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Wireless Telecommunication Engineer: Job Info & Career Requirements

Learn what wireless telecommunication engineers do. See what the education and training requirements are. Get the details about career prospects and earning potential to decide if this field is right for you.

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Career Definition for a Wireless Telecommunication Engineer

Wireless telecommunication engineers are electrical engineers that specialize in developing, manufacturing, and testing wireless technologies, such as cell phones, the satellite systems that support them, and wireless computer networks. The field of wireless telecommunication engineering changes rapidly as new technologies develop. Wireless telecommunication engineers must constantly update their skill sets to stay current.

Education Bachelor's degree required
License Required - candidates must pass a state exam; continuing education courses also recommended
Job Skills Creativity, detail-oriented nature, teamwork, communication
Median Salary (2015)* $93,010 for electrical engineers
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1% for electrical engineers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Wireless telecommunication engineers have earned bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering or computer engineering. Coursework includes classes in mathematics, sciences, principles of engineering, and specialized electrical or computer engineering classes. Most also have experience in computer programming, especially for embedded systems.

Licensing Requirement

All engineers, including wireless telecommunication engineers must pass state-required exams to earn professional licenses. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers recommends that wireless telecommunication engineers continue their education throughout their careers in order to keep up with rapidly changing telecommunication technology.

Skills Required

Wireless telecommunication engineers are creative and detail-oriented. A career in wireless telecommunication engineering requires teamwork while working with other engineers, manufacturers, and other technical and administrative staff. To present their ideas, wireless telecommunication engineers have the ability to communicate their innovative ideas.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects that jobs for all types of electrical engineers will grow slower than the average profession, with a 1% increase in employment expected from 2014-2024. The median annual salary for an electrical engineer was $93,010 as of May 2015, according to the BLS, and the top-earning ten percent earned $146,820 or more annually.

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Alternate Career Options

Listed below are a couple of other career paths involving electrical and electronic components:

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technician

These technicians support the work of electrical and electronics engineers. They install and test electronics like navigational systems, medical devices, and computers, for example; they make revisions based on test results and report back to the designing engineers. This occupation requires an associate's degree in a relevant field, like electrical engineering technology. Professional certification in electrical power testing is also available.

According to the BLS, the number of jobs in this field is expected to decline by 2% from 2014-2024. The median salary among electrical and electronics engineering technicians was $61,130 in 2015.

Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer

These installers and repairers use a variety of specialized diagnostic tools to identify problems with electronic components, such as those used in telecommunications, transportation, and other industries; they make repairs or replace parts as needed. Employers generally prefer candidates with postsecondary education or training in electronics. Various industry certifications are also available.

The BLS predicts that the number of jobs in this field will decrease 4% from 2014-2024. The BLS reports that this occupation paid a median salary of $55,160 in 2015, with some variation according to area of employment; those who did powerhouse, substation, and relay work earned median salaries of $73,810, while those who did motor vehicle work earned a median of $31,360 per year.

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