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Cable Television and Telecommunications Technician Job Description, Career as a Cable Television and Telecommunications Technician, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

technicians system service installers

Education and Training: High school plus training

Salary: Median—$17.36 per hour

Employment Outlook: Poor

Definition and Nature of the Work

Cable television and telecommunications technicians install, maintain, and upgrade cable systems. They also perform repair work and respond to service problems at the homes of cable users. Their main goal is to keep a cable system operating efficiently.

Cable technicians generally start out as cable system installers. Installers prepare a subscriber's home for cable reception by connecting the cable system to one or more television sets or to one or more computers for high-speed Internet service. Installers explain to subscribers how to operate the cable system and how they can upgrade or downgrade their services. If a customer no longer wants the cable system, installers remove it. Installers may also be responsible for servicing feeder lines, which connect the main cable to small groups of homes, and droplines, which are the direct cable lines to a subscriber's home. In general, installers perform light troubleshooting work when customers have minor problems with their cable units.

Trunk technicians must have more advanced technical skills than installers. Trunk technicians continuously maintain the main line, or trunk line, of the cable system. This work is very important because the trunk line is the main artery of a cable system and a malfunction could shut down service in a large area. Trunk technicians are responsible for correcting any technical failure in the trunk line, the feeder amplifier, or the booster.

Service technicians respond to problems reported by a subscriber. These technicians generally repair amplifiers, cable poles, or lines. They may also correct electrical malfunctions occurring in the cable system. They practice preventive maintenance by electronically scanning the cable system periodically. By catching minor problems early, they can prevent major disruptions in cable service later.

Not all cable television and telecommunications technicians work in the field. Bench technicians, who are highly specialized electronics technicians, operate the cable system's repair facility. They examine broken and malfunctioning cable equipment, repair it, record the repairs, and return the equipment to the field.

Chief cable technicians are the most highly skilled of the cable technician staff. They supervise the work of other technicians. They are ultimately responsible for ensuring high-quality signal delivery to customers. Chief cable technicians also set employee performance standards, conduct interviews, and handle personnel matters. They do not work out in the field unless serious or complex problems arise.

Education and Training Requirements

Cable television and telecommunications technicians need at least a high school education, an aptitude for math, and an interest in installing or repairing electronic equipment.

A cable television technician needs to have training in many areas. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.)

Most cable television and telecommunications technicians begin their careers as installers. Training is available for high school graduates at trade schools or from a cable company's on-the-job training program. Some trade schools offer a five- to seven-week course in electronics repair and maintenance. Trunk, service, and bench technicians have specialized telecommunications training; junior colleges and technical institutes offer programs that usually last one to two years. Chief cable television and telecommunications technicians need at least two years of electronics training and a considerable amount of experience in the field.

The number of vocational schools that train cable television and telecommunications technicians is limited. The cable industry provides on-the-job training, as well as special training schools for technicians. Some community agencies and educational institutions also offer technical training programs for cable technicians.

Getting the Job

Schools that offer courses in cable maintenance often have placement offices that can help candidates find jobs. The majority of employment opportunities come from areas that already have cable service or are about to get it. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) provides lists of these areas. State and local government officials can help prospective cable technicians determine what opportunities exist locally.

The Television and Cable Factbook, published by Warren Communications, lists all the cable systems in the United States and Canada. Copies of the print edition can be found at most large libraries. Also available online, The Factbook is considered the industry's leading source of up-to-date information.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Cable television technicians generally advance by gaining experience in cable maintenance and servicing. Installers, trunk technicians, service technicians, and bench technicians can advance to become chief cable technicians with increased on-the-job experience or electronics training. Some technicians may elect to continue their college training and become professional engineers. Those who have the necessary teaching skills may train new cable television and telecommunications technicians.

The employment outlook for cable technicians is slower than the average through the year 2014. Most areas of the country that can be served by cable systems have already been wired, and fewer installations will be needed in the coming years. However, technicians will still be needed to service existing cable lines and to replace old wiring with fiber optic cable. Steady customer demand for high-speed Internet connections may increase the demand for cable technicians; however, the increasing use of wireless Internet systems, along with the option of satellite television, will most likely counteract any job growth in the cable television and telecommunications field. Jobs will become available as workers retire or leave their jobs for other reasons.

