Cable repair technicians are not required to have any formal training, and a high school diploma or GED is usually the minimum educational requirement. However, some employers may prefer individuals with a basic understanding of cable systems and electronics. Certificate programs are usually offered in electronics technology or telecommunications technology, and generally require a year of training. Related associate degree programs are also available, but are not typically needed. Students may find some programs are offered online.
Electronics Technology Certificate
Individuals interested in cable repair may decide to pursue this type of certificate to learn how to troubleshoot electronic malfunctions. They gain foundations in digital and analog circuitry as well as alternating and direct currents. Some common coursework might include:
- Simple to complex AC-DC circuits
- Computer systems and microprocessors
- Methods for troubleshooting digital systems
- Diodes and bipolar semiconductor devices
- Semiconductor devices within circuits and their applications
Telecommunications Technology Certificate
Those who pursue a telecommunications certificate learn the basics of working with electronics. They also study fiber optics and computer networking essentials. Hands-on training covering the installation and repair of broadband, wireless and cable telephone technologies are common. Some common coursework in these programs include:
- Network communications and the internet
- Network security with lab
- Broadband wireless networks
- Next generation wireless networks and services
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS states that the job outlook for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to decline 4% from 2014 to 2024, which is obviously slower than average compared to all other occupations. These professionals make a mean annual salary of $54,510 as of May 2015, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
While there are no license requirements for cable repair technicians, there are voluntary certifications. The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (www.scte.org) is an organization that offers such certifications as Broadband Premises Technician and Broadband Premises Expert. In order to qualify for certification, interested individuals must pass a qualifying exam. Certifications are valid for three years, during which time certified technicians must meet continuing education requirements or retest in order to maintain their credentials.
At times, employers or industry organizations may sponsor continuing education seminars and workshops. Events can last from a couple of hours to 1-3 days. Cable repair topics can range from safety procedures to system-specific troubleshooting techniques.
While prospective students can earn a certificate in as little as one year, this career field should be pursued with caution as it is expected to decline by 4% over the next several years. However, obtaining a professional certificate from an organization like the SCTE may help career prospects.