Job Description for a Wireless Communications Technician
Wireless communication technicians perform maintenance and repairs on wireless devices such as cellular phones and PDAs by fixing or replacing defective parts. They also build cellular towers to create wireless networks and fix any network problems that arise.
|Education||Associate or bachelor's degree preferred|
|Job Skills||Problem solving, complex equipment operations, advanced computer skills, understanding of technology|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$53,380 (telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||-8% (telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Most wireless communication technicians have either a 2-year associate degree from a vocational school or a 4-year bachelor's degree from a college or university. Students should take courses covering subjects like electronics technology, electrical engineering, physics, and mathematics to prepare for a career in wireless communication technology.
Wireless communication technicians need strong problem solving skills, should be detail-oriented, and need to be able to operate complex electronic equipment. They should also have advanced computer skills and must understand telecommunications technology.
Career and Economic Outlook
There is expected to be a job decline of 8% in telecommunications technician positions over the next several years from 2016-2026, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). While there may be temporary spikes in job growth as new technology is designed and implemented, the improved reliability of this equipment will ultimately result in a decrease in repair and maintenance positions available. According to the BLS, the median annual wage among telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers was $53,380 in May 2017.
Alternate Career Options
Listed below are some other options in communications repair and installation:
Line Installer and Repairer
Line installers and repairers can lay new electrical lines or telecommunications cable; they also test, maintain, and repair components along the electrical or telecommunications system as needed. Line installers and repairers work on-site and may need to have a commercial driver's license. Employers typically require at least a high school diploma and on-the-job training; voluntary professional certification is available. The BLS reports that line installer and repairer jobs are expected to increase 8% from 2016-2026, and that this occupation paid a median salary of $64,190 in 2017.
A broadcast technician is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment that sends out radio and television signals. Employers commonly prefer candidates who have an associate's degree. Many new broadcast technicians participate in on-the-job training, and those with experience can earn various professional certifications. According to the BLS, jobs in this field are expected to decline by 3% from 2016-2026 due to consolidation of positions by television companies. Broadcast technicians earned $39,960 in 2017, per the BLS.