Become a Telecom Technician: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a telecom technician. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career in the telecommunications field.

Should I Become A Telecom Technician?

Telecom technicians are responsible for the setup and maintenance of telecommunications equipment and systems, such as telephones, routers and modems. Climbing ladders, heavy lifting and working in awkward positions may be required and precautions must be taken when working with powered equipment. Some techs might work on call to fulfill emergency requests, or may be scheduled weekends or nights.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Certification or postsecondary training.
Degree Field Electronics or related field.
Experience Entry-level; experience typically gained on the job.
Licensure and Certification Certain positions require certifications available through professional organizations.
Key Skills Must be able to work with cable reels, signal generators, stripping tools and trenching machines. color vision and manual dexterity are required.
Salary $54,630 per year (Median Salary for Telecommunication Equipment Installers.)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Certificate or Degree

Many employers now prefer candidates who have completed a postsecondary education program in electronics. Aspiring telecom technicians also need to have a background in computer technology. Individuals may learn skills by enrolling in a certificate or 2-year associate's degree program in computer science, electronics repair or other related subjects.

Step 2: Complete On-the-Job Training

After gaining formal education and securing an entry-level job, most telecommunications workers complete on-the-job training to learn the specific duties and equipment used in that company. This training involves completing less complex tasks with an experienced technician. Some employers may also send employees to training or continuing education programs given by specific manufacturers.

Success Tip:

  • Seek continuing education. Because technology in this field changes rapidly, cable installers should seek continuing education opportunities, such as attending manufacturers' training classes and reading equipment manuals.

Step 3: Advance Your Career By Earning Certification

To become more valuable employees, telecom technicians have several certification opportunities. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) offers the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) certification. The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) certifies telecommunications professionals in areas such as broadband installers. To meet certification requirements, candidates must pass an exam that covers practical skills and industry knowledge.

Success Tip:

  • Keep certification current. To maintain their SCTE certification, telecom technicians must earn recertification units by taking technical courses, attending technical workshops and speaking at conferences.

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