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

equipment technicians switching workers

Education and Training: Varies—see profile

Salary: Median—$23.96 per hour

Employment Outlook: Poor

Definition and Nature of the Work

Telecommunications central office technicians keep the complex and sophisticated equipment used in the telecommunications industry working properly. They are in charge of installing, maintaining, and repairing the electronic and electromechanical switching equipment in the central offices of telecommunications companies. Installers