A telecommunications technician ensures that telecommunications systems such as computers, telephones, Internet hook-ups and local area networks (LAN) operate and are installed properly. Most telecommunications technicians are responsible for the overall maintenance of a company's telecommunications systems, requiring them to have in-depth knowledge of the organization's network and telecommunication systems.
Students who are interested in becoming telecommunications technicians can earn an associate's degree in applied information technology or a bachelor's degree in telecommunications completely online.
Program Information and Requirements
Telecommunication technicians play a vital role in a company's operations because their unique skills in troubleshooting and emergency repair allow companies to meet their technological needs. The minimum educational requirements needed to gain entry into the field are typically an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Applied Information Technology or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Telecommunications.
The associate's degree focuses on educating students in circuit-switch network technologies composed of copper lines, especially DSL. The bachelor's degree program instills students with a broad range of practical and theoretical knowledge in telecommunication technologies, including problem-solving, analytical and business skills. Upon graduation, students can seek out entry-level employment opportunities in fields such as technical support engineers, wireless application technicians or hardware repair technicians.
Through components of an online degree program, such as online discussion boards, email and textbooks, students can gain experience and learn how to create and operate communication networks. Students will have the opportunity to explore and configure various technological mediums, such as telephones, satellite, cable television and fiber optic cables.
The curriculum will test students on their knowledge of tools and equipment used in the telecommunications industry. Throughout the program, students will learn to apply proper maintenance procedures and measure communication signals.
In order to become a certified telecommunications technician, students must pass courses that build upon the skills they'll need to work in the field, including diagnostic methods and correcting problems from remote locations. Some of the courses may include:
- Fiber Optics
- Transmission Systems
- Wireless Networking
- Telephony Fundamentals
- Solid State Circuits
Students pursuing a telecommunications technician online degree must demonstrate certain skills prior to graduation. In addition to exhibiting advanced knowledge in computer systems and troubleshooting, students should develop advanced skills in:
- Maintenance of local area networks (LAN) skills
- Modem and router set-up skills
- Telecommunication systems testing skills
- New equipment and upgrade installation skills
Telecommunication technician salaries vary depending upon the location of the jobs, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ( www.bls.gov), reported that the average yearly income for telecommunications line installers and repairers in May 2015 was $54,200. The median hourly wages for these professionals was $25.44. The median annual wage for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, excluding line installers, was $26.24.
According to the BLS, employment for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to decline by four percent from 2014-2024, which is slower than the national average. One of the reasons for this decline is that consumers are switching to wireless and mobile technologies, which require less installation. The technology is also becoming more reliable, requiring fewer repairs.
Overall, earning an online degree in applied information technology or telecommunications can help aspiring telecommunications technicians build the educational background in technology that they need. Students will take courses in telecommunication systems, circuits, networking and more to prepare them for entry-level work in the telecommunications sector.