Working Conditions

Installers, service technicians, and trunk technicians spend most of their time outside installing or maintaining cable lines, while bench technicians perform their tasks inside the cable system's repair facility. Chief technicians normally do not go into the field unless a problem arises.

All technicians in this field should enjoy working with the public because it is a consumer-oriented industry. Cable television technicians generally work five days per week, but they may have to work some overtime.

Where to Go for More Information

Communications Workers of America
501 Third St. NW
Washington, DC 20001-2797
(202) 434-1100
http://www.cwa-union.org

National Cable and Telecommunications Association
1724 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 775-3550
http://www.ncta.com

Earnings and Benefits

The earnings of cable technicians depend on the worker's experience, education, and place of employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a cable television and telecommunications technician is $17.36 per hour. Chief cable technicians earn more. Benefits include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement plans. Cable technicians also receive extra pay for overtime.

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over 8 years ago

I was hired by Comcast in Houston to be a CommTech 1 in Feb, 2008. I have been with Comcast for 15 months and I make 15.67 an hour. I was hired at 12.84 and then trained for 6 weeks to do television only. After training I rode around with other techs for about 2 months. Then I started my own route. I did primarly television trouble calls and some phone and internet, even though I had not taken a course or received training. Working in cable means you have to adapt on the go. After I was with the company for 7 months I went to an express training in phone and internet that lasted 2 weeks. We had to pass a difficult test to advance and although I passed the first time the majority of the class did not. The test was much more technical that what the training provided and some people took months to pass. My pay went up to 15.22 and I was routed with phone and internet trouble calls. Hurricane Ike hit soon after I passed and I was routed with 12 to 14 jobs a day. I did not do my first install until 11 months after I was hired, which differs from the description above. Because the crew I joined was a service crew I never had any installs. The downside to this was I had to learn to alot about the cable network system very quickly, learning from service and line techs in the field because the classroom training only thought us about the house or tap down and I was required to troubleshoot network, amp, node issues. There definately is stress on the job but the days go by fast because your busy all the time. Just wanted to give an idea of how I became a cable guy and what I do for those interested in being a cable guy.

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over 6 years ago

I work with Comcast in San Francisco for only 2 years and make $25.38. I started out at $17. I love my job...

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over 5 years ago

Get out of this business as fast as you can. If you're thinking about getting in the cable tv business, run like hell right now. Technicians who live in the big cities don't earn enough to buy homes. The executives think they are bigger than life, and most NEVER BEEN IN THE FIELD working as a technician. They executives will ride with a field tech for a few hours and then think they know all the issues regarding what we do.
We now have telephone, video, and internet service, that generate more revenue for the company, but we still get the same money we made when we only had video service. You get pushed to do more, but not compensated for the extra stress.
My company has a few, REALLY a few good executives, but they are leaving for Time Warner and Comcast, better working conditions, less stress on technicians and executives. Charter's culture is to push the people to the brink of collasping, then ask why you're tired. Caring about it's people is only lip service, they don't want you to leave for a better job, and will try to block your efforts to do better somewhere else. RUN LIKE HELL PEOPLE, STAY AWAY FROM CHARTER!
You will never get promoted in a timely manner, and it's a good ole boy world!

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over 9 years ago

8 years tech3 $18.50. cable is a dead end job no matter if you are a tech or a sup.stress level is high, job not worth taking, you will take the stress home, we have guys poppin pills.one tech frm area commited suicide.

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over 7 years ago

I've been working as an installer for Pre-wire specialists Inc. for the past 2 years and all I can say about this industry is that the golden days are gone and it's not worth it. Techs used to make 2-3k every two weeks but now if you don't avg. 200 points a day, you're not making any money. I'd rather flip burgers!!

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over 5 years ago

I have been installing cable for a couple months now for creative communications, and it is awful. The job pays like sh$*!, I was paid minimum wage for almost two months, and then it varies from $50 to 150 a day depending on how many jobs you can get done. No benefits, and no overtime. The job is dirty and dangerous. Crawling through dirt and crap under a house, or breathing fiber glass and asbestos in the attic. Risking my life 35ft up in the air on a rickety ladder. This job is flipping AWFUL. I hate it, and can't wait for something better to come along.

