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Working As a Cable Technician

  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  • Getting Information
  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Cable Technician Do

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, also known as telecom technicians, set up and maintain devices or equipment that carry communications signals, connect to telephone lines, and access the Internet.

Duties

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Install communications equipment in offices, private homes, and buildings that are under construction
  • Set up, rearrange, and replace routing and dialing equipment
  • Inspect and service equipment, wiring, and phone jacks
  • Repair or replace faulty, damaged, and malfunctioning equipment
  • Test repaired, newly installed, and updated equipment to ensure that it works properly
  • Adjust or calibrate equipment settings to improve its performance
  • Keep records of maintenance, repairs, and installations
  • Demonstrate and explain the use of equipment to customers

Telephone, computer, and cable telecommunications systems rely on equipment to process and transmit vast amounts of data. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers install and service this equipment.

These workers use many different tools to inspect equipment and diagnose problems. For instance, to locate distortions in signals, they may employ spectrum analyzers and polarity probes. They also commonly use hand tools, including screwdrivers and pliers, to take equipment apart and repair it.

Many telecom technicians also work with computers, specialized hardware, and other diagnostic equipment. They follow manufacturers’ instructions or technical manuals to install or update software and programs for devices.

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers who work at a client’s location must track hours worked, parts used, and costs incurred. Workers who set up and maintain lines outdoors are classified as line installers and repairers.

The specific tasks of telecom technicians vary depending on their specialization and where they work.

The following are examples of types of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers:

Central office technicians set up and maintain switches, routers, fiber optic cables, and other equipment at switching hubs, called central offices. These hubs send, process, and amplify data from thousands of telephone, Internet, and cable connections. Telecom technicians receive alerts on equipment malfunctions from auto-monitoring switches and are able to correct the problems remotely. 

Headend technicians perform similar work to central office technicians, but work at distribution centers for cable and television companies, called headends. Headends are control centers in which technicians monitor signals for cable network companies that provide cable television and modem services to subscribers in the local area.

PBX installers and repairers set up and service private branch exchange (PBX) switchboards. This equipment relays incoming, outgoing, and interoffice telephone calls and may process Internet access and telephone communications, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

PBX installers and repairers connect telecom equipment to communications cables. They test and repair the connections to ensure that adequate power is available and communication links work properly. They install and repair frames, supports, power systems, alarms, and telephone sets. Because switches and switchboards are computerized, PBX installers also install software or program the equipment.

Station installers and repairers—sometimes known as home installers and repairers—set up and repair telecommunications equipment in customers’ homes and businesses. For example, they set up modems to install telephone, Internet, and cable television services.

When customers have problems, station repairers test the customer’s lines to determine if the problem is inside the building or outside. If the problem is inside, they try to repair it. If the problem is outside, they refer the problem to line repairers.

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How To Become A Cable Technician

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers typically need postsecondary education in electronics, telecommunications, or computer technology and receive on-the-job training. Industry certification is required for some positions.

Education

Postsecondary education in electronics, telecommunications, or computers is typically needed for telecom technicians. 

Technical instruction in basic electronics, telecommunications, and computer science offered in community colleges and technical schools may be particularly helpful. Most programs lead to a certificate or an associate’s degree in electronics repair, computer science, or related subjects.

Some employers prefer to hire candidates with an associate’s degree, particularly for positions such as central office technicians, headend technicians, and those working with commercial communications systems.

Training

Once hired, telecom technicians receive on-the-job training, typically lasting a few months. Training involves a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on work with an experienced technician. In these settings, workers learn the equipment’s internal parts and the tools needed for repair. Technicians who have completed postsecondary education often require less on-the-job instruction than those who have not. 

Some companies may send new employees to training sessions to learn about equipment, procedures, and technologies offered by equipment manufacturers or industry organizations.

Because technology in this field constantly changes, telecom technicians must continue learning about new equipment over the course of their careers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some technicians must be certified to perform certain tasks or to work on specific equipment. Certification requirements vary by employer and specialization.

Organizations, such as the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, offer certifications for telecom technicians. Some manufacturers also provide certifications for working with specific equipment.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities often depend on previous work experience and training. Repairers with extensive knowledge of equipment may be qualified to become manufacturing sales representatives.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Telecom technicians must be able to distinguish different colors because they work with color-coded wires.

Customer-service skills. Telecom technicians who work in customers’ homes and offices, should be friendly and polite. They must be able to teach people how to maintain and operate communications equipment.

