Installing Internet service, troubleshooting telephones and testing telecommunications equipment are just some of the things that telecommunications technicians do on a daily basis. If any of these appeal to you, you'll need to first earn an associate's degree but many choose to get their bachelor's degree instead.
Telecommunications technicians service and install equipment for Internet, telephone, wireless and television service in homes and businesses. Due to constantly changing technology, telecommunications technicians need to continually learn new skills and technologies. Many have Associate of Applied Science degrees, and some have higher level degrees. Telecommunications technicians often travel to their clients' locations to work.
|Required Education||Associate's degree; some have bachelor's degrees|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||6% decrease for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers|
|Average Salary (2018)*||$57,080 per year for telecommunications Line Installers and Repairers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Education Requirements for Telecommunications Technicians
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most telecommunications companies hire technicians who have studied electronics or communications at the postsecondary level (www.bls.gov). Associate's degree programs prepare students to work on most telecommunications systems as a repairer or installer. Bachelor's degree programs provide more advanced training to those who wish to work on more complex equipment or become a telecommunications engineer.
The National Coalition for Telecommunication Education and Learning (NACTEL) lists Associate of Applied Science programs that offer specializations in telecommunications, wireless networking, networking technologies and video technologies. Students in the telecommunications track take courses in electrical circuits, signal transmission, data transmission, telephony and voice communication.
According to the BLS, telecommunications technicians work in a variety of settings. Those who install wireless, satellite, cable and telephone equipment may travel to homes and businesses. Some telecommunications technicians work outside and must climb telephone poles and rooftops or go down manholes and into basements to reach wires, cables and other equipment. A 40-hour week is common in the telecommunications industry, but times may vary because technicians must occasionally meet clients outside of business hours. Storms, fires and other occurrences sometimes necessitate emergency response to equipment failure.
Experienced telecommunications technicians can advance to positions working on more complicated equipment. Advanced positions for telecommunications technicians include teaching, team leader or engineer. Telecommunication workers have a higher than average percentage of workers who belong to a collective bargaining union. Telecommunications technicians make an average of about $27 per hour and receive benefits, reports the BLS.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a decline in growth in telecommunications technician jobs between 2018 and 2028. As the system becomes more established and the industry consolidates, there will be less of a need for repair workers; however, retirements in the industry are expected to open up a number of jobs for new telecommunications technicians.
Telecommunications technicians need to keep up with the blistering speed of technological advancement as new technologies are being introduced daily. If you have an innovative, technical mind, strong problem solving skills and love working with technology then a job as a telecommunications technician could be the job for you.