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Salary and Career Info for Cable TV Installation Technicians

Cable TV installation technicians require a little amount of formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and physical requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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With a high school diploma and apprenticeship or on-the-job training, it may be possible to begin a career as a cable TV installation technician. Cable TV installation technicians install, maintain and repair cable TV lines. This work can involve lifting heavy equipment, digging trenches, and climbing.

Essential Information

A cable TV installation technician is a type of telecommunications line worker who specializes in installing, maintaining and repairing cable television lines. These workers may choose to focus specifically on performing either installations or repairs. A high school diploma is a standard requirement for these types of technicians, in addition to extensive on-the-job training or completion of an apprenticeship.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Other Requirements Completion of apprenticeship program or on-the-job training; must be able to perform physical aspects of the job including lifting and climbing
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1% for telecommunications line installers and repairers
Mean Salary (2015)* $51,530 for telecommunications line installers and repairers in the cable and other subscription programming industry

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Cable TV Installation Technician Salary

In May 2015, all telecommunications line installers and repairers, including cable TV installation technicians, earned a median salary of $52,920 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 90th percentile earned $81,090, while the tenth percentile earned $28,360. Those working in the cable and other subscription programming industry earned a mean salary of $51,530. The salary statistics for telecommunications line installers and repairers varies by location. For example, those who worked in South Dakota earned a mean salary of $46,390 in 2015, while those who worked in Virginia earned an average of $57,910 and those employed in Alaska earned $71,030 in the same year.

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Cable TV Installation Technician Career Information

Job Description

Cable TV installation technicians work for the largest sector of the telecommunications industry, which is wired telecommunications. The content on cable TV channels can only be accessed through a network of wires and cables. Cable TV installation technicians set up cable TV lines so that subscribers may gain access to this content. In the past, copper wires were the most common means to transmit this content, but many companies are now using glass or plastic fiber optic cables. Fiber optic cables use light instead of electricity to transmit information and allow for faster transmission times. Those who work with fiber optic cables need specialized training in testing, troubleshooting, splicing and terminating optical cables.

Job Duties

Those who specialize in installation typically dig trenches and set up towers and poles using a variety of construction equipment, including digger derricks, cable plows and trenchers. They then run cables through the trenches or along the poles and towers. Those who specialize in repair identify problems using remote monitoring equipment, customer reports or inspections. They are responsible for replacing faulty or outdated equipment and must do their best to make sure that customers receive uninterrupted service. All cable TV installation technicians must keep documentation of all services performed. They also interact with customers often and must address all inquiries and concerns.

Cable TV installation technicians can face many safety hazards on the job. Their work requires working at heights or underground in all types of weather conditions. They risk being electrocuted by live cables or encountering gas lines underground, so they must make sure to follow strict safety precautions. Cable TV installation technicians should be relatively fit since they may sometimes need to climb and balance on poles, lift heavy equipment, bend, kneel and work long or irregular hours.

Cable TV installation technicians typically learn on-the-job or through an apprenticeship. The salary can vary significantly depending on which state these technicians are employed in. In 2015 the BLS reported the average income for telecommunications line installers and repairers in the cable and other subscription programming industry was $51,530 per year.

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