Communication infrastructure maintainers install, repair, run and maintain infrastructure for communication systems.
Communication infrastructure maintainers 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
The following job titles also refer to communication infrastructure maintainer:
telecoms infrastructure engineer
communication equipment maintainer
communication hardware maintainer
telecoms infrastructure technician
communication infrastructure maintainers
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. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations.
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.
Most telecom technicians work full time.
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.
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.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Communication infrastructure maintainer is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Communication infrastructure maintainer career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to communication infrastructure maintainer.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of communication infrastructure maintainer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of communication infrastructure maintainer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of communication infrastructure maintainer.
- ICT network routing: The processes and techniques for choosing the best paths within an ICT network through which a packet can travel.
- ICT network security risks: The security risk factors, such as hardware and software components, devices, interfaces and policies in ICT networks, risk assessment techniques that can be applied to assess the severity and the consequences of security threats and contingency plans for each security risk factor.
- Procurement of ICT network equipment: The products available from network equipment providers and methods for selecting and procuring the equipment.
- Telecommunication trunking: The method of providing network access to many clients while keeping smaller number of connection components by grouping and sharing connection circuits and frequencies.
- ICT communications protocols: The system of rules which allow the exchange of information between computers or other devices via computer networks.
- ICT network cable limitations: The limitations, such as distance limitations and resistance of types of cables, such as fibre cable, coax cable and ethernet cable which are used for realising networks.
- Concepts of telecommunications: The telecommunication principles, theories, models, equipment and processes such as transfer rate, bandwidth, signal-to-noise ratio, bit error ratio and C/N ratio, as well as the effect of the qualities of the transmission path on the operation and quality of telecommunications.
- ICT networking hardware: The ICT network equipment or computer networking devices, such as UPS systems, electrical systems, networking facilities and structured cabling systems.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of communication infrastructure maintainer.
- Provide technical documentation: Prepare documentation for existing and upcoming products or services, describing their functionality and composition in such a way that it is understandable for a wide audience without technical background and compliant with defined requirements and standards. Keep documentation up to date.
- Assess telecommunication infrastructure issues: Evaluate problems in telecommunication infrastructure by using specialised methods, applications and tools to find weaknesses and stress points in a network and elements of the infrastructure regarding aspects such as electronics, power supply and temperature.
- Operate digging construction equipment: Operate and use construction equipment, such as digger derricks, backhoes, track hoes, front-end loaders, trenchers, or cable ploughs.
- Install electronic communication equipment: Set up and deploy digital and analogue electronic communications. Understand electronic diagrams and equipment specifications.
- Monitor communication channels’ performance: Search for possible faults. Perform visual checks. Analyse system indicators and use diagnostic devices.
- Install low voltage wiring: Plan, deploy, troubleshoot and test low voltage wiring.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of communication infrastructure maintainer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Cisco: The products available from the network equipment provider Cisco and methods for selecting and procuring the equipment.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of communication infrastructure maintainer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Seal wires: Fasten and insulate electric or communications wires or cables.
- Splice cable: Join and weave electric and communications cable and trunk lines together.
- Inspect cables: Examine cables and lines to detect possible breakage or damage.
- Install cable TV services: Ensure that home or offices are properly wired to receive cable TV.
ISCO group and title
7422 – Information and communications technology installers and servicers
- Communication infrastructure maintainer – ESCO
- Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Featured image: By Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Garas – https://www.dvidshub.net/image/973951, Public Domain