How to Become a Telecom Technician

Telecom Technician Careers & Degrees
Education1-2 Years

Telecom Technicians are professionals who come into our homes and places of work in order to install a variety of telecommunications systems and other technological equipment.

Their work is important in order for people to communicate with each other.

Telecommunications includes a variety of systems that help use correspond with one another.

These networks include: telephone lines and wiring, end user products, wireless stations and central office stations.

Telecom Technicians are responsible for installing, providing maintenance and repairing a variety of telecommunications systems and equipment.

The following is a list of common equipment and systems they help install:

  • Telephone lines
  • Cable television
  • Internet lines
  • Satellite TV

Employers look for candidates who are experienced and have a knack for working with their hands, solving technical problems and having a basic knowledge of computers.

Those who want to become a Telecom Technician can already have these skills but it is best to also gain experience in this industry.

Employers look for candidates who have a natural disposition in addition to continued education or similar experience.

If you want to become a Telecom Technician and feel you have a natural talent for this type of work, continue reading below to learn more about this career such as education requirements, a typical job description, salary and wages as well as the job outlook.

Education Requirements to Become a Telecom Technician

Because of its increasing complexity, employers now look for professionals with advanced education and knowledge of electronics.

Those who want to become a Telecom Technician should know that they will be more competitive in the field if they begin and complete a postsecondary program that focuses on electronics and basic computer skills.

Some great ways to gain experience and gain entry into the field include attending an Associate’s or Bachelor’s program, earning certification or learning this type of job during a military career.

Students attending an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree can opt to focus on an electronics or communications technology discipline.

Candidates who are interested in joining the military can focus their career and gain experience by working on radios and electronics.

Those who join the military may also have the opportunity to work with communications equipment.

Candidates can also opt to attend a trade school who may also offer programs in telecommunications.

In addition, some software manufacturing companies offer training programs in this discipline.

Some employers also provide training programs to established employees.

This is highly important in order to keep up with the technological advances.

Telecom Technician Job Description

A Telecom Technician installs, provides maintenance and repairs a variety of telecommunications equipment for businesses and homes.

The types of equipment these professionals install include: high speed internet, data, internet routers, internet modems, cable television and telephone service for businesses and homes.

After installation, a Telecom Technician will educate clients on how to use the equipment.

They are also responsible for providing maintenance and repairs to these systems and equipment.

Because there are many types of telecommunications equipment that needs to be installed, some Telecom Technicians may specialize in solely one area of expertise.

The most common specialties include: radio mechanics, PBX installers and repairers, central office installers, and station installers and repairers.

Telecom Technicians must know how to use software that helps them diagnose and troubleshoot any potential malfunctions.

After diagnosing a problem, they will determine the best plan of action in order to fix any technical problems.

Telecom Technician Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this industry is expected to stay the same or have little growth through the year 2018.

Competition is fierce for some sectors such as in station installation and repair.

Employers will look for candidates who have a strong background in electronics and computers preferably acquired through further education.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the national median wage for telecommunications equipment installers is approximately $55,600 per year.

The salary range for these professionals is approximately $31,000 to $63,600 per year.

Exact salary and wages will depend on the location and whether a Telecom Technician is installing for business or homes.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$84,000
New Hampshire$68,720
New Jersey$66,770
New Mexico$50,580
New York$71,390
North Carolina$55,040
North Dakota$61,860
Rhode Island$66,200
South Carolina$55,400
South Dakota$60,680
West Virginia$53,900
Puerto Rico$32,750
Virgin Islands$59,990

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $84,000.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $84,000
Massachusetts - $76,690
Alaska - $71,500
New York - $71,390
New Hampshire - $68,720
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers, OCC Code 49-2022, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a telecom technician do?

Telecom technicians, also known as telecommunications equipment installers, install, maintain and repair communication equipment.

They may be hired to install and repair telephone lines, internet routers, and switches in private homes or offices.

Telecom technicians also have the role of explaining to non-IT users how to use the equipment and they also have to keep records of the repairs, installations and the other operations that have been performed.

Depending on their workplace and their expertise, there are different types of telecom technicians.

Some of them, called central office technicians, work in switching hubs or central offices where they set up and maintain switches, routers, and other equipment.

Headend technicians work at distribution centers where they repair and maintain cable and other equipment.

The technicians who install and repair the communication equipment in private homes and offices are called home installers and repairers.

Telecom technicians need a variety of skills, including color vision, dexterity, mechanical and troubleshooting skills as well as customer service and communication skills.

QuestionHow much does a telecom technician make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for telecommunication equipment installers and repairers was $56,110, as of May 2018.

Salaries in this field vary based on a wide range of factors and some technicians make less than $35,000 while others earn more than $80,000 a year.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a telecom technician?

Telecom technicians typically hold a post-secondary diploma or degree in electronics, telecommunication, or computer networking.

Tuition costs vary depending on the school you choose and the program itself.

An associate’s degree in computer science will cost you around $20,000 a year.

Newly hired technicians also receive on-the-job training that includes classroom instruction and hands-on work alongside an experienced technician.

QuestionWhat is the demand for telecom technicians?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for telecom technicians is projected to decline 6 percent from 2018 to 2028.

As consumers increasingly prefer wireless and mobile services, telecommunication companies are expected to hire fewer telecom technicians.

If you hold an associate’s degree and have some experience in the field, you should have good job prospects.

Technicians who specialize in installing and repairing routers, switches and other equipment in central and headend offices should continue to be in demand.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a telecom technician?

In order to find employment as a telecom technician, you will typically need postsecondary training in electronics, telecommunication or computer networking.

An associate’s degree can typically be earned in 2 years but certificate or diploma programs that can be completed in less than 1 year are also available.

Entry-level employees typically also receive on-the-job training for a few weeks after being hired.

Some companies may send new employees to training sessions offered by equipment manufacturers or organizations.

Because technology in the telecommunication field changes constantly, telecom technicians may have to complete continuing education classes to keep up with the latest advances in the field.

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