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Career profile Telecommunications Line Technician

Also known as Cable Splicer, Cable Technician, Cable Television Technician (Cable TV Tech), Combination Technician, Field Service Technician, Installation and Repair Technician (I R Technician), Installer, Lineman, Outside Plant Technician, Service Technician

Telecommunications Line Technician

Also known as Cable Splicer, Cable Technician, Cable Television Technician (Cable TV Tech)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$34,180 - $97,840 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving
Knowledge Areas
  • Telecommunications
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Explain cable service to subscribers after installation, and collect any installation fees due.
  • Set up service for customers, installing, connecting, testing, or adjusting equipment.
  • Travel to customers' premises to install, maintain, or repair audio and visual electronic reception equipment or accessories.
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What does a Telecommunications Line Technician do?

Telecommunications Line Technicians install and repair telecommunications cable, including fiber optics.

What kind of tasks does a Telecommunications Line Technician perform regularly?

Telecommunications Line Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Set up service for customers, installing, connecting, testing, or adjusting equipment.
  • Travel to customers' premises to install, maintain, or repair audio and visual electronic reception equipment or accessories.
  • Measure signal strength at utility poles, using electronic test equipment.
  • Splice cables, using hand tools, epoxy, or mechanical equipment.
  • Inspect or test lines or cables, recording and analyzing test results, to assess transmission characteristics and locate faults or malfunctions.
  • Access specific areas to string lines, or install terminal boxes, auxiliary equipment, or appliances, using bucket trucks, climbing poles or ladders, or entering tunnels, trenches, or crawl spaces.
  • Clean or maintain tools or test equipment.
  • String cables between structures and lines from poles, towers, or trenches, and pull lines to proper tension.
  • Lay underground cable directly in trenches, or string it through conduits running through trenches.
  • Pull up cable by hand from large reels mounted on trucks.
  • Pull cable through ducts by hand or with winches.
  • Dig trenches for underground wires or cables.

The above responsibilities are specific to Telecommunications Line Technicians. More generally, Telecommunications Line Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

What is a Telecommunications Line Technician salary?

The median salary for a Telecommunications Line Technician is $58,870, and the average salary is $61,860. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Telecommunications Line Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Telecommunications Line Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Telecommunications Line Technicians earn less than $34,180 per year, 25% earn less than $41,060, 75% earn less than $82,030, and 90% earn less than $97,840.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Telecommunications Line Technicians is expected to change by -0.6%, and there should be roughly 13,100 open positions for Telecommunications Line Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$34,180 - $97,840
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Telecommunications Line Technicians?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Telecommunications Line Technician are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Telecommunications Line Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Telecommunications Line Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Telecommunications Line Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Telecommunications Line Technicians moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Telecommunications Line Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Telecommunications Line Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Telecommunications Line Technicians, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Telecommunications Line Technicians need?

Working as a Telecommunications Line Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Telecommunications Line Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Telecommunications Line Technicians

  • 5.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 38.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 31.8% completed some college coursework
  • 12.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 9.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Telecommunications Line Technicians

Telecommunications Line Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as telecommunications, customer and personal service, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Telecommunications Line Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Important Abilities needed by Telecommunications Line Technicians

Telecommunications Line Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Telecommunications Line Technicians need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Telecommunications Line Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Critical Skills needed by Telecommunications Line Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Telecommunications Line Technicians frequently use skills like speaking, critical thinking, and complex problem solving to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Telecommunications Line Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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