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What Education Is Required for a Career in Telecommunications?

In this article, we'll discuss the level of education you'll need for a telecommunications career in networking, line installation, and other sectors of the field. Keep reading for more info.

Career Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the telecommunications field employed nearly 718,000 people as of May 2019. Some jobs related to telecommunications, such as those with a focus in sales, require only limited education or formal training. In these jobs, it's more important to have strong interpersonal abilities, with a working knowledge of the terms and technology of telecommunications.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) -8% decline (for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers)
Median Salary (2018) $56,100 (for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers)
Similar Occupations Broadcast and sound engineering technician; computer, ATM, and office machine repairer; line installer and repairer
Work Environment Office setting for technicians; installers and repairers travel to homes and offices

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Technical Professionals

For jobs more deeply involved with the technical side of telecommunications, such as engineering, directly related educational experience is much more important. If you're seeking to start your technical career, a bachelor's degree in computer science, electrical engineering, information systems, or a related field is a good way to prepare yourself. You could become a computer professional, systems analyst, database administrator, or electronics engineer.

Line Technicians

Around 67% of all telecommunications equipment installers and repairers' employment was in telecommunications in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many people in these jobs start out as assistants or grounds workers. They may have some related work experience when they enter the field. For line technicians, an associate's degree in telecommunications may be sufficient, especially when supplemented by on-the-job training or certification.

Supplemental Training

Certification is widespread in the telecommunications field. These programs frequently correspond to specific technologies, like the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) classification. An overwhelming majority of IT professionals surveyed by Global Knowledge and Windows IT Pro for the 2013 IT Skills and Salary Report reported that training and certification proved to be beneficial for both companies and employees in the form of knowledge and salary increases.