Becoming a telephone technician usually requires an associate's degree in communications technology. These technicians install and repair phone lines in homes and businesses.
Telephone technicians are responsible for the installation and troubleshooting of home and commercial phone lines. They also set up voice mailboxes and replace faulty wiring. An associate's degree in communications technology is the minimum required education for a person interested in pursuing a career as a telephone technician. This program usually calls for an internship that gives students experience in the field.
|Required Education||Associate's degree in communications technology|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||-6% for all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$58,280 for all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition to covering telephone communication systems, an associate's degree in communications technology provides instruction in areas such as coaxial data systems, fiber optics and local area networks. The goal of an associate's program in communications technology is to produce well-rounded telecommunications professionals who can address issues with communications networks and systems.
Associate of Applied Science in Communications Technology
An Associate of Applied Science in Communications Technology program focuses mainly on telecommunications courses and requires only two or three general education classes. Many of the communications classes have a laboratory component, and students have several opportunities to gain hands-on experience using communications technology.
Some of the skills learned in an associate's degree program in communications technology include the installation and maintenance of residential and commercial telephone devices and fiber optic cable systems. Other topics include VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), digital subscriber lines, local area networks and worker safety. A course on interpersonal communication is also likely to be included because telephone technicians interact with co-workers and customers frequently. A co-op or internship component gives students the chance to gain practical work experience; it is typically completed in the last semester of enrollment.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projects a decrease in the employment of all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, excluding line installers but including telephone technicians, through 2028. The primary reason for this decrease is the growing use of wireless technologies and the durability of new equipment.
In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $92,440 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $30,950 or less per year. However, PayScale.com reports that the median salary for telephone technicians was $61,042 in August 2019.
If you think installing and repairing telephones sounds interesting, then a career as a telephone technician may be for you. Make sure you carefully review the work environment, salary statistics and job responsibilities before deciding on this career, especially since employment opportunities in this field were expected to decline in the coming years.