Telecommunications Specialist Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Telecommunications specialists design, install, and troubleshoot communication systems and devices for voice and data transmissions. Learn about the education and training requirements for a career in this field. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Telecommunications Specialist?

Telecommunications specialists design and set up communication technology for clients at their place of business or residence, providing usage advice and troubleshooting services as needed. They can also provide support to customers over the phone or through a computer and supervise the installation of technology remotely. Successful telecommunications specialists can juggle multiple tasks, handle complaints, and help clients solve problems in a calm and assertive manner. Below, the table provides some detailed information about telecommunication specialists:

Degree Required None required; Certificate and Associate's degrees available
Key Responsibilities Work with clients over the phone or in an online chatroom, troubleshoot problems, provide guidance on how to fix problems related to maintenance and installation
Job Growth (2014-2024)* -4% (for all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers)
Median Salary (2017)** $59,070

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com

What Does my Job Involve?

As a telecommunications specialist, you help customers with their communication systems, plans, and devices that include both voice and data transmission. Depending on where you work, you may specialize in data communications, cellular capabilities, voice transmission, satellite communications, and cable-to-modem communications.

Most of your day will be spent on a computer, phone, or chat room supervising the installation process, providing maintenance, and troubleshooting services to clients. As a telecommunications specialist, you are expected to function as a client representative, troubleshooting technician, and a source of information to distributors. You may be involved in multiple projects and prepared to focus on technical issues involving maintenance, installation, and troubleshooting.

What Education and Training Do I Need To Work as a Telecommunications Specialist?

A certificate program for telecommunications specialists includes a number of courses that address industry specifics such as the basics of data movement, IP networks, QoS mechanisms, OSI, LANs and troubleshooting. Students who wish to be certified must pass an exam at the conclusion of the program.

An associate's degree in applied information technology with a concentration in telecommunications can take 2-3 years to complete. The degree is more encompassing than a certificate program by combining telecommunications courses with a solid background in liberal arts, mathematics, and science.

Entry-level positions are usually open to individuals with a strong background in math, engineering, technology, and communications. No particular degree is required to start as an entry-level telecommunications specialist, but this does not mean that you can start without some knowledge and training in the field. Telecommunications specialists may have to undergo extensive company sponsored or on-the-job training to work in a specific environment.

Companies typically sponsor a training program that can take 2-3 months to complete. Most employers expect you to stay on top of the newest technology and trends in the field by participating in continuing education programs. To qualify for certain government telecommunication positions, your employer may require an associate degree or certificate in telecommunications.

How Much Will I Make?

Earnings for telecommunications specialists vary depending on the type of industry and company. If you specialize in a field such as computer software engineering, systems software, and electronics engineering, you will typically earn more than an individual working in network, computer systems, and business systems administration. According to PayScale.com, telecommunications specialists had a salary range of $35,535 to $87,101.

What Other Careers Should I Consider?

The skills you learn as a telecommunications specialist are valuable in a number of other technology related occupations. Many professionals in this field look for jobs with technology companies. Your knowledge of technological devices and services could also make you an ideal candidate for positions as sales representatives. While most sales representatives require only a high school education, those in technical sales like this generally need a bachelor's.

Also, if you have enough experience in computer networking, you may end up working as a network administrator. Network administrators typically require a bachelor's degree, though some may be hired with only a certificate.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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