The telecommunications equipment industry offers a multitude of job opportunities for individuals interested in working with various hardware components that power our daily communication needs. From phones and television to radio and satellite communication, these devices play a significant role in our lives, often without us realizing it.
Jobs in Telecommunications Equipment
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the United States boasts approximately 178,000 jobs in the field of telecommunications equipment, with most of these positions focusing on equipment installation and repair. Although some confusion may arise regarding the distinction between telecommunications equipment and information technology (IT) hardware, which encompasses computers, servers, and internet network equipment, these industries often overlap, and certain companies even operate within both domains.
Various Job Roles in Telecommunications Equipment
Technicians serve a crucial role in the field of telecommunications equipment, primarily responsible for installation, maintenance, and repair services for a wide range of devices. Their work typically centers on in-home or in-office equipment, but the specific tasks depend on the job and employing organization. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, telecommunications equipment technicians earn a median salary of $60,370 and require post-secondary education, such as training certification or on-the-job training. Although the job outlook for technicians is relatively stable until 2030, there are still approximately 21,500 annual job openings in this field.
Line workers, also known as line installers, are tasked with installing and repairing power lines and telecommunication cables, including phone lines and fiber optics. This occupation is considered hazardous due to the involvement of working at heights and with high-voltage electricity. Extensive on-the-job training is required to ensure line workers receive proper technical instruction. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that line workers earn an average median salary of $74,530, with higher compensation for those working on power lines and slightly lower for those working on phone lines. Each year, there are approximately 23,300 job openings for line workers.
In contrast to technicians and line workers, telecommunications engineers focus on designing and creating hardware used in telecommunications equipment. These professionals engage in desk jobs, involving tasks such as programming, circuit design, and computer-aided design (CAD) work, contributing to the development of telecommunications infrastructure. The average salary for telecommunications engineers is $80,444, according to Payscale.
Production managers play a vital role in the manufacturing side of telecommunications equipment, overseeing the production process. This position entails managing people, processes, and the equipment itself. A bachelor’s degree and several years of manufacturing experience are typically required to pursue this career path. Despite relatively low job growth, with approximately 13,900 annual job openings, production managers enjoy a higher median salary of $103,150, making it an attractive choice for aspiring professionals.
Equipment Assemblers and Fabricators
Individuals interested in manufacturing telecommunications equipment but lacking the required experience to become production managers can consider working as equipment assemblers or fabricators. These roles involve factory work, utilizing machines and hand tools to create various components and products. Typically, a high school diploma suffices for entry into this field, and the median salary for equipment assemblers and fabricators is $37,170. While some manufacturing jobs are declining, there are still numerous annual job openings, estimated at 174,200, due to industry transitions and retirements.
Quality Control Inspectors
Manufacturing telecommunications equipment requires quality control to ensure proper production. This entails roles such as inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers. Training is typically provided on the job, and these positions have a median salary of $38,580. Although the job outlook for quality control inspectors is not favorable, with a projected 12% decline in job growth until 2030, there are still approximately 54,900 job openings each year due to job changes and retirements.
Telecommunications Equipment: A Promising Career Path
The telecommunications infrastructure is continually evolving and expanding. Our reliance on telecommunications equipment, such as phones, remains steadfast, and with advancements in technology, there will always be a need for professionals in this field. As we look towards the future, developments like the transition from 5G to 6G networks ensure the demand for skilled individuals in telecommunications equipment jobs will persist.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the prominent telecommunications equipment companies?
Several telecommunications equipment companies exist, including those involved in manufacturing and those utilizing the equipment in their operations. Recognizable names in this industry include Cisco, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Spectrum.
How can I begin a career as a telecommunications equipment technician?
To pursue a career as a telecommunications equipment technician, you will need mechanical, problem-solving, and customer service skills. While having a certificate or an associate’s degree in telecommunications or a related field can be beneficial, many telecommunications equipment companies provide comprehensive on-the-job training for new technicians. Some positions may require an associate degree, while others accept candidates with a high school diploma.
What distinguishes line work for telecommunications equipment from electrical/power equipment?
Line work for electrical/power equipment is generally considered more hazardous and demanding. Electrical line workers deal with high voltages, complex procedures, and adhere to additional safety regulations. Consequently, electrical line work tends to offer higher compensation compared to line work in telecommunications equipment.
Despite concerns about the number of available jobs in telecommunications equipment, these roles continue to provide essential services worldwide. Whether you prefer fieldwork, office-based positions, or manufacturing, the telecommunications equipment industry offers diverse opportunities to suit various interests and skill sets. Unsure about which job suits you best? Take Teal’s free Work Styles assessment to gain insights into the type of work that energizes or drains you, helping you find the perfect job and work environment.