Electronics Communications: Salary and Job Facts
Research what it takes to have a career in electronics communications. Learn about education requirements, job duties, median wages, and job outlook to find out if this is the right career for you.
What does an Electronics Communication Worker Do?
In the electronics communications field, jobs are generally found in radio and telecommunications installation and repair. Your job focuses on the technical side of the field of communications, using your knowledge and skills with electricity and communication systems to repair radio, telephone, and other telecommunications devices in home and office settings. You will need proficient experience with electronics, as well as mechanical aptitude and good manual dexterity, in order to succeed in this line of work. Depending on what you do, it may be necessary to learn computer coding languages.
Consider the information in the following table to determine if a career in electronics communications is right for you.
|Degree Required||Postsecondary education typical|
|Education Field of Study||Electronics, telecommunications, and computer science|
|Key Skills||Color vision, dexterity, mechanical, and troubleshooting skills|
|Licensure Required||Required by some employers|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||-6% (for all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers except line installers)|
|Median Salary (2018)||$54,890 (for all radio, cellular, and tower equipment installers and repairers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Training or Education Do I Need?
Technical training is important in this field. You need a good understanding of electronics and electrical devices. You may receive some training on the job from your employer, but you may also complete a formal program to earn a diploma or degree.
Programs in electronics communications may cover topics including basic electronics, diagram reading, digital communications, fiber optics, and AM/FM receivers. You may also learn about radio frequencies and circuits. Some programs may focus on a specific area of electronics communications, such as wireless or radio. You may also get training in using electronics computer applications or learn about computer programming languages.
What Are My Certification and Licensing Options?
You may also consider earning a certification to help prove your skills and knowledge to employers. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers the associate-level Certified Electronics Technician designation. This ISCET certification tests your knowledge of basic electronics, circuits, electronic troubleshooting, and mathematics. The ISCET also offers an associate-level telecommunication certification if you want to prove your skills in fiber optics, networking and cable standards.
In some cases, you may be required to hold a license from a federal or state government agency depending on your job. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires anyone adjusting, maintaining, or repairing the internal components of radio and telephone equipment that is licensed by the FCC to hold a General Radiotelephone Operator license. States may also have licensing requirements. For example, Rhode Island requires licenses for telecommunications system contractors, technicians, and installers.
How Much Can I Earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the median annual salary for installers and repairers of radio and cellular towers was $54,890, as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for installers and repairers of telecommunication equipment, as of May 2018, was $56,100, according to the BLS.
What Are some Related Alternative Careers?
Line installers and repairers do similar work to telecommunications installers and repairers. Line workers install and repair telephone line and communications cables outdoors. The minimum education necessary is a high school diploma, with on-the-job education following after you are hired.
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians repair and operate different kinds of broadcast and sound equipment for radio, film, live events, and more. Their job is to keep broadcast signals stable and to capture the audio and visual aspects of what they record as clearly and professionally as possible. These professionals generally hold a certificate or nondegree award.