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Satellite TV Installer: Job Description & Career Info

Read on to learn what satellite TV installers do. Find out what kind of education and training is required for employment. See what the career prospects are to decide if this job is right for you.

Career Definition

A satellite TV installer attaches, connects, and repairs equipment that delivers television signals to service subscribers. The satellite TV installer determines where the satellite dish should be placed on the exterior of a building for optimal reception, attaches and grounds the dish using appropriate mounting hardware, and ensures proper connection with a receiver box placed inside the building. The receiver box translates the satellite signal and interprets viewer commands.

Once the equipment is installed, the satellite TV installer shows the customer how to use the receiver box and remote control. Installers often work as salaried employees or independent contractors for satellite TV providers throughout the United States. Weekend work is common, and many installers are expected to provide their own tools and transportation to job sites.

Become a Satellite TV Installer

Required Education

Employers of satellite TV installation professionals generally require a high school diploma or GED; however, some may prefer an associate degree in electronics or a similar field. While many employers will provide on-the-job training or offer internships to trainees, others may prefer to hire experienced candidates who are certified through the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) (www.sbca.com).

Skills Required

Satellite TV installers must have current knowledge of digital satellite TV systems and equipment, including telecommunications and Internet service connections. They must have good troubleshooting and problem-solving ability, in addition to excellent communication and customer service skills. Time management skills and the ability to work independently are essential, and laptop computer skills may be necessary to keep in touch with supervisors via e-mail and process customer orders while in the field. Satellite TV installers must have good eyesight and hand dexterity, be able to climb ladders, and carry heavy equipment. A driver's license is often required, and multiple language skills may be a plus with many employers.

Financial Forecast and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts job growth of 4% from 2012-2022 for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, including satellite TV installation professionals (www.bls.gov). Job prospects may be strongest for satellite TV installers with certification, experience, and good technical skills. The BLS reported in May 2012 that the median salary for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers was $54,530.

Alternate Career Options

Line Installer and Repairer

Line installers and repairers can work on electrical power lines or telecommunications lines. They perform on-site work installing, repairing, testing, and maintaining components. They also lay cables or string power lines. Employment requirements can range from a high school diploma to an associate degree; employers typically require on-the-job training or an apprenticeship. Professional certification is voluntary. Line installers and repairers typically need to have a commercial driver's license if they operate company vehicles. The BLS predicts that these jobs will increase 7% from 2012-2022. The agency also reports that line installers and repairers earned median annual pay of $58,210 as of 2012.

Computer, ATM, and Office Machine Repairer

In this occupation, repairers work on-site to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair problems with computers, ATMs, and office machines like copiers. They may also install new machines and demonstrate how to use them. Some postsecondary education in electronics, computers, or relevant subjects and on-the-job training are commonly required. Voluntary professional and manufacturer certifications are available and usually require an exam. According to the BLS, jobs in this field are expected to increase 4% from 2012-2022, and these workers earned median pay of $36,620 in 2012.

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