Precision Optics certifications are based on the OP-TEC (National Center for Optics and Photonics Education) skills standards, among others.

Photonics technicians and specialists are in demand because lasers and other light beams are the “preferred carriers” of energy and information for many applications.

There are currently photonics education and training programs in several states, but until ETA recently adapted its competencies, there were no certifications or certification criteria for photonics technicians anywhere in the US. ETA Photonics and Precision Optics certifications addresses a situation that alleviates several problems:

a) It makes it easier for companies to find and hire the appropriate, needed skills.
b) It broadens the effectiveness and credibility of the education/training programs at community colleges and makes it easier to recruit students into the programs.
c) It increases the credentials of the graduates of the training programs, making it easier for them to qualify for higher-paying technician positions.

Among the many photonics-enabled fields are; aerospace technology, agriculture, biomedicine, construction, engineering, micro technology, nanotechnology, environmental technology, geographic information systems and global positioning, information technology, chemical technology, transportation, homeland security, defense systems, and manufacturing.

The ETA photonics certifications include the Photonics Technician Operator (PTO) and the Photonics Technician Specialist (PTS). Both certifications require that the individual attend ETA-approved training and consist of four separate knowledge exams plus demonstration of hands-on skills either by satisfactory completion of ETA-approved training or approval by an ETA-certified professional.

For more information on the ETA Photonics and Precision Optics certification please contact ETA International at 800.288.3824 or

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ETA® International - Founded in 1978, the Electronics Technicians Association International is a not-for-profit, professional association promoting excellence in electronics technologies through certifications. The association’s initiatives are to provide a prominent certification program of competency criteria and testing benchmarks that steer international electronic standards and renowned professional electronics credentials. Today, ETA has issued over 115,000 technical certifications covering more than 70 certification programs in a variety of electronics fields. The association consists of over 5,000 members, 625 Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) serving on various Industry Advisory Committees and 1,010 Exam/Certification Administrators (CA’s).                                                                                                                            


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Michele Altman
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