Cable Installation Training and Certification Program Info
To become a cable installer, you can complete a short certificate program where you'll get a chance to study hands-on. Learn more about the curriculum ahead, and get information on certification and the job outlook for telecommunications workers.
Cable installation technician training and certificate programs are available at several schools and colleges. These 1-year (or less) programs focus on skills in cable testing, installation and maintenance. Practical applications are also covered to ensure students are employable upon graduation. Some schools have cooperating agreements with cable companies for on-the-job training. Specialized programs on topics such as broadband Internet cable installation prepare students for certification in various concentrations.
Certain technical knowledge and a high school education are common prerequisites. Upon completion of the certificate program, students have the practical skills needed for entry-level employment in the cable industry and may also pursue professional certification.
Cable technician educational programs typically recommend that students have basic knowledge of computer operating systems, software and hardware. Students must also be at least 16 years old and submit transcripts from any previous high school or college coursework. Some schools also require SAT or ACT scores for consideration.
Cable technician installation classes cover all types of equipment used in the industry. Electronics, math, procedures, techniques and networking are also discussed. A portion of practical training or apprenticeship is usually required. Some common courses include:
- Cable installation and testing
- Fiber optics
- Cable testing
- Measuring signal quality
- Software installation
- Modem connections
- Telecommunications wiring
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The increasing use of complex systems in Internet services, fiber-optic lines and other cabling techniques should ensure reliable growth in the cable industry, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of 2012, there were approximately 135,000 telecommunications line installers and repairers employed nationally. The BLS also stated that the mean annual wage for these professionals in May of 2013 was $52,790, with the lowest 10% earning $28,160 or less and the highest 10% earning $77,370 or more (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Cable installation technicians can continue their studies in Associate of Science (A.S.) programs, usually in telecommunications, electronics or networking services technology. Many certificate programs transfer credits for coursework into these degree programs.
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) also offers professional certification in various designations for technicians. Some examples include Broadband Premises Installer (BPI), Broadband Transport Specialist (BTS) and Broadband Distribution Specialist (BDS). All designations require testing and re-certification every three years.
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