A telecommunications degree, whether at the bachelor's or associate's level, provides one with job opportunities in equipment repair and installation, or line repair and installation. Telecommunication jobs also require on-the-job training.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), training in telecommunication technology may be obtained through associate or bachelor's degree programs, but many of these careers require a moderate level of on-the-job training as well. While not mandatory for all telecommunications technology careers, technicians may earn certifications in certain telecommunications technology areas.
|Career||Telecommunications Equipment Installation and Repair||Telecommunication Line Repair and Installation|
|Education Requirements||Associate's degree in an applicable field and on-the-job training||Associate's degree in an applicable field and on-the-job training|
|Additional Requirements||Certification sometimes required||Voluntary certification available|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||-6%||4%|
|Average Annual Salary (2018)*||$59,000||$57,080|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While telecommunication technology training is offered at different degree levels, many technicians need a two-year degree to obtain an entry-level position. These technicians work in a variety of environments to insure the proper functioning of telecommunication networks. Check out the following descriptions for two potential career paths related to telecommunication technology.
Telecommunications Equipment Installation and Repair
Telecommunications technicians maintain, troubleshoot, fix and install the essential instrumentation and equipment for telecommunications networks. Technicians need a knowledge of computers and electronics and might work in central offices on switchboards and routers. They may also be dispatched to individual customers' homes and businesses to install or repair equipment. Certifications for line installers are available through organizations like the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee and the Fiber Optic Association.
This profession will decline at a rate of 6% from 2018-2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as telecommunications equipment becomes more reliable and self-maintaining. The BLS also reported that the average annual salary for these workers in 2018 was $57,080.
Telecommunication Line Repair and Installation
Despite the extensive use of wireless transmitters, telecommunications still depend on an extensive network of cables and lines to carry information and signals from one place to another. Telecommunications line repairers and installers install equipment, put telecomm lines in place, connect cables to homes and perform repair work. Equipment repairers may seek certification from the Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers and Telecommunications Industry Association.
The BLS expects this career to grow at an average rate of 4% from 2018-2028, reflecting the demand for fiber-optic cable installation and other high-tech upgrades to the telecommunications infrastructure. Telecommunications line repairers and installers earned an average annual salary of $59,000 in 2018.
To become a telecommunications installer and repairer for lines or equipment, one should complete at least a 2-year degree program in an appropriate field and then undergo on-job training. Certifications may also be available.