a dark blue TraitLab logo
Sign up

Have an account? Sign in

Career profile Telecommunications Technician

Also known as Broadband Technician, Central Office Technician, Combination Technician, Customer Service Technician (CST), Field Technician, Install and Repair Technician, Installer, Outside Plant Technician, Service Technician, Telecommunications Technician

Telecommunications Technician

Also known as Broadband Technician, Central Office Technician, Combination Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$34,690 - $90,680 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Operations Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Telecommunications
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Demonstrate equipment to customers and explain its use, responding to any inquiries or complaints.
  • Test repaired, newly installed, or updated equipment to ensure that it functions properly and conforms to specifications, using test equipment and observation.
  • Test circuits and components of malfunctioning telecommunications equipment to isolate sources of malfunctions, using test meters, circuit diagrams, polarity probes, and other hand tools.
Is Telecommunications Technician the right career path for you?

Would Telecommunications Technician be a good fit for you?

Explore how your personality fits with Telecommunications Technician and hundreds of other career paths.

Create your free account

What does a Telecommunications Technician do?

Telecommunications Technicians install, set up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends.

In addition, Telecommunications Technicians

  • service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications equipment on customers' property,
  • may install communications equipment or communications wiring in buildings.

What kind of tasks does a Telecommunications Technician perform regularly?

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

  • Demonstrate equipment to customers and explain its use, responding to any inquiries or complaints.
  • Test repaired, newly installed, or updated equipment to ensure that it functions properly and conforms to specifications, using test equipment and observation.
  • Test circuits and components of malfunctioning telecommunications equipment to isolate sources of malfunctions, using test meters, circuit diagrams, polarity probes, and other hand tools.
  • Climb poles and ladders, use truck-mounted booms, and enter areas such as manholes and cable vaults to install, maintain, or inspect equipment.
  • Assemble and install communication equipment such as data and telephone communication lines, wiring, switching equipment, wiring frames, power apparatus, computer systems, and networks.
  • Run wires between components and to outside cable systems, connecting them to wires from telephone poles or underground cable accesses.
  • Test connections to ensure that power supplies are adequate and that communications links function.
  • Inspect equipment on a regular basis to ensure proper functioning.
  • Note differences in wire and cable colors so that work can be performed correctly.
  • Remove loose wires and other debris after work is completed.
  • Repair or replace faulty equipment, such as defective and damaged telephones, wires, switching system components, and associated equipment.
  • Collaborate with other workers to locate and correct malfunctions.
  • Maintain computer and manual records pertaining to facilities and equipment.
  • Communicate with bases, using telephones or two-way radios to receive instructions or technical advice, or to report equipment status.
  • Remove and remake connections to change circuit layouts, following work orders or diagrams.
  • Clean and maintain tools, test equipment, and motor vehicles.
  • Request support from technical service centers when on-site procedures fail to solve installation or maintenance problems.
  • Perform database verifications, using computers.
  • Analyze test readings, computer printouts, and trouble reports to determine equipment repair needs and required repair methods.
  • Adjust or modify equipment to enhance equipment performance or to respond to customer requests.
  • Remove and replace plug-in circuit equipment.
  • Refer to manufacturers' manuals to obtain maintenance instructions pertaining to specific malfunctions.
  • Dig holes or trenches as necessary for equipment installation and access.
  • Review manufacturer's instructions, manuals, technical specifications, building permits, and ordinances to determine communication equipment requirements and procedures.

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

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Telecommunications Technician salary?

The median salary for a Telecommunications Technician is $61,470, and the average salary is $61,980. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Telecommunications Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Telecommunications Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Telecommunications Technicians earn less than $34,690 per year, 25% earn less than $46,350, 75% earn less than $77,210, and 90% earn less than $90,680.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Telecommunications Technicians is expected to change by -1.2%, and there should be roughly 21,500 open positions for Telecommunications Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$61,470
Typical salary range
$34,690 - $90,680
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-1.2%

What personality traits are common among Telecommunications Technicians?

Interests

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 Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Telecommunications 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.

Also, Telecommunications Technicians typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Telecommunications Technicians typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

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 Technician tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

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

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

Lastly, Telecommunications Technicians moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

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 Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, integrity, and cooperation.

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

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Telecommunications Technicians need?

Telecommunications Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Telecommunications Technicians usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Telecommunications Technicians

  • 4.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 28.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 33.8% completed some college coursework
  • 18.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 12.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Telecommunications Technicians

Telecommunications Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, telecommunications, or computers and electronics knowledge.

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

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.
Telecommunications
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Telecommunications Technicians

Telecommunications 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 Technicians need abilities such as visual color discrimination, oral comprehension, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Telecommunications Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Visual Color Discrimination
The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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 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 Technicians frequently use skills like troubleshooting, repairing, and operations monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Telecommunications Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

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.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.