Wolfgang Kaiser began his career working with researchers at Purdue University in 1952 as a Research Associate. There, he helped develop a number of now standard references in the field of semiconductor physics. In 1954, he joined the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories in Fort Monmouth, where he stayed three years. Then, in 1957, he began work at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. In 1962, he returned to his home country to be a Professor of Experimental Physics at the Technical University of Munich. He became Professor Emeritus there in 1993.
Kaiser is the recipient of the Max Born Prize of the British and German Physical Society and has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as a Foreign Associate. He received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Purdue University in 1993. He was the 1986 recipient of the Ellis R. Lippincott Award from OSA.