Telephone Engineer: Job Outlook & Career Requirements

Apr 05, 2019

Telephone engineering includes working with wired telephone networks, cellular networks, and the satellite systems that support them. Keep reading to explore the training, skills, salary and employment outlook for this occupation.

Career Definition for a Telephone Engineer

Telephone engineering includes tasks such as designing, installing, and maintaining wired and wireless phone networks. The field of telephone engineering is moving away from voice-operated technologies as data intense technologies evolve, according to the Association of Communications Engineering. Telephone engineers work for the government, telecommunications companies, and consulting firms that support the telecommunications industry.

Education Bachelor's degree is most common
Job Skills Mechanically adept, teamwork, communication skills
Median Salary (2018)* $96,640 for electrical engineers
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 9% for electrical engineers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Telephone engineers typically have bachelor's degrees in electrical or electronic engineering. These four-year programs include coursework in mathematics, physics, and specific classes in electromagnetics, circuitry, analysis of networks, communications technology, and others. Professional Engineers (PEs) have taken state exams to gain certification.

Skills Required

Telephone engineers are mechanically adept and have the ability to understand and build complex systems. Most telephone engineers work on projects as part of a team and interact with clients daily, requiring excellent communication skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

Electrical and electronics engineering fields, including telephone engineering, will grow as the demand for new phone technologies increases. However, many of the jobs will be located outside of the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), causing the number of jobs in the U.S. to grow at the average pace of 9% from 2016-2026. The BLS published the median annual salary earned by electrical engineers, including telephone engineers, as $96,640 in May 2018.

Alternate Career Options

Check out some of the other potential careers below in engineering and electricity:


High school graduates can learn the electricians' skills for installing electrical power systems in businesses and homes through technical school programs with apprenticeships. Average employment growth of 9% was forecast by the BLS from 2016-2026, and an annual median wage of $54,110 was reported in 2017.

Sales Engineer

Normally having a bachelor's degree in engineering or a connected field, these engineers sell technological or scientific products and services to various types of businesses, often selling on a commission basis. In 2017, they earned a median salary of $98,720 per year, according to the BLS, with those working in telecommunications making the top wages. From 2016-2026, the BLS anticipated average job growth of 7% for these positions.

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