What Is a Telecom Specialist?

Telecommunications, or telecom, specialists manage video, voice, and Internet services. Find out what this job entails, including the job duties and salary potential for working in this field. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Telecom Specialist?

Telecommunications specialists create and install computer technology designed for the purposes of communication, such as video or data systems. These professionals need a large amount of technical computer knowledge, as well as manual dexterity for installing and repairing communication lines. Depending on who they work for, they may offer their services to a single company or to many under the employment of a telecommunications firm. Additionally, these professionals must routinely check on previously installed equipment and fix and maintain it as needed to ensure it functions properly.

The below provides career information for network and computer systems administrators:

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education RequiredComputer or information science
Key ResponsibilitiesInstall hardware and software; maintain and secure computer systems; train users
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8%
Median Salary (2015)* $77,810

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will My Job Duties as a Telecom Specialist Be?

As a telecommunications specialist, you will be responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining equipment that combines computer technology with communication. For example, you might be responsible for managing video communication systems or data communication systems for a single company or business. Or you might work for a telecommunications firm and provide these services to different clients.

Your job will also often require you to check up on your clients to ensure that their telecommunications equipment continues to operate successfully after installation. You might have a few other essential duties as a telecom specialist. These might include testing lines, maintaining system records, and managing equipment.

What Educational Programs Will I Need?

If you are interested in becoming a telecom specialist, you will most likely need to complete a certificate or associate's degree program in electronics or telecommunications technology. A telecommunications certificate program will provide you with a basic understanding of broadband technology, signal transmission systems, data transmission systems, and computer operating systems. An associate's degree in the field will also introduce you to these topics, but will also provide you with an understanding of wireless technology, security requirements, fiber optics, and networking.

What Certifications Are Available?

You will not be required to gain certification in order to find work in the telecommunications field. However, earning certification from an organization such as the International Association for Radio, Telecommunications, and Electromagnetics (iNARTE) will provide you with an assurance of competency that might help you to find a job as a telecom specialist. The organization offers a few different levels of certification, including a Junior, Senior, and Master Technician, as well as a Junior, Senior, and Master Engineer. Various levels of experience and education are required to earn each designation.

What Salary Can I Expect to Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes telecommunications specialists in the same category as network systems and data communications administrators. The BLS reported that professionals in the field held more than 374,480 jobs in the country in 2015 (www.bls.gov). They also earned a median annual salary of about $77,810 in that year, working primarily for computer systems design services, company management, employee services, and wired telecommunications carriers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Web developers are computer professionals in charge of designing websites. They can apply their skills in a variety of industries by maintaining the technical aspects of an organization's site and potentially even creating content for it. They must have an associate's degree.

Computer support specialists assist users who are having issues with their computer systems. Some assist individual users, troubleshooting their issues and trying to find solutions based on their knowledge base and the information provided, while others assist a company's IT department in maintaining and solving problems related to their computer systems. While many companies will hire these professionals with only an associate's education, others prefer a bachelor's degree.

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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