Be a Communications Worker: Options and Requirements

Research what it takes to become a communications worker. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

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Communications workers may be reporters and correspondents, who relay information over the radio or television, or writers who document information for magazines and newspapers or create the text for a news broadcast. Equipment and line installers are also part of the communications field, as they install, maintain and repair equipment that is necessary to relay information over different forms of media.

Job Information at a Glance

Communication workers hold a wide range of careers within a variety of fields, which include telecommunications, publishing and broadcasting. Communication careers can be technical, creative or professional in nature. Educational requirements for these careers range from on-the-job training to undergraduate degrees.

Telecommunications Equipment Installers Writers Reporters and Broadcasters Editors Technical Writers
Required Education Little to no education Bachelor's degree in communication, liberal arts, journalism or English Bachelor's degree in broadcasting, communications, journalism or related area Bachelor's degree in communication, liberal arts, journalism or English Bachelor's degree in communication, liberal arts, journalism or English
Other Requirements Technical aptitude Good computer skills and ability to meet deadline Good computer skills and ability to meet deadline Proficiency in spelling and grammar Good computer skills and ability to meet deadline
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* -4% 2% -9% -5% 10%
Average Salary (2015)* $54,510 $69,130 $46,560 $64,910 $73,350

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Telecommunication Career Options

Telecommunications careers involve delivering Internet, television and telephone services to customers. This industry includes satellite companies, television providers, cable companies, cell phone companies and Internet providers. Careers in telecommunications include installation, repair and maintenance technicians, sales personnel, telemarketers and engineers.

Telecommunication Requirements

Entry-level jobs in installation, repair and maintenance usually require little or no training or education. Most training is offered on the job. Employers may require a technical aptitude and administer a pre-employment examination to test skills and knowledge. Some companies may offer classroom training in addition to training received on the job. A person may consider attending an electronics or telecommunications related program at a vocational school or community college for additional education before entering these careers.

Telemarketing or sales positions generally do not require extensive education for entry-level positions. Most training is done on-the-job through in-house training programs. Employers prefer to hire employees that have excellent communication skills, sales skills and computer knowledge.

Professional telecommunication positions, such as an engineer, require a college education. A bachelor's degree is usually required for an entry-level position in this area. For an engineer, a degree in engineering, computer science or a related telecommunications field would provide the appropriate education for the position.

Almost all telecommunications careers require continuing education. This field rapidly changes as new technologies and ideas emerge. Employees must stay current with training and education in these new areas.

Career Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), telecommunications equipment installers and repairers can expect a 4% decrease in job opportunities from 2014 to 2024. The BLS also reported that these professionals earned an average annual wage of $54,510 in May 2015. Telecommunications line installers earned slightly less, averaging $54,200 that year (www.bls.gov).

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Publishing Career Options

The publishing industry involves careers in written mediums, such as magazines, books, greeting cards and newspapers. Career options in publishing include writers, reporters, editors, photographers and printing machine operators.

Publishing Requirements

Careers within this industry may differ in actual job duties, but all careers in publishing require a person to have good computer skills and ability to meet deadlines. This is a competitive industry, so it is highly recommended that job seekers have some type of formal education.

Writers, reporters and editors should have at least a bachelor's degree in communication, liberal arts, journalism or English. A person may need to have additional education if his or her job involves specialized knowledge in a certain topic or subject area.

Careers in production require technical skills in operating machinery and equipment. Advanced education is usually not required, but those with training, a certificate, diploma or degree in computers, mechanics or a related field may find it easier to secure a job.

Career Info

The BLS showed that editors are likely to experience a 5% decrease in job opportunities from 2014 to 2024 and writers only a 2% increase, both far below the national average; however, technical writers could see a growth that is above average at 10%. Editors, authors and technical writers earned average salaries of $64,910, $69,130 and $73,350, respectively, in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Broadcasting Career Options

Broadcasting careers include professions in radio and television. Careers in broadcasting include producers, video editors, announcers, reporters and camera operators. Job duties include preparing shows to broadcast on television or radio, creating news reports, filming television shows and adding voiceovers to broadcasts.

Broadcast Media Requirements

Careers in broadcasting usually require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, but some technical positions may require only on-the-job training. Careers in this industry are competitive and having a degree may help a person find more job opportunities. A producer, announcer or reporter may want to earn a degree in broadcasting, communications, journalism or related area. A video editor or camera operator may want to attend a community college or vocational school program in engineering, electronics or digital technology.

Career Info

Reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts can expect a 9% drop in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. Additionally, reporters and correspondents earned $46,560 on average per year in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Aspiring telecommunications equipment installers and repairers can pursue this career with a high school diploma and on-the-job training. A bachelor's degree in fields like English, journalism or broadcast media is a common requirement for employment as a writer, technical writer, editor or broadcast analyst.

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