Job Information

MKS Instruments Inc Senior Optical or Laser Engineer in Milpitas, California

A Day in Your Life at MKS:

Spectra-Physics is the Lasers Business Unit of MKS Instruments. We push the boundaries of technology to develop a wide range of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond lasers that address the needs of Industrial, Scientific, and Life and Health markets. We are looking for an exceptional Sr. Optical Engineer to join our innovative laser product development engineering team. In this position, you will contribute to the next generation design and engineering solutions for free-space and fiber-based laser systems. You will work collaboratively within a project team and use your communication skills to work effectively with cross-functional team members.

You Will Make an Impact By:

  • Designs, develops and tests optical systems

  • May require device-level expertise. Interacts with hardware and software design teams to assist in overall development of the optical systems

  • Tasks include specifying, selecting and qualifying active and passive optical components, developing and benchmarking system performance models, developing and implementing test procedures, and evaluating and selecting appropriate test instrumentation

  • Conducts feasibility studies and testing on new and modified designs

  • Directs support personnel in the preparation of detailed design, design testing and prototype fabrication

  • Provides design information to drafting for documentation

Skills You Bring:

  • BS degree and 4+ years industry experience MS with 2+ years of industry experience or PhD in related field.

  • Hands-on experience in free-space beam and optical cavity alignment for CW and pulsed laser systems

  • Hands-on experience with operating and characterizing acousto-optic and electro-optic modulators and pulse selectors

  • Ability to independently define opto-electronic measurement procedures, set up and perform the measurements, evaluate the results and clearly communicate the conclusions to peer engineers and management

  • Ability to work self-directed and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

  • Excellent communication skills and advanced ability working with MS Word, Excel, Power Point and other MS Office programs

Preferred Skills:

  • Experience with optical measurement instruments: beam parameters analyzers, power meters, auto-correlators, fast opto-electronics, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and spectrometers, scanning interferometers.  

  • Experience with Gaussian beam propagation software tools (Paraxia and/or others)

  • Familiar with sub-picosecond pulse generation, measurement and characterization

  • Familiarity ray-tracing analysis software (ZEMAX, FRED and/or others)

  • Hands-on experience with harmonic generation and nonlinear crystals (SHG, THG, SFG)

  • Model basic harmonic processes using SNLO, Matlab and/or other suitable software tools

  • Familiar with optical non-linear processes (SPM, SBS, Raman etc.)

  • Experience with automated measurement and control methods (Python)

We are interested in a qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we will not be sponsoring work visas for this position, at this time.

MKS is an equal opportunity employer, including disability, veteran status and all categories protected by law. Please review our EOE statements for additional details. MKS is generally only hiring candidates who reside in states where we are registered to do business.

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary Pay Range: $90,200 to 167,400 per year. This range is a good faith esti mate of the expected salary range for this position, based on a wide range of factors including qualifications, experience and training, operational and business needs and other considerations permitted by law.  At MKS, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for the role.

Bonus: This position is eligible for a discretionary annual bonus, in an amount to be determined by MKS [or as applicable].

Benefits: MKS offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance coverage (medical, dental and vision), 401(k) with company match, life and disability insurance, 11 paid holidays, sick time, 15 paid vacation days, [6 weeks fully paid] parental leave, adoption assistance and tuition reimbursement [and for participation in any stock programs, signing bonus, etc.].


Globally, our policy is to recruit individuals from wide and diverse backgrounds. However, certain positions require access to controlled goods and technologies subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Applicants for these positions may need to be “U.S. persons.” “U.S. persons” are generally defined as U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals, lawful permanent residents (or, green card holders), individuals granted asylum, and individuals admitted as refugees.

MKS Instruments, Inc. and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“MKS”) is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer: diverse candidates are encouraged to apply. We win as a team and are committed to recruiting and hiring qualified applicants regardless of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions), religion, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability or handicap, marital status, membership in the uniformed services, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other category protected by applicable law. Hiring decisions are based on merit, qualifications and business needs. We conduct background checks and drug screens, in accordance with applicable law and company policies. MKS is generally only hiring candidates who reside in states where we are registered to do business.

MKS is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process due to a disability, please contact us at: .

If applying for a specific job, please include the requisition number (ex: RXXXX), the title and location of the role

At MKS, it's all about courage, big ideas, and a serious passion for innovation. Winning here is about exploring possibilities, taking action , and solving our customers’ toughest challenges. It's not just a job – it's what you make of it. While you shape your role and make it unique, we invest in you with on-the-job and formal training, as well as educational assistance. Curiosity is key at MKS - ask questions, own your path.

Our success comes from celebrating the unique skills, diverse perspectives, and lived experience of employees from over 100 countries. The goal is to make sure that everyone feels that they belong. Diversity isn't just a nice-to-have; making sure everyone feels included is a big deal for us.

Our group of 10,000 employees serves semiconductor manufacturing, electronics and packaging, and specialty industrial markets. With over 3,800 patents, our products are enabling advancements in 5G, renewable energy & storage, artificial intelligence, cloud technology, and big data. We're the behind-the-scenes support for some amazing technology.

MKS Instruments enables technologies that transform our world. MKS Instruments Product Overview (