Telecommunication technicians set up and maintain equipment required for telephone use and internet access. Educational requirements are usually limited, and industry certification programs are available.
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A telecommunication technician, or telecommunication installer and repairer, maintains essential electronic and digital communication systems and services. Someone considering a career as a telecommunication technician should be confident in their analytic skills as well as their ability to work with tools and electrical equipment. An associate's degree or certification through a technical school is recommended.
|Required Education||Not always required; Associate's or bachelor's degree may be preferred|
|Other Requirements||Industry certifications available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||-4% decline (for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers)*|
|Average Salary (2015)||$54,510 (for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Telecommunications involves the network of workers, phone lines, wireless stations, telephone wiring, central office stations and end-user products that provide voice, data, video and music to users. Telecommunication technicians install, maintain and repair networks. They typically specialize in one area or department of the vast array of telecommunication products, networks or services. A few types of telecommunications technicians include service technicians, cable installers and equipment installers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
Telecommunication technicians can troubleshoot problem areas and work to improve network connections. This requires knowledge of the software which runs certain processes and the physical electronic hardware. Telecommunication technicians may work for communications companies, electronic distributors, all levels of government and in many other industries.
The BLS reports that job growth for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers, is expected to be a -4% (decline) between 2014 and 2024. The average annual wage in May 2015 for these workers was $54,510.
Technicians use visual, spatial and kinetic skills to safely perform job duties and requirements. These workers also need technical aptitude, strong communication skills and critical thinking skills. Because many organizations depend on telecommunication services to function, technicians may be required to repair networks after hours or in times of adverse weather. Telecommunications technicians are often required to work in uncomfortable or strenuous conditions.
Telecommunication technician positions may not require post-secondary experience, but employers could prefer to hire technicians who have some education, such as an associate's degree or bachelor's degree. At the associate's degree level, aspiring technicians may find degree programs in telecommunications engineering technology, in some cases combined with electrical technology. Bachelor's degree programs may be more common in subjects like electronics or communication.
Telecommunication technician programs may include courses such as customer service, mathematics, physics, electricity, digital devices, antennae systems, communication systems, broadband systems, wireless systems and troubleshooting. An internship experience may also be required, and could offer students hands-on experience working alongside trained professionals.
In addition, continued education may be necessary within this fast-paced occupation where new technology and change is commonplace. Employers may provide this type of training to telecommunication technicians.
Telecommunication technicians perform tasks such as repairing and installing communications equipment, and the ability to troubleshoot and identify problems is a useful skill. Higher education is not always required, but employers may prefer someone with a degree in a relevant field. Continuing education is mandatory to keep up with advancements in the field.