Career Information about Cable Technicians
Cable technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing residential cable television and Internet services. They can service feeder lines that provide cable access to several homes or they can work with drop lines that only allow access for one home. Advanced cable technicians often work on the trunk line, which is the main line for an entire service area. Job duties for cable technicians include inspecting cable lines, laying ground cable, repairing poles and towers and driving work vehicles to jobs.
|Required Education||High school, technical school, or community college degree|
|Necessary Skills||Mathematics, science, dexterity, communication, problem solving|
|Median Salary (2015)||$36,600 for cable television installer|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)||6% growth for line installers and repairers|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale.com
Most cable service providers will provide training to new employees who have a high school diploma, but some job seekers enroll in training programs offered by technical schools and community colleges. Programs can last up to five years depending on the depth and breadth of the material, and the programs cover subjects like basic electrical engineering, telecommunications, physics, and mechanical engineering.
The completion of apprenticeship programs is common for this field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, cable technicians can earn voluntary certifications through associations like the Fiber Optics Association.
Job Skills Required
Cable technicians need to have a high level of manual dexterity and need to have a strong background in math and science. They also need to be good communicators and should be able to solve problems independently.
Economic and Career Outlook
Despite the fact that cable television and Internet equipment is already installed in most residential areas, job growth for line installers and repairers, including cable technicians, is expected to be at 6% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). The median annual wage for cable installers was $36,600 as of January 2016, per Payscale.com.
Alternative Career Options
Some skills necessary to become a cable technician will help prepare you for jobs in other areas.
Telecommunications Line Installer and Repairer
There are several types of technicians included in this category, all of which generally install and maintain technical equipment for numerous clients. This career usually requires workers to have some form of postsecondary education; however, on-the-job training is often provided. The number of jobs was projected to increase by 1% from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS. In 2015, the median income for telecommunication line installers and repairers was $25.44 per hour or $52,920 annually.
Among their many duties, electrical and electronics engineers design and inspect electronic systems and components and make recommendations for improvement. The BLS notes that these workers should have a bachelor's degree in a related field. The median hourly wage of these workers in 2015 was $44.14 and annually it was $98,270, as reported by the BLS. Slow job growth of 0% was estimated for electronics engineers from 2014 to 2024.