What Types of Programs Do Telecommunications Trade Schools Offer?
Most jobs in the telecommunications industry traditionally require formal training, particularly as new technologies and services continue to emerge. Employers usually seek workers who possess up-to-date skills in a variety of areas, including computer hardware and software, data compression, software design, wireless technology, laser and fiber optic technology, and more.
A line or cable installer may need training in electronics, communications, or computer technology. A telecommunications systems installer or repairer may also need certification or a 2- or 4-year degree in electronics or communications technology. Many trade schools throughout the country offer training in these areas.
Telecommunications Career Opportunities
Many people start in entry-level jobs, such as a line installer or assembler, and then work their way up to more complex tasks. A cable installer sets up pay television service, connecting a customer's TV set to the cable that serves their neighborhood. Or you could install wireless or satellite service. One increasingly common job is replacing the telecommunications carriers' old copper wires with fiber optic cable to expand their bandwidth.
You could also become a telecommunications systems installer, putting in new phone lines or high-speed Internet connections. You may handle more complex systems involving electronic and optical switches that route phone calls and data packets, and even radio transmitters that relay signals from planes, boats, and emergency vehicles.
Employment in the telecommunications industry overall is only expected to grow 5 percent from 2006-2016, which is far slower than the 11 percent average for all occupations. But growth should be stimulated as people build more advanced communication networks.
The mean annual wage for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers (not including line installers) was $52,650 as of May 2008.