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over 5 years ago

The above needs to be updated. The title of Chief Technician is very seldom used in this industry, and has been replaced with a Technical Operations Manager, Plant Manager or Lead Technician.
Wages for technicians are about the same across the industry, however, the future for a technician earning a six figure salary will never happen. You must move into management and a least be at the director or vice president level to be compensated highly.

The field technician is the employee who does 100 percent of the wotk, however, corporate executives get the glory and cash off the backs of the field technician. It's true so be careful.

A technician with 25 years in the industry is not earning six figures, just ask a few. They are lucky if they earn $65,000. with over time and on-call pay.

I have over 35 years in the cable tv (broadband) industry. It's not fair the the technician works so hard to earn so little. Spread the weath boardmembers, they have earned it!

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over 9 years ago

I work for vista 3 media in oxford, ms and have been there for about a year. my pay is at 11 dollars an hour.

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almost 10 years ago

Technicians do not make that much.. I work for a Los Angeles based Cable provider and we average about $13.50 and hour and I have been in the industry for 4 years..

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about 10 years ago

your assessment of the median wage earnings if incorrect. After around 5 years on the job in florida one can expect to make around 12 - 13 an hour

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over 3 years ago

Wow some of yall had more time than I had for training. I rode with a tech for 3 weeks getting paid $8hr. After ,y 3rd week I was on my own route. I did basically apartments only and earned $570 for my very first week. top techs can earn up to $1200 a week. I love it! no supervisor on you. your your own boss pretty much.. went to the RR when I wanted, ate when I wanted, napped when I was tired... LOVE!!!

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over 8 years ago

I have been working for Rogers Cable in Canada for 5 years making about $23/hr average. we are based on piece rate here, you need to know how to create work for yourself when it's slow. Rewire everything, change the CSE, run a temp, UPSELL!! cable techs can make a ton of money if they know how to upsell. If your company isn't on a piece rate system then your getting hosed.

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almost 5 years ago

iam akbar ali from allahabad india .

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almost 5 years ago

iam akbar ali from allahabad india .

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almost 5 years ago

iam akbar ali from allahabad india .

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almost 6 years ago


Dear All,

I would like to apply as Cable Installer Tech.or any position that fits my qualification,attached my resume please review and should you have any question please call my mob.no.+966-507961538

thanks,

winel

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over 4 years ago

I worked for cable industry for 13 years, I advise anyone trying to get in. is stay away from these crooks. time warner bosses are only out to screw the next guy over--they don't care about the customer or there employee's, only the politics.. and there numbers....
stay away, go to college...
L.A trade tech

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about 5 years ago

I don'T who decided that the employment outlook in this field is
poor. My Division has hired 100
employees this year. Maybe if they
can go back to college for 15years
they will figure it out.

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over 5 years ago

14 years for Cox comm, started at $10hr as field service tech, now 34.26 as outside plant maintenance tech 5 with ncti/Jones masters in hybrid fiber/coax network. Top out at 42hr with pension and 401k, lots of ot, 4 tens, 30 bucks month for all 3 service, 312hours of PTO,, great company to work for, no stress, cover everything from mtc txer to eol tap.

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about 8 years ago

I started at 11/hr aug 11,2009 as an installer its aug 17,2009 making 13.27 as a tech 2 I still have IST then ISS get a percentage raise up to 10 % depending on how my repeats on the past months on service calls. Then I can go to maintance which is the bucket trucks, they work on the hardlines , another raise. Not to bad , 17.36/hr starting off would of been nice!

INSIGHT COMMUNICATIONS

FLORENCE,KY HEADQUARTERS NEW YORK

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almost 4 years ago

This review is not up to date with the industry. The cable-installer position is hard to fill. We need techs in every major and minor city in every state. Why would you say the outlook is Poor? Fiber to the house will not take place in most cities. Copper is still the wave of the future. Please invest more time in the industry next time.

