Communications Electronics Technician: Salary and Career Facts

Communications electronics technicians test, connect, and repair the electrical components of communications systems. Find out about the typical duties, average salary, and education requirements for these technicians, as well as certification options. Schools offering Electronics & Communications Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Communications Electronics Technician?

Communications electronics technicians install, maintain, repair, troubleshoot, and test different communications-related electronics. Their job specifics vary based on their place of employment. Those employed by internet service providers work primarily with internet and broadband connections, while those in the military focus on receiving and transmitting devices. Communications electronics technicians read manufacturer manuals and guides, work with computers and tools, and diagnose problems. It is possible to specialize (and earn certification) in specific types of communication devices, such as cellular or satellite services. Below, the table provides some more information about this career:

Degree Required Associate's; Bachelor's sometimes preferred
Education Field of Study Electronics technology
Key Responsibilities Install, maintain, and repair various electronic equipment
Licensure Requirements Voluntary certification available
Job Growth (2014-2024)* -4% (for all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers)
Median Salary (2015)* $54,570 (for all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Communications Electronics Technician Do?

As a communications electronics technician, you will be responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing the electronic components and systems used for communications. These can include electronic transmitting and receiving devices, local, and wide area computer networks, video equipment, and telecommunications equipment.

You might find work with an electronics repair service or you might find a staff position as an electronics technician for an organization that utilizes a lot of communications equipment. You may also find employment with a communications company or a military organization.

Some of your specific job duties might include interpreting the manufacturer manuals for communications electronics, troubleshooting basic problems, repairing, or replacing circuits and systems, testing equipment, and using the appropriate tools and instruments.

What Education Will I Need?

Many employers will require you to have at least an associate's degree in electronics technology, and some might require you to have a bachelor's degree. An Associate of Applied Science in Communications Electronics Technology degree program will provide you with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to work with digital devices and systems, DC and AC circuits, and solid state devices. You will also learn about basic communication circuits, digital systems, and computer technology.

A bachelor's degree program in electronics technology will also provide you with a background in basic electronics principles, devices and materials. Many such programs will also provide you with a strong general education in mathematics, science, and the humanities.

What Salary Can I Expect to Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), telecommunications equipment technicians held about 219,100 jobs in the country in 2015 and made a median annual salary of $54,570 ( Many of these technicians worked for wired telecommunications carriers, building equipment contractors, and other telecommunications companies.

What Certifications Can I Get?

A few different organizations offer certification for professionals working in the electronics field. You can earn voluntary certification at several professional levels from the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA). Some of these levels include basic electronics certifications, journeymen certifications, and senior and master certifications. The ETA also offers stand-alone certifications in specific electronics-related fields including communications. Some of the communication certifications include Communication Site Installer, Certified Satellite Installer, and Personal Communications Service - Cellular.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Broadcast engineers fix electronic equipment related to television and radio program broadcasts. They operate machines that regulate the strength and clarity of broadcasts, keeping everything in working order. Most employers prefer to hire those with an associate's degree.

Line workers are also known as line repairers or installers and have similar duties. These professionals work on outdoor telephone wires and communications lines, repairing, installing, and testing them as needed. These professionals typically need only a high school diploma.

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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