Although it is possible to enter the field as a satellite installer with only a high school diploma, some employers require an associate's or bachelor's degree in electronics and some states have specific licensing requirements. This field is expected to experience a 4% decline through 2024.
A satellite installer is a telecommunications professional who installs and maintains satellite receivers that service customers' homes and businesses. Satellite installers are not required to have any specific education, but they may benefit from an electronics degree and a low voltage electrician's license. A period of on-the-job training is required, and voluntary certifications are available. Installers need good communications skills to deal with customers as well as the physical ability to install the receivers.
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent; associate's or bachelor's degree in electronics or a related field recommended|
|Licensing||Some states require a low voltage electrician's license|
|Projected Job Decline (2014-2024)*||4% decline for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$54,570 for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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Satellite Installer Career Information
The Installation Process
Satellite installers first evaluate a client's location and determine the best area to place a satellite dish to ensure optimal signal. Common locations for the dish include the roof, the side of the building or a pole mount on the owner's property where trees and other objects cannot block reception. The satellite installer then runs shielded coaxial and networking cables from the receiver into the client's home or business and seals any penetrations in the building. The final step in installation is to check signal strength and calibrate the customer's equipment to communicate with the correct satellite.
Career Requirements and Salary Information
Good customer service and communication skills are vital, because satellite installers must work with customers to educate them on satellite systems and explain what problems may arise as time goes on. They must also complete work orders for maintenance and repair.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, telecommunications equipment installers and repairers made a median $26.24 per hour in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Employment in these areas was expected to decline by 4 percent between 2014 and 2024, due to improvements in commercial satellite equipment that make maintenance work less frequent and increased demand for wireless and mobile services that require less installation.
Education and Licensing Requirements
No set education requirements are established for become a satellite installer. Many employers require at least a GED or high school diploma, and they prefer installers who have earned an associate's or bachelor's degree in electronics or a related field. Many companies offer their own training programs for installation technicians, or they require employees to attend corporate training programs offered by the television or Internet providers whose products they support.
No specific licensing is required for satellite installers, though some states do require telecommunications installers to have a low voltage license. Additionally, many satellite Internet and television providers require installers to complete in-house certifications. The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association offers a Certified Satellite Installer credential to those who complete a 1-day class and pass an exam.
If you want to work as a satellite installer, it is important to review the guidelines for your state to ensure that you obtain the required training and licensing. Employers may also have their own requirements for licensure or offer their own training programs.