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How to become a Telecommunications Technician

telecommunications technician careers

What does a Telecommunications Technician do?

Telecommunications technicians install, set up, test and repair telecommunications and datacommunications systems. Voice and data technology systems include:

  • fixed-line and mobile telephony and fax networks
  • copper wire and fibre-optic cabling
  • analogue and digital satellite systems
  • wireless radio networks, providing internet and email access via PCslaptops, mobile phones and PDAs.

Technicians work on a range of jobs from setting up a complex communications network within a large commercial organisation to the installation of a satellite system in a domestic household. A technician's role will vary, depending on their area of expertise.

Typical roles include:
  • laying, connecting and testing underground/underfloor cabling
  • testing and repairing faults in public and private switching exchanges
  • working with aerial rigging and associated equipment
  • installing mobile and static antennae on buildings or masts
  • designing, building and testing telecommunications components and equipment.

For more information dealing specifically with satellite installation, see Satellite Systems Technician profile.

Increasingly, with the convergence of data (IT) and telecommunications systems, technicians are becoming multiskilled in both fields.

What's the working environment like working as a Telecommunications Technician?

Most telecommunications technicians work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, but might have to work on-call shifts, including evenings and weekends. There may be opportunities for overtime.

Telecommunications technicians work indoors on production lines and customers' premises, or outdoors on a site. Some installation, maintenance and repair work involves working at heights.

Although not essential, a driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a Telecommunications Technician?

To be a telecommunications technician, you should:

  • have a methodical approach to work and pay attention to detail
  • have good problem-solving skills
  • have an aptitude for technical work
  • have good communication skills and be able to explain technical matters in clear terms
  • understand technical drawings, cabling plans and circuit diagrams
  • be willing to keep up to date with new developments in technology
  • have good customer care skills
  • be able to work alone or as part of a team
  • be physically fit, with normal colour vision
  • be aware of health and safety issues.

Telecommunications Technician Career Opportunities

There are about 260,000 technicians employed in the telecommunications industry and demand is increasing for qualified staff. They work for a variety of organisations such as telephone or business network providers, mobile phone companies, and cable, satellite and digital TV companies. They also work in companies which fit voice, data and video conferencing systems used in many organisations.

It is also possible to work for the Ministry of Defence, or as a technician in the Navy, Army, Royal Air Force or the police and emergency services. Technicians can also work in rail signalling and power transmission companies.

There are good prospects for skilled and experienced technicians who take on further training and qualifications to develop their career.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Telecommunications Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

e-skills UK
1 Castle Lane

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
Tel: 020 7240 7891

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI)