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Telecommunications Technician Careers

What Does a Telecommunications 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.

How To Become a Telecommunications 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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Average Salary
$46,501
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
20,185
Job Openings

Telecommunications Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Telecommunications Technician

Cashier
7.0 %

Top Careers After Telecommunications Technician

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Average Salary for a Telecommunications Technician

Telecommunications Technicians in America make an average salary of $46,501 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $63,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Salary
$46,501

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Stockton, CA
Salary Range40k - 62k$51k$50,731
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range37k - 61k$48k$47,901
Allentown, PA
Salary Range35k - 59k$46k$45,724
Kearney, NE
Salary Range33k - 53k$43k$42,554
Yuma, AZ
Salary Range33k - 50k$42k$41,618
Denver, CO
Salary Range33k - 51k$42k$41,592
$27k
$62k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Telecommunications Technician I, II, or III
Telecommunications Technician I, II, or III
Nebraska Public Power District
Nebraska Public Power District
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$61,73301/25/2021
$61,733
Telecommunications Technician (Ts/Sci With Polygraph Required)
Telecommunications Technician (Ts/Sci With Polygraph Required)
Fluor Corporation
Fluor Corporation
01/13/2021
01/13/2021
$68,66201/13/2021
$68,662
Telecommunications Technician I, II, or III
Telecommunications Technician I, II, or III
Nebraska Public Power District
Nebraska Public Power District
12/30/2020
12/30/2020
$61,73312/30/2020
$61,733
Telecommunications Technician
Telecommunications Technician
Idaho Division of Human Resources
Idaho Division of Human Resources
11/28/2020
11/28/2020
$57,55311/28/2020
$57,553
Telecommunications Technician
Telecommunications Technician
UNCA-Its
UNCA-Its
11/25/2020
11/25/2020
$41,60011/25/2020
$41,600
See More Recent Salaries

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Telecommunications Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Telecommunications Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Telecommunications Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Telecommunications 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.

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Telecommunications Technician Demographics

Gender

male

82.7 %

female

11.7 %

unknown

5.6 %

Ethnicity

White

61.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

19.9 %

Black or African American

10.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.1 %

Carrier

17.9 %

French

7.7 %
See More Demographics

Telecommunications Technician Education

Majors

Business
12.6 %

Degrees

Associate

26.9 %

Bachelors

25.6 %

High School Diploma

25.2 %

Top Colleges for Telecommunications Technicians

1. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Bayamon

Bayamon, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,940
Enrollment
4,169

2. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,686
Enrollment
11,139

6. Baker College

Owosso, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,800
Enrollment
8,319

7. National University College - Bayamon

Bayamon, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,675
Enrollment
10,203

8. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,914
Enrollment
4,155

9. Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, AR • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,607
Enrollment
8,623

10. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675
See More Education Info
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Telecommunications Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.0% of telecommunications technicians listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as color vision and customer-service skills are important as well.

Best States For a Telecommunications Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a telecommunications technician. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Washington, Alaska, and Montana. Telecommunications technicians make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $66,394. Whereas in Washington and Alaska, they would average $66,189 and $62,091, respectively. While telecommunications technicians would only make an average of $56,361 in Montana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. West Virginia

Total Telecommunications Technician Jobs:
147
Highest 10% Earn:
$88,000
Location Quotient:
1.42
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Montana

Total Telecommunications Technician Jobs:
100
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Telecommunications Technician Jobs:
97
Highest 10% Earn:
$68,000
Location Quotient:
1.71
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Telecommunications Technician Employers

1. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$44,599
Telecommunications Technicians Hired: 
177+
2. AT&T
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$42,489
Telecommunications Technicians Hired: 
154+
3. Verizon Communications
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$41,656
Telecommunications Technicians Hired: 
138+
4. Comcast
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$43,004
Telecommunications Technicians Hired: 
109+
5. United States Marine
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$45,599
Telecommunications Technicians Hired: 
60+
6. TEKsystems
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$48,358
Telecommunications Technicians Hired: 
58+

Telecommunications Technician Videos

Updated October 2, 2020