It is possible to become a cable television technician with a high school diploma or GED. Although postsecondary training is not necessarily required, a certificate or associate's degree in a related field may increase job prospects for those pursuing a career in this field.
Cable television technicians install, maintain and repair the network of cables that connect a customer's television set to their cable TV service provider. They work with hand tools and test equipment in a variety of settings and interact directly with customers. Most of the training is given on the job, but many individuals interested in this occupation enroll in vocational schools and community colleges for training in broadband communications, electronics engineering or related fields.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED certificate; college courses, certificate or associate's degree in a relevant field may be preferred|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||-4% for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers|
|Median Salary (May 2015)*||$48,130 for cable/subscription programming installers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Although a career as a cable television technician does not require a postsecondary education, aspiring cable television technicians may look to vocational schools and community colleges for courses and programs in electrical engineering technology, broadband communications or a closely related field. Students may choose to take one or more classes, or alternatively to complete a certificate or associate's degree program. Curricula may begin by covering fundamental areas in mathematics and computer graphics and then explore advanced topics in electronic principles, electrical circuits and fiber optics. Students may also consider finding internships to gain work experience installing cable boxes and other devices.
Cable television technicians are generally employed by cable, telephone and utility companies. They may be required to work in attics, subfloor crawl spaces, customer homes and outdoors. Depending on the job, they may need to use ladders or bucket trucks, as well as carry heavy and cumbersome equipment and tools.
New service installations require cable television technicians to run and splice cable from a service node into and through the customer's building according to industry specifications. On service calls, cable television technicians may use handheld electronic test equipment to determine the cause of a service outage or interruption. They may also need to communicate with customers to provide instruction on new equipment or services, and may spend considerable time driving to and from service appointments.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers was expected to decline by four percent from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). May 2015 figures from the BLS stated that telecommunications equipment installers and repairers earned a median wage of $54,570, with salaries ranging from $48,130 for cable installers to $58,090 for wired telecommunications carriers.
Cable television technicians typically work for cable, telephone or utility companies. They install cables for new customers, or they may be responsible for determining the cause of an outage and repairing lines or equipment to restore service.