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over 4 years ago

i want a job in tv cable line

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over 4 years ago

am Faheem, am TV/CABLE/Technician with line Technition.i want job in cable/tv/company,please accept my request,

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over 4 years ago

i am cable techincian and have 7 year work experience i am intersted doing job in USA any body help me
my education intermedate and (DIT) diploma of information technology
i am from pakistan
plz helpp

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about 5 years ago

I work for Time Warner Cable in NY and love my job. Been there 3 years make 17.00 hr pension plan full benefits internet phone and home security system for 23 dollars a month.I also take my work truck home everyday and get a company cell phone and laptop.It is very stress free .I take my lunch when I want if im tired I can take a break whenver I want.No one ever bothers you if you do your job right

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about 5 years ago

I have worked for a cable company for over 18 years and this is not an accurate description of technician duties. If your interested in going the cable company, I recommend talking to one of your local cable guys to get a better idea.

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about 5 years ago

28yrs. Installer,Service Tech,
Maint.Tech,P.M.Tech,Headend Tech.
30.00 p/hr.

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over 5 years ago

I found this site helpful and would like to learn more about a CATV Tahitian am one and i work in an Estate of 600 users and like to get some help from you as time goes on, i also like to receive some E Mails from you, am so grateful to you all.

Thanks and my best regards

FELICITY.

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over 5 years ago

I found this site helpful and would like to learn more about a CATV Tahitian am one and i work in an Estate of 600 users and like to get some help from you as time goes on, i also like to receive some E Mails from you, am so grateful to you all.

Thanks and my best regards

FELICITY.

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over 5 years ago

Thanks for this noble content. This is very informational about career perspective. A very appreciable site indeed.


http://www.educationrequirements.org/telecom-network-engineer.html

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over 5 years ago

I SOUGHT a cable position after having a cable modem installed. Now I work for DIRECTV and earn a decent living. Its not always a matter of making the wage by the hour but as piece rate and percentage of all work you perform in my company. I bend over backwards if I want to meet the level 3 or 4 criteria. My morning consist of making sure I have enough equipment, understanding routes to get through a 230 square mile drive to cold calling and keeping my customer informed where I am. If you fail in these areas you decrease your profit by around 15% as a level one technician. Its always ample the attitude and create a recurring customer who trust you have done everything you could for them after reviewing some history there as you build a name for yourself. When some recognize you as a friend of a friend you had met at a place before hand, thats where real satisfaction is held. I know from all my experience... if it was your cable not working, wouldn't you want someone knowledgeable to hold you to highest priority. From all this I learned your successful no matter what... your the last person the customer will see. I have a fair share of pictures of jobs that were totally installed wrong... does it help me to know I can fix them within an hour. Yes I can see a burned splice at the moment I arrive to the skipping hard drive. Its a matter of attitude.....

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about 6 years ago

This is the Outlook and Profile for Telecom Technician

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over 6 years ago

Gud day sir can i apply for this job? im from the philippines and presently i am working on a cable company for 13 years as a cable technician/lineman. Is there anyway i canapply for this job.

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over 6 years ago

I started as a Brighthouse tech I with zero experience at 13/hr. I"ve been there for 5 years and now make 17.55 as a tech III. I should get another 4% due to the yearly raise for 2011. I still have 4 more tech levels to go so there is plenty of room to grow in this field if your willing. We get to drive the trucks home and have great benifits so that is like having another $3/hr. I enjoy the job and consider it a career rather than a dead end job.

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over 6 years ago

I love this website! It helped me with my school report that I had to do. Thanks everyone for putting this website up!

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almost 7 years ago

Comm-tech 3 grade w/ 10 years experience and currently making 26.00 an hour, 4 weeks vacation, 4-10 shift, I work in the area I live in and start my day from home. I've seen many techs, supervisors, managers come and go over the years. I've experienced many changes in changes in just 10 years.

TCI to AT&T to Comcast, different managers and have seen many techs come and go, but if you stick around long enough then you can enjoy a respectable wage. The key is having the ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment. Technology changes almost daily and business models and practices are always shifting to maximize efficiency.

