Rochester, NY, is not only a well-known hub for optics-based companies, but it also offers a wealth of optics & photonics education.


Nestled between Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes region, optics students and experts enjoy employment, research, and educational options with a lower than average cost of living.

With over 120 companies in the supply chain of optics manufacturing, Rochester is a leader in research and production. From industry giants Xerox CorporationEastman Kodak, and Bausch + Lomb, Rochester has seen substantial growth and sustainability in the optics market through the years. Medium and smaller-sized companies make up the backbone of the well-known names ranging from AccuCoat inc, Sydor, and


AccuCoat inc has been an integral part of the optics landscape for over 20 years, supplying world-class thin-film coatings on glass, metal, polymers, and crystals. The Rochester optics community offers next-door partners for every step of the manufacturing process from substrate procurement, polishing and shaping, coating, laser marking and housing, to metrology and verification. Being a small metropolitan area, most next-step deliveries are less than 20 minutes away.


Diversity in Markets

One of the most compelling reasons to work in the optics & photonics industry is the incredible diversity within the market space which generates $3.5 billion annually. One company can efficiently work for the market leaders in the aerospace, research, safetyconsumer goods developmentindustrial inspection and monitoring, and entertainment industries all under a single facility roof. This diversity results in companies benefitting from new technologies, such as LiDAR, life science testing, 3D printing, and IR thermometers.


Rochester, NY - Headquarters for Optics Education

Around 60% of all optics degrees in the USA are earned from the educational resources based in Rochester, NY, with the only associate degree in optics available from Monroe Community College. MCC provides a two-year degree for students eager to get into the workplace, and this popular program has no trouble with placing graduates immediately. For local students at the high-school level, even the East High Precision Optics program offers an opportunity to get hands-on experience with coating substrates. AccuCoat has been a long-time supporter of the East High program, believing that the key to the health and longevity of the optics community begins in the schools.


Research and Development

Rochester is fortunate to have two research-based universities that offer optics & photonics related programs. The Rochester Institute of Technology - Center for Imaging Science offers students a wide range of imaging technologies options from electronic imaging and color science, as well as optics. RIT and the University of Rochester maintain multiple well-known and active optics research facilities such as the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging at RIT and the Institute of Optics at U of R.


Rochester Lifestyle

Between Rochester and the Finger Lakes, there are over 100 yearly festivals held for food & drink, arts, crafts, and music. The Clothesline Festival held in the gardens of the Memorial Art Gallery is a juried show dedicated to showcasing regional fine artists. Festivals occur every weekend in the area, highlighting neighborhoods such as the Park Ave Fest and the Corn Hill Festival. Water sports on all of the surrounding lakes are highly popular, as well as playing the 57 golf courses in the region, including the famed Oak Hill Country Club. From indoor lacrosse to hockeybaseball, and soccer, Rochester has a minor league team to root for.

With the wealth of optics education, employment, and research opportunities available, it’s no wonder that Rochester is the leading place to live and work. For more information about working within the optics industry in Rochester, visit the RRPC.