Cable TV Installation & Repair Technician: Employment Info & Requirements

Mar 14, 2019

Learn the education and training requirements to work as a cable TV installation and repair technician. Find out the salary potential for this career, as well as some alternative career options.

Career Definition for Cable TV Installation and Repair Technician

Cable television (TV) installation and repair technicians make sure that homes and businesses are properly wired to receive cable TV programming. These technicians also resolve any issues with the cable TV once the service has been installed. Most cable TV installation and repair technicians work for large cable TV providers, but some work for independent contracting companies.

Education High school diploma, relevant training and certification
Necessary Skills Attention to detail, problem solving, dexterity, communication
Median Salary (2017)* $53,380 (telecommunications equipment installers and repairers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* -8% (telecommunications equipment installers and repairers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most employers require cable TV installation and repair technicians to have a high school diploma. Employers are usually willing to train new employees, but job applicants who possess relevant certifications or associate degrees can have an advantage over untrained job candidates. Most training programs last between five weeks and two years, depending on the amount of material covered. Students interested in entering the field should take courses in electrical engineering, mechanical technology, physics, and telecommunications technology.

Required Skills

Cable TV installation and repair technicians need to have a keen eye for detail and should be able to troubleshoot and solve problems independently. They need to be good at working with their hands and must be able to climb on roofs and crouch in small places. They should also have strong communication skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, such as cable TV installation and repair technicians, earned a median hourly wage of $25.67 in 2017, which is about $53,380 a year. These workers have the opportunity to work overtime hours for a higher wage. Jobs in this industry are projected by the BLS to decrease by 8% from 2016 to 2026.

Alternative Career Options

Some skills necessary to become a cable TV installation and repair technician will help prepare you for jobs in other areas.

Telecommunications Line Installer and Repairer

While cable TV technicians generally work inside homes and businesses to ensure that cables are properly connected, telecommunications line installers and repairers work outside and install the cables that provide the communications signals to these homes and businesses. Telecommunications line installers and repairers can complete a certificate or associate's degree to gain knowledge in the field, but most receive specialized on-the-job training to work with fiber optic cables. These workers may also seek professional certification. According to the BLS in 2017, the median salary for telecommunications line installers and repairers was $55,060. The BLS projects that jobs for these workers will grow by 1% from 2016 to 2026, which is slower than average.

Broadcast Technician

Those who prefer to use equipment instead of connecting it may want to explore a career in broadcast technology. Broadcast technicians control specialized equipment that adjusts the picture and sound quality of radio or television broadcasts. These workers can complete an associate's degree to learn the technical skills required for this job. In 2017, the BLS reported that broadcast technicians earned a median annual salary of $39,060. A decline in jobs of -3% is projected from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS.

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