Those interested in telephone technician formal education can enroll in a certificate or an associate's telecommunications degree program. Certificate students learn how to use industry-standard tools to install, repair, maintain and test telephone, cable television, fiber-optic and satellite equipment. Direct technology and equipment experience is gained through shop sessions or at an off-campus company site.
Associate's degrees are usually conferred as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or an Associate of Science (AS) in Telecommunications Technology. Enrollees acquire advanced skills in electronics and wireless information systems, telecommunication system development and operations. Applicants at both levels must have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent.
Telecommunications Technician Certificate
Certificate coursework focuses on electricity, circuitry, computers, systems, math and digital information. Common topics addressed are:
- Direct current circuit theory
- Technical mathematics
- Telecommunications installation and repair
- Digital and analog circuits
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Associate's Degree in Telecommunications Technology
Some telecommunications technology programs are combined with computer networking training and include general education classes in the humanities and social sciences, math, communications, critical thinking and English composition. Core subjects include:
- Telecommunications technician electronics
- Technical math
- Network and computer security and monitoring
- Wireless communication systems
- Videoconferencing and voice systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates are qualified for a number of positions. Some popular job titles are:
- Network administrator
- Telecommunications researcher
- Technical support specialist
- Telecommunications field service worker
- System designer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, which excludes line installers, is projected to decrease by 4% over 2014-2024, with a mean salary of $54,510 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Associate's telecommunications studies may be transferable into a bachelor's degree program in information technology or network administration. Some institutions have cooperating agreements with baccalaureate universities. The Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) offers a voluntary certification for telephone technicians who pass an examination and maintain continuing education requirements. Additional training and education opportunities are available through other associations, such as the Telecommunications Industry Association.
Telephone technician training at both the certificate and associate's degree levels provides students with technical telecommunications instruction, though associate's degrees also include general education courses in the curriculum. Graduates of these programs can pursue employment as technical support specialists, telecommunications researchers or system designers.