Most people carry around a personal cell phone these days, but who designed these devices? Who responds when you have a question or complaint about your device, and who fixes it when it breaks? This article takes a closer look at careers that revolve around wireless communications, including the education requirements and job growth expectations.
Wireless communications offers a wide range of career possibilities, including customer service, engineering and maintenance positions. While educational requirements vary depending on the field of choice, a bachelor's degree is usually highly recommended for initial employment or career advancement.
|Careers||Sales and Support Specialist||Installation and Maintenance Technician||Engineer|
|Education Requirements||High school diploma; undergraduate degree may be necessary for advancement||High school diploma; some postsecondary education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Computer literacy and typing proficiency||Certification may be required||Licensure may be required|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||2% decline (for customer service representatives)||-6% (for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers)||-1% (for electronics engineers, except computers)|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$33,750 (for customer service representatives)||$56,100 (for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers)||$102,700 (for electronics engineers, except computers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Wireless Communications Sales and Support Career Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to increase by 6% for sales engineers in general from 2018 to 2028, and decline by about 2% for all customer service representatives. The BLS notes that although the use of telecommunications is growing, the field is also becoming increasingly reliable, which limits the need for support services. In May 2018, the BLS reported that the mean salary for customer service reps in the wireless telecommunications industry was $36,470, while sales engineers in this industry earned a mean salary of $108,160 per year.
Most employers require a high school diploma for entry-level work, while an associate or bachelor's degree may be necessary for more advanced positions. Prospective workers in this field may consider degree programs in sales, computer networking and telecommunications, wireless communication and telecommunications technology. Employers may also require computer literacy and typing skills, as well as strong people and communication skills.
Wireless Communications Installation and Maintenance Career Information
Maintenance technicians in this field can work with wireless radio, phones, Internet services and other wireless communication resources. According to the BLS, telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers, earned an average annual salary of $57,080 in May 2018. The BLS also reported that employment of all telecommunications technicians is expected to see a 6% decrease between 2018 and 2028.
The BLS notes that employers generally require a high school diploma or equivalent; however, a background in technical training may also be beneficial. For more advanced wireless communications equipment installation and repair, some companies may require an associate or bachelor's degree in electronics or a related field. Attention to detail, sound record keeping, physical fitness and other factors may also influence employment prospects.
Engineering Career Information in Wireless Telecommunications
Wireless communications providers typically hire engineers to work with innovating in software, service needs for inter-networking and implementing network designs. According to the BLS, the average annual salary in May 2018 for electronics engineers, except computers, was $102,700.
According to the BLS, a bachelor's degree is generally required for most engineering and professional positions; however, some employers may also require licensure. Computer software engineers often hold a degree in computer science or a related field. Data communications analysts and other network experts may consider a degree in computer-related studies.
People who work in the telecommunications industry might be engineers, maintenance technicians, or sales and support specialists. While only engineering positions require a bachelor's degree, holding some postsecondary education may be helpful for any job. A decline in the number of jobs for both electronics engineers and telecommunications installers and repairers is predicted,but jobs in sales and support are expected to continue to increase over the next few years.