Telecommunications Equipment Installers
Telecommunications equipment installers set-up, adjust and test equipment used in telecommunication systems including central offices. Telecommunications equipment repairers identify and fix problems that have occurred in telecommunication equipment and systems.
Those involved with telecommunications equipment installation need to have a thorough understanding of computers and electronic equipment such as chips, circuit boards, software, hardware and processors. A telecommunication equipment installer also needs a solid foundation in the practical application of transmission, broadcasting, operation and control of telecommunications systems.
Some common job titles include install/repair technician, central office technician, field technician, service technician, telecommunications technician and communications technician.
Central office installers and repairers work at switching hubs called central offices. Switching hubs contain the switches and routers that are used to direct information to their destinations. The installers set-up the switches and routers and also the cables and other equipment.
Station installers and repairers also known as telecommunications service technicians or home installers and repairers install and repair telecommunications equipment in businesses and in homes. Station installers set-up telephone, Internet, VoIP and other communications services. Some installers are employed in the cable industry. PBX installers and repairers collaborate with various organizations to set up exchange switchboards.
Telecommunication repairing involves diagnosing the source of the problem by testing all the parts of the equipment. Repairers need to have knowledge regarding how the hardware and software interact. Telecommunication equipment repairers might install updated software or programs that maintain existing software.
- Install switching and routing equipment
- Test newly installed and repaired or updated equipment to make sure it is functioning correctly
- Show customers how the equipment is used
- Test components and circuits of malfunctioning telecommunications equipment
- Change circuit layouts
- Repair or replace faulty equipment
- Make adjustments or modifications to improve equipment performance
- Remove and remake connections to change circuit layouts
Telecommunications and radio equipment installers and repairers typically work in clean, air-conditioned settings. Those that primarily work outdoors are known as telecommunications line installers and repairers. For some positions, travel is often required. A large number of telecommunications equipment installers work regular business hours. Telecommunications equipment repairers often have irregular work schedules.
Telecommunications equipment installers should be knowledgeable about computers and be mechanically inclined. For those that frequently deal with customers, good communications and interpersonal skills are beneficial.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 2 percent job growth from 2006 to 2016 for radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers. Telecommunications companies will expand current services and provide improved services which will increase the demand for installers. There will be a demand to install advanced switching and routing equipment. However, there may be a decline in the demand for repair work since the new equipment usually requires significantly less maintenance work.
Candidates with post secondary education in electronics along with computer skills should have the best job opportunities in the field of telecommunications equipment installing and repairing. The median annual wage for the occupation in 2008 was $55,600.
Home installers have opportunities to advance into wiring computer networks or taking a position as a central office installer and repairer. Due to their knowledge about the equipment, repairers are qualified to become manufacturer's sales representatives. Repairers with good leadership abilities may become maintenance supervisors or service managers.
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers work primarily in the telecommunications industry, however, they are increasingly working in the construction industry working as contractors for the telecommunications industry.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Many workers in the telecommunications sector advance into the occupation by gathering experience at less difficult jobs. However, increasingly employers are seeking those with post secondary education for radio and telecommunications installers and repairers positions. Many employers prefer candidates that have post secondary training in electronics and have knowledge about computers.
Depending on the job description and the employer, a certification to work on particular equipment or a two or a four year degree in electronics or communications technology may be required. In addition, training programs are provided by trade schools and by software and equipment manufacturers.
The educational requirements are typically higher for central office installer and repairer positions than for those working in nonresidential environments. Approximately half of all radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers have an associate degree or have completed some college courses.
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers often are required to be certified to perform particular tasks or to work on particular equipment. Taking classes is often necessary for certification. Being certified can also help workers advance in the occupation.
The Telecommunications Industry Association and the Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers offers certifications to workers in this field.
- Communications Workers of America Association
- Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, Certification Department
- United States Telecom Association
- Telecommunications Industry Association
The major employment sectors are wired telecommunications carriers, building equipment contractors, telecommunications related industries, wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) and cable and other subscription programming.
Schools for Telecommunications Equipment Installers And Repairers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.