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about 7 years ago

Im a comtech 4 make 26.58 an hour. Ive been with comcast for just over 4 years. Make your numbers and request course time to advance.

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about 8 years ago

everybody's wage depends on how quickly you can adapt to your set of skills. been working for comcast for 4 1/2 years and make just under $17 plus free cable and internet, discounted phones and full benefits

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over 8 years ago

I have 17 years in the cable business. I have done everything from installer ,Linesmen, triple play tech, headend maintenace,& system auditor, I currently make 13.50 an hour in upstate ny. I am looking to go to florida but have had no luck finding anything.Any suggestions from florida cable guys would be appreceiated.

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over 8 years ago

I've been working with GCI for just over 4 years now, and make 25/hr. I love my job and there is lots of room to move up. Its not for everyone though. I started at the bottom making 14/hr, but I worked very hard by taking every chance to get overtime and learn. Not everyone can do it especially up here. So if you hate your job find a new one.

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over 8 years ago

I work for Suddenlink in Bryan/College Station(who bought out cox in this area) I make $13.00 per hour. Working only about a year in TX, this is pretty much the starting point here $12.00 being base pay. I made more working on riding mowers for Sears, $14.88 after 2 years but they do not have an eighth of the benefits that Suddenlink has. It all depends on your area on how much you get paid, this is the college town and nobody pay very much. I don't expect to work here the rest of my life, maybe only another year or so. My advice, if you need a job that pays ok and has very good benefits work for a cable company. If you want a job for life and to be respected and promoted on a regular basis work some where else.

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over 8 years ago

Where in the world do you all work? Geez Im 22 and Been working in cable since I was 18 thats four years and Im making 21.50 hr. For all you that are working installing cable for that lil money you need a new company to work for! I work for Cox work there...lol

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almost 9 years ago

In SLC.Utah Every job has it's issue's, as a tech. the biggest issue is the weather hot/cold rin/snow.Free services phone/cable/internet..take truck home no ga$ no mait. 401k match $1 for $1. many other things....$21 hr @11 yrs doing cable <><

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over 9 years ago

I work for cablevision which is located in ny and i love my job i make 60+ a year have great benifits and perks no complaint and been on the job going on 7 years

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over 9 years ago

I am the former Cable Television instructor for the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have been in the industry for over 30 years and taught telecommunications 16 of those years.

Can installers, technicians, engineers, etc. will not end up on the "Life Style od the Rich and Famous" show, however, they can earn an honest living.

Those technician that mentioned they are earning 12 to 14 dollars and hour are 100 percent correct. That's about the adverage wage, however, when you factor in taking the vehicle home, medical, dental, and other benefits, it's can be a nice industry for some.

I have trained thousands of cable technician students, in the private industry and public school system. Many come into the industry with only a high school educations, therefore, it can be understood that it's an entry level position with room to grow. Some don't last long enough because they do stupid things, don't care about customer service, or drive the company vehicle into areas not allowed. I am far from having enough money to retire from this business, however, I am glad to have a job, with this crazy economy in the conditions it's in. A word of advice for those thinking about jumping into cable television, get an education while in the business, so if you decide to get out, you have something to take with you.

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over 9 years ago

I have been a service tech for 5 years....I make 14hr in Florida...This job gives me 3 weeks paid vaca paid sick time..401k 2 days off a year extra for not calling in sick....a take home van...free 150$a month cable...Free college... or half if not pertaining to some cable related field....my blue cross blue shield costs 13 every 2 weeks and i have a dental/vision/prescription plan.....

I save at least 20 a week in gas...150 a month in cable bills and 50 or more in health benefits....thats 300 dollars a month...

I wake up...check my company laptop...go to my 8 service calls...I take lunch when i want...I stop home if I have too.... I stop at the beach...

I would say that I have one of the most stress free jobs available...No bosses ever bother me...I stop by the office once a week....

All I do is do a good job...And make people happy....The people who are stressed out are the slackers...

And if where you work sucks...MOVE...

Installers have it way worse....

So...I would say...If you like not having a boss....or an annoying co worker..and like a changing environment...like good benefits and decent pay..and vacation....check out Florida