Telecommunications technician

A telecommunications technician


Telecommunications technicians install, test, maintain and troubleshoot telecommunications systems. They repair or replace defective devices and equipment and maintain a safe working environment and a complete inventory of supplies. They also provide user or customer assistance.

The duties of a telecommunications technician include, but are not limited to:

  • Installing telecommunications equipment such as telephone systems and computer networks for businesses or organizations
  • Maintaining and repairing existing telecommunications equipment such as telephone switches and transmission equipment
  • Providing technical support to customers regarding their telecommunications systems
  • Installing and maintaining new equipment to facilitate communication between computers and networks
  • Installing, upgrading, or repairing fiber optic cables
  • Installing and maintaining security cameras and alarm systems
  • Installing and repairing network equipment such as routers, switches, firewalls, and servers in computer networks
  • Configuring computer operating systems to meet specific needs of an organization or business
  • Installing and maintaining telephone systems, including digital switches and lines, as well as voicemail systems

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to telecommunications technician:

telecommunications systems technician
telecoms technician
communication line technicians
telecommunications installer
technician in telecommunication systems
phone systems technician
telecommunications systems installer
telecommunications line maintainer
telecom technician
telecommunications equipment technician
technician in telecommunications
telecommunications installation technician
telecommunications equipment installer
technician in satellite telecommunications
telecommunications technicians
field-based telecommunications technician
telecoms systems technician
communication technician
telecommunications service technician
telecommunications hardware professional
communication line technician
telecommunications installer and repairer
satellite dish installer
cable and fibre network technician

Working conditions

Telecommunications technicians work in a variety of settings, including office buildings, telephone exchanges, and outside plant facilities. They spend most of their time working with their hands, installing and repairing telecommunications equipment. They also spend time reading blueprints and other technical manuals, testing equipment, and keeping records of their work.

Because they work with complex equipment and often work in cramped spaces, telecommunications technicians must have good eyesight, steady hands, and normal color vision. They also need manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination.

Most telecommunications technicians work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. They may work evenings and weekends, and they may be on call 24 hours a day.

Minimum qualifications

Entry-level telecommunications technicians are required to have a high school diploma. Some employers prefer candidates who have completed some college courses. Courses in computer programming, computer networking and telecommunications can be helpful for aspiring technicians.

Most telecommunications technicians receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced technicians. This training helps the technician learn the specific software and hardware the company uses and how to troubleshoot common issues.

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 technician is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Telecommunications technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to telecommunications technician.

communication infrastructure maintainer
telecommunications equipment maintainer
telephone switchboard operator
radio technician
cattle pedicure

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of telecommunications technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of telecommunications technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

ICT network technician
passport officer
aviation data communications manager
telecommunications engineering technician
ICT help desk agent

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of telecommunications technician.

  • 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.
  • Direct inward dialing: The telecommunication service that provides a company with a series of telephone numbers for internal use, such as individual telephone numbers for each employee or every workstation. Using Direct Inward Dialing (DID), a company does not need another line for every connection.
  • 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.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of telecommunications technician.

  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • 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.
  • Seal wires: Fasten and insulate electric or communications wires or cables.
  • Splice cable: Join and weave electric and communications cable and trunk lines together.
  • Operate digging construction equipment: Operate and use construction equipment, such as digger derricks, backhoes, track hoes, front-end loaders, trenchers, or cable ploughs.
  • Upgrade firmware: Update basic or integrated software included in devices, network components and embedded systems.
  • Operate aerial work platforms: Tend mechanical devices that allow momentary access to high, usually inaccessible areas. Ensure your own safety and the safety of surrounding people.
  • Use communication equipment: Set up, test and operate different types of communication equipment such as transmission equipment, digital network equipment, or telecommunications equipment.
  • Operate private branch exchange: Handle Private Branch Exchange (PBX), a telecommunication system within an organisation that switches calls between users on local lines. At the same time the system allows all users to share external phone lines.
  • Install electronic communication equipment: Set up and deploy digital and analogue electronic communications. Understand electronic diagrams and equipment specifications.
  • Operate signal generator: Tend electronic devices or software tone generators that produce digital or analog repeating or non-repeating electronic signals in order to design, test and repair electronic and acoustic equipment.
  • Operate call distribution system: Apply assigning methods (mostly used in call centres) to provide clients with the best possible service by connecting them with the most suitable agent.
  • Install cable TV services: Ensure that home or offices are properly wired to receive cable TV.
  • Operate electronic measuring instruments: Tend a wide variety of devices for measuring electronic characteristics of system components, such as optical power meter, fibre power meter, digital power meter and multimeter.
  • Repair wiring: Find faults in wires or cables by using specialised equipment and repair these faults depending on type of wiring.
  • Estimate duration of work: Produce accurate calculations on time necessary to fulfil future technical tasks based on past and present information and observations or plan the estimated duration of individual tasks in a given project.
  • Use session border controller: Manage calls during a given VoIP session and ensure security and quality of service by operating a session border controller (SBC).
  • 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.
  • Install low voltage wiring: Plan, deploy, troubleshoot and test low voltage wiring.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of telecommunications technician. 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 telecommunications technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
  • Use computer telephony integration: Utilise technology that allows interaction between telephone and computer. Enable call services directly within a desktop environment.
  • Execute analytical mathematical calculations: Apply mathematical methods and make use of calculation technologies in order to perform analyses and devise solutions to specific problems.
  • 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.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Design failover solutions: Create and manage a system of backup or standby solution which is automatically triggered and becomes active in case the main system or application fails.
  • Use access control software: Utilise software to define the roles and manage user authentication, privileges and access rights to ICT systems, data and services.
  • Assist customers: Provide support and advice to customers in making purchasing decisions by finding out their needs, selecting suitable service and products for them and politely answering questions about products and services.
  • Perform ICT troubleshooting: Identify problems with servers, desktops, printers, networks, and remote access, and perform actions which solve the problems.
  • Maintain internet protocol configuration: Apply Internet Protocol Configuration (ipconfig) to gather data on Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) configuration values in order to identify devices and their IP addresses.
  • Ensure proper document management: Guarantee that the tracking and recording standards and rules for document management are followed, such as ensuring that changes are identified, that documents remain readable and that obsoleted documents are not used.
  • Monitor communication channels’ performance: Search for possible faults. Perform visual checks. Analyse system indicators and use diagnostic devices.

ISCO group and title

7422 – Information and communications technology installers and servicers

  1. Telecommunications technician – ESCO
  2. Telecommunications Technician Job Description: Salary, Duties, and More – Climb the Ladder
  3. Featured image: By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Maebel Tinoko – Public Domain
Last updated on October 16, 2022

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