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Telecommunications Specialist: Job Description and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a telecommunications specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary information to find out if this is the career for you.

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Telecommunications specialists design video, data, and voice communication systems. They gain an understanding of an organization's technology needs to develop a tailored communication network. Educational requirements may include an associate's degree or bachelor's degree.

Essential Information

A telecommunications specialist designs and manages communications systems for computers. Certificates, associate's, and bachelor's degrees are available in this field, as well as closely related areas of study.

Required Education Varies; a certificate, an associate's or bachelor's degree in telecommunications technology OR a bachelor's degree in computer science
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% (computer network architects)
Median Salary (2015) * $100,240 (computer network architects)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Telecommunications specialists focus on the interaction between computer systems, communication methods, and devices. They design video, data, and voice communication systems.

They may oversee the installation and maintenance of these systems, including their repair and testing. These specialists may also compile reports and records about the systems they oversee or have designed.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes telecommunications specialists within the field of computer network architects. The BLS reported in May 2015 that the median salary for computer network architects was $100,240. In 2015, the BLS noted that there were 146,600 computer network architects in the nation; a related position is information security analysts, which reported 88,880 employees in 2015. The BLS reported in May 2015 that the median salary for information security analysts was $90,120.

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Career Requirements

Although there is no specific degree required to work as a telecommunications specialist, the BLS notes that some employers require an associate's degree. Potential candidates may also need a degree in the field, while some employers will accept candidates who only have extensive experience.

There are no certification or licensure requirements to work in the field. Certificate programs in computer science or telecommunications technology include courses in related topics, such as technical calculations, AC and DC circuits, digital data communication, media transmissions, fiber optics, and networking technologies.

Associate degree programs, including the Associate of Applied Science in Telecommunications Technology, require two years of study. Classes in these programs focus on topics like project management, voice and video systems, CISCO networking, computer programming, and network security.

Bachelor's degree programs that prepare individuals to work as a telecommunications specialist are usually offered in the field of computer science. The curriculum of these four-year programs provides instruction in computer organization, systems programming, data structures, algorithms, and program languages.

Telecommunications specialists develop and implement communication networks. They work with companies to identify their needs and design networks accordingly. Jobs for telecommunications specialists may require an associate's degree or bachelor's degree; certificate programs are available.

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