Dexterity. Telecom technicians’ tasks, such as repairing small devices, connecting components, and using hand tools, require a steady hand and good hand–eye coordination.

Mechanical skills. Telecom technicians must be familiar with the devices they install and repair, their internal parts, and the appropriate tools needed to use, install, or fix them. They must also be able to understand manufacturers’ instructions when installing or repairing equipment.

Troubleshooting skills. Telecom technicians must be able to troubleshoot and devise solutions to problems that are not immediately apparent.

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Cable Technician Career Paths

Cable Technician
Technician Team Leader Manager
Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Store Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Project Manager
Product Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Specialist Consultant
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Electrician
Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Foreman Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Installation Technician Service Technician Computer Technician
Senior Service Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Installation Technician Maintenance Technician Aircraft Mechanic
Lead Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Installation Technician Service Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician
Maintenance Lead Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Field Technician Electrician
Maintenance Technician Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Consultant Lead Technician
Service Technician Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Alarm Technician Fire Alarm Technician Low Voltage Technician
Satellite Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Electrical Apprentice Fire Alarm Technician Low Voltage Technician
Lead Cable Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Telecommunications Technician Telecommunications Analyst
Senior Telecommunication Technician
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Cable Splicer 7.5 years
Telecom Technician 3.6 years
Cable Installer 2.1 years
Wiring Technician 2.0 years
Cable Technician 2.0 years
Comcast Contractor 1.8 years
Phone Technician 1.8 years
Dish Technician 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Cable Technician
Technician 11.3%
Cashier 8.2%
Installer 4.2%
Driver 3.8%
Supervisor 3.6%
Top Careers After Cable Technician
Technician 14.9%
Driver 7.0%
Installer 4.1%
Cashier 3.7%

Do you work as a Cable Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
Show Salaries
$38,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Northrop Grumman
Highest Paying City
Camarillo, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Cable Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Cable Technician in the United States is $49,679 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $64,000.

Top Skills for A Cable Technician

  1. Internet
  2. Customer Service
  3. Telephone Services
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Installed and configured cable modems and wireless routers also diagnosed connectivity issues with Internet.
  • Delivered superior customer service and support by providing customers with expert knowledge and advice about available products and services.
  • Provide professional customer service through installation of residential and business cable internet and telephone services.
  • Routed CAT5 communication cable from telecommunication rooms to individual outlets.
  • End terminations/installations of patch panels.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Cable Technicians

  1. West Virginia
  2. Indiana
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Nevada
  5. Iowa
  6. Maine
  7. Ohio
  8. Nebraska
  9. Delaware
  10. Kentucky
  • (55 jobs)
  • (277 jobs)
  • (448 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (218 jobs)
  • (77 jobs)
  • (299 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)

Cable Technician Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 13,595 Cable Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Cable Technician Resume

View Resume Examples

Cable Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

85.9%

Unknown

8.4%

Female

5.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.0%

Hispanic or Latino

17.3%

Black or African American

12.6%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.2%

French

6.3%

Carrier

4.3%

Portuguese

2.9%

German

2.4%

Russian

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Thai

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Yoruba

1.0%

Persian

1.0%

Khmer

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Chinese

0.5%

Mandarin

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Irish

0.5%

Czech

0.5%

Korean

0.5%
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Cable Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.2%

The Academy

8.3%

Strayer University

6.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

6.2%

Community College of the Air Force

5.8%

Kaplan University

5.6%

Lincoln Technical Institute

4.8%

Full Sail University

4.6%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.5%

Houston Community College

3.4%

Universal Technical Institute

3.4%

Tidewater Community College

3.0%

University of the District of Columbia

3.0%

Prince George's Community College

3.0%

More Tech Institute

3.0%

College of Southern Nevada

2.8%

Austin Community College

2.8%

ECPI University

2.8%

Trident Technical College

2.6%
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Majors

Business

14.7%

Electrical Engineering

10.3%

Computer Networking

9.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

8.3%

Computer Science

7.8%

Information Technology

6.8%

Criminal Justice

6.7%

Computer Information Systems

6.1%

General Studies

5.3%

Automotive Technology

3.9%

Communication

3.4%

Education

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Accounting

2.0%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.0%

Graphic Design

2.0%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

1.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.8%

Management

1.6%

Engineering

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

42.8%

Associate

23.5%

Bachelors

18.5%

Certificate

8.5%

Diploma

3.9%

Masters

2.2%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Updated May 19, 2020