Coursework at the undergraduate level in telecommunications includes subjects like data management, modern telecommunications technology systems, and networking. Graduates can look for positions as telecommunications equipment installers or repairers, telecommunications technicians, or telecommunications engineers.
Telecommunications technologists install the necessary infrastructure to make sure telecommunication systems, such as e-mail, the Internet, and telephones, function properly. Telecommunications technologists also make routine adjustments in companies' current systems or install upgraded equipment. They often work in teams and should have an associate's or a bachelor's degree.
|Required Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree in telecommunications, electrical engineering, or information technology|
|Other Requirements||Certification, depending on specific job duties|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||-6% for all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers|
|Median Salary|| $56,100 for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers (2018)*,
$54,257 for telecommunications technicians (2019)**,
$78,528 for telecommunications engineers (2019)**
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com
Salary Information for Telecommunications Technologists
While salary information for telecommunications technologists is hard to find, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does provide salary information for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers. The BLS stated the median annual wage of telecommunications repairers and installers was $56,100 as of May 2018. In 2019, PayScale.com reported that electronics technicians working in the telecommunications field earned a median of $54,257 a year, while telecommunications engineers earned a median of $78,528
Career Information for Telecommunications Technologists
Telecommunications technologists design, implement, and maintain all aspects of telecommunications networks. Those who work as consultants first analyze a company's current telecommunications systems. Technologists verify telecommunications services are needed to improve productivity. They may also recommend system upgrades and integration techniques.
Technologists also plan telecommunications equipment installations. For example, if a company adds a new department, technologists must plan where to install networking cables so that the new department can access data from the rest of the company's computers. Planning can also involve estimating project budgets and presenting budget reports to upper administration.
The majority of technologists work with teams to install equipment, including testing each system and troubleshooting problems. After the installation, technologists run routine checks on all systems to maintain peak efficiency levels.
Most positions require workers to possess a two-year or four-year degree related to telecommunications. Many students choose to major in telecommunications; however, majors in electrical engineering or information technology systems are also applicable. Telecommunications undergraduate coursework includes voice over IP (internet protocol), data management, modern telecommunications technology systems, and networking.
Depending on the employer, telecommunications technologists may need to be certified. Since telecommunications is such a broad field, technologists can choose to become certified in multiple areas such as computer programming languages, software programs, installation protocols, and/or brand-name products. Most technologists earn certification from trade organizations such as the Telecommunications Industry Association or the Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc.
Telecommunications technologists often run tests and troubleshoot existing telecommunication systems or design and install new systems. A major in telecommunications is expected for entering this field, but a related field like electrical engineering or IT systems will work as well.