Satellite Technician: Job Duties & Career Requirements

Apr 12, 2019

The growing popularity of digital television and the increasing sophistication of satellite technology have made satellite technicians a valuable asset to satellite-based media companies. Learn more about the training and skills for this occupation, along with the salary and employment outlook, to see if this job is for you.

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Career Definition for a Satellite Technician

A satellite technician performs the technical duties required to install, maintain and upgrade residential satellite products and maximize the service they provide. Technicians are also called upon to troubleshoot problems, as well as handle customer complaints and questions. The satellite technician is ideally someone who does not mind working outside and is able to climb and comfortably handle working with electrical equipment and often at great heights.

Education Certificate or associate degree in electronic technology installation preferred
Job Skills Problem solving, customer service, communication
Median Salary (2018)* $56,100 for telecommunications installers and repairers
Job Growth (2016-2026)* -8% for telecommunications installers and repairers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Typically, the employer of a satellite technician will prefer a candidate with both a professional background and either a certificate in electronic technology installation from a secondary vocational school or a similar 2-year degree from a community college. Though much of the coursework provides hands-on experience, there are also classes that offer a theoretical education in consumer electronics. Some entry-level positions are designed like apprenticeships, in which new technicians will work closely with an experienced technician for effective on-the-job training. Many companies will also offer certification programs for new technicians looking to advance from their entry-level positions.

Skills Required

Along with technical experience, employers look for applicants with strong problem solving and customer service skills. Often times, satellite technicians will need to speak directly with customers who may not know the technical details of satellite technology As a result, technicians are expected to possess excellent communication skills in addition to their mechanical acumen.

Career and Economic Outlook

In a similar fashion to other consumer-based industries, the satellite technician's opportunity to advance within his field is entirely dependent on the condition of the economy. During difficult economic times, companies may find that it is more cost efficient to replace equipment than to repair it, which allows for fewer jobs and smaller technical staff. Satellite technicians should expect to earn a similar wage to that of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers (excluding line installers). According to research conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May of 2018, these installers and repairers had a median salary of $56,100 per year. Job growth from 2016-2026 is expected to drop by 8%.

Alternate Career Options

For other options in electronics maintenance and installation, choose from the following careers:

Line Installer and Repairer

Often learning their skills through technical instruction, training on the job and apprenticeships, these installers and repairers, also called line workers, repair and install telecommunications cables and electrical power systems. Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers were paid a median annual wage of $38,160 in 2018, according to the BLS. From 2016-2026, the BLS projected an average employment increase of 8% for line installers and repairers.

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician

These techs normally earn a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree to secure employment operating the equipment for broadcasts, movies, recordings and concerts. Average job growth of 8% was predicted by the BLS, during the 2016-2026 decade, and an average salary of $45,450 per year was reported in 2018 for broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators.

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