Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers

Summary

telecommunications equipment installers and repairers except line installers image
Telecom technicians install and repair telecommunications equipment.
Quick Facts: Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers
2020 Median Pay $qf_median_annual_wage_html $qf_median_hourly_wage_html
Typical Entry-Level Education $qf_education_html
Work Experience in a Related Occupation $qf_experience_html
On-the-job Training $qf_training_html
Number of Jobs, 2020 $qf_number_jobs_html
Job Outlook, 2020-30 $qf_outlook_html
Employment Change, 2020-30 $qf_openings_html

What Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Do

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers set up and maintain devices that carry communications signals.

Work Environment

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers generally work in central offices or electronic service centers. They also work in the homes and offices of customers. Some technicians travel frequently to installation and repair sites.

How to Become a Telecommunications Equipment Installer or Repairer

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers typically need postsecondary education in electronics, telecommunications, or computer technology. They also receive on-the-job training.

Pay

Job Outlook

Overall employment of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is projected to grow $pc.toString().replaceAll("^\-","") percent from 2020 to 2030, $gra.

About $tools.number.format('#,###',$op) openings for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about telecommunications equipment installers and repairers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Do

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers
Telecom technicians inspect and service equipment and wiring.

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

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 to improve its performance
  • Keep records of maintenance, repairs, and installations
  • Demonstrate and explain the use of equipment to customers

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 work with computers, specialized hardware, and other diagnostic equipment. They follow manufacturers’ instructions or technical manuals to install or update software and programs on 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 with 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 about equipment malfunctions from automonitoring switches and are able to correct the problems remotely.

Headend technicians perform work similar to that of 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 local cable networks.

Home installers and repairers—sometimes known as station 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, home installers and 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.

Work Environment

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers
Some telecom technicians provide in-home installation and repair services, while others work in central offices or electronic service centers.

Some telecom technicians provide in-home installation and repair services, while others work in central offices or electronic service centers. Equipment installation may require climbing onto rooftops and into attics, and climbing ladders and telephone poles.

Telecom technicians occasionally work in cramped, awkward positions, in which they stoop, crouch, crawl, or reach high to do their work. Sometimes they must lift or move heavy equipment and parts. They also may work on equipment while it is powered, so they need to take necessary precautions.

Injuries and Illnesses

The work of telecom technicians can be dangerous. Common injuries include falls and strains.

To reduce risk of injury, workers wear hardhats and harnesses when working on ladders or on elevated equipment. To prevent electrical shocks, technicians may lock off power to equipment that is under repair.

Work Schedules

Most telecom technicians work full time.

Some businesses offer 24-hour repair services. Telecom technicians in these companies work shifts, including evenings, holidays, and weekends. Some are on call around the clock in case of emergencies.

How to Become a Telecommunications Equipment Installer or Repairer

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers
Postsecondary education in electronics, telecommunications, or computer networking is typically needed to become a telecom technician.

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers typically need postsecondary education in electronics, telecommunications, or computer networking. They also receive on-the-job training.

Education

Telecom technicians typically need postsecondary education in electronics, telecommunications, or computer networking. Generally, postsecondary programs include classes such as data transmission systems, data communication, AC/DC electrical circuits, and computer programming.

Most programs lead to a certificate or an associate’s degree in telecommunications or related subjects.

Some employers prefer to hire candidates with an associate’s degree.

Training

Once hired, telecom technicians receive on-the-job training, typically lasting a few weeks to 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.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Telecom technicians work with color-coded wires, and they need to be able to tell them apart.

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, with their internal parts, and with 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.

Pay

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers

Median annual wages, May 2020

Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

$55,300

Total, all occupations

$41,950

 

Most telecom technicians work full time.

Some businesses offer 24-hour repair services. Telecom technicians in these companies work shifts, including evenings, holidays, and weekends. Some are on call around the clock in case of emergencies.

Job Outlook

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers

Percent change in employment, projected 2020-30

Total, all occupations

8%

Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

2%

 

Overall employment of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is projected to grow $pc.toString().replaceAll("^\-","") percent from 2020 to 2030, $gra.

About $tools.number.format('#,###',$op) openings for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Employment of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is projected to decline 6 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Employment is projected to decline in telecommunications, the industry that employs most of these workers. Consumers increasingly demand wireless and mobile services, which often require less installation, instead of landline-based services. This shift in demand means that telecommunications companies are expected to require fewer telecommunications equipment installers.

Job Prospects

Some job opportunities should come from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. Although job opportunities will vary by specialty, those with an associate’s degree and strong customer-service skills should have the best job prospects.

Technologies such as mobile video streaming and broadband Internet require high data transfer rates in telecommunications systems. Central office and headend technicians are likely to be needed to service and upgrade switches and routers to handle increased data usage, resulting in some job opportunities for them.

Employment projections data for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, 2020-30
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

49-2022 195,800 193,500 -1 -2,200 Get data

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2020 MEDIAN PAY
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for media programs.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Line installers and repairers Line Installers and Repairers

Line installers and repairers install or repair electrical power systems and telecommunications cables, including fiber optics.

$qf_education_html $qf_median_annual_wage_html
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/telecommunications-equipment-installers-and-repairers-except-line-installers.htm (visited May 19, 2024).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019