Telecomm. Engineering Technologies
Telecommunications engineering technologists are responsible for keeping us connected with our colleagues and friends, as well as the information we need to do our jobs. Read about employment and education for telecommunications pros here before making a decision about your future career.
Are Telecommunication Engineering Technologies for Me?
The telecommunications field relies upon the use of cable, computer-based and traditional land lines to help us maintain those vital connections with our businesses, homes and information. Professionals who work with these complex communication networks must be well versed in the planning and implementation, installation and repair of communications technologies.
Opportunities in telecommunications engineering can be found in computer and voice technology, installation and repair, fiber optics or telemarketing operations. As a qualified candidate with good communication, computer and problem-solving skills, you may also find a position as an electronics engineering technician or a telecommunications specialist.
Telecommunications specialists use their customer service skills to schedule installations and follow up with customers. In this position, you'll receive and route telephone inquiries and process requests for service connections. You might also perform technical tasks, such as those related to equipment maintenance or installation. Electronic engineering technicians test circuitry and systems, develop products, construct prototypes and operate complex systems. If you work as a telecommunications installer or repairer, you might set up and configure switches and routers, diagnose and repair problems, perform testing procedures and update existing telecommunications equipment.
Employment and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 4%, or slower-than-average, increase in employment opportunities for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers. Minimal to no change in prospects was expected for electrical and electronics engineering technicians during the same period. As of May 2013, the median annual salary for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers was $54,760. In the same month, electrical and electronics engineering technicians had a median annual salary of $58,540 (www.bls.gov).
How Can I Work in Telecommunications Engineering Technologies?
Depending on the position, employers typically prefer candidates with a postsecondary education or certification. Telecommunications installers and repairers usually earn an associate's degree in computers and telecommunications. Core coursework can include the study of data and unified communications, internet protocols and operating systems; field experiences may be provided through seminars.
Associate's degree programs in electronics engineering technology may focus on wireless and data communications. Training topics might include electric circuitry analysis, wireless security, digital systems and electronic testing. Bachelor's degree programs in electronics engineering are also available, through which you can pursue upper-level coursework in electronics and digital electronics, analog circuits, programming and signaling theory.