Telecommunications equipment maintainers repair, install or maintain mobile or stationary radio transmitting, broadcasting, and receiving equipment, and two-way radio communications systems (cellular telecommunications, mobile broadband, ship-to-shore, aircraft-to-ground communications, radio equipment in service and emergency vehicles). They also focus on communication towers, antennas, amplifiers and connectors. They may test and analyse network coverage.
Telecommunications equipment 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 telecommunications equipment maintainer:
telecommunications equipment maintainers
telecoms equipment maintenance technician
telecoms equipment maintenance engineer
telecoms equipment maintainer
telecom equipment maintainer
telecommunications maintenance technician
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 maintainers 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.
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.
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.
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.
Telecommunications equipment maintainer is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Telecommunications equipment maintainer career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to telecommunications equipment maintainer.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of telecommunications equipment maintainer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of telecommunications equipment 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 telecommunications equipment maintainer.
- 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.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of telecommunications equipment maintainer.
- Solder electronics: Operate and use soldering tools and soldering iron, which supply high temperatures to melt the solder and to join electronic components.
- Operate two-way radio systems: Use radios that can receive and transmit sound signals in order to communicate with similar radios on the same frequency such as mobile phones and walkie talkies.
- 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.
- Calibrate electronic instruments: Correct and adjust the reliability of an electronic instrument by measuring output and comparing results with the data of a reference device or a set of standardised results. This is done in regular intervals which are set by the manufacturer and using calibration devices.
- Operate remote broadcast equipment: Handle equipment that is used for broadcasting from locations which are far from central station. The pickup unit (RPU) is the most common tool for this communication.
- Maintain radio communications equipment: Perform testing or repairing activities on radio transmitting and receiving equipment, such as testing control circuits.
- Repair wiring: Find faults in wires or cables by using specialised equipment and repair these faults depending on type of wiring.
- 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 telecommunications equipment maintainer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- ICT power consumption: The energy consumption and types of models of software as well as hardware elements.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of telecommunications equipment maintainer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Operate radio equipment: Set up and operate radio devices and accessories, such as broadcast consoles, amplifiers, and microphones. Understand the basics of radio operator language and, when necessary, provide instruction in handling radio equipment correctly.
- Meet deadlines: Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.
- Use precision tools: Use electronic, mechanical, electric, or optical precision tools for precision work.
- Operate audio equipment: Apply technologies for re-creation or recording of sounds, such as speaking, sound of instruments in electrical or mechanical form.
- Install signal repeaters: Set up and configure devices which enhance strength of signal of a communication channel to enable proper reception and reproduction in further places.
ISCO group and title
7422 – Information and communications technology installers and servicers
- Telecommunications equipment maintainer – ESCO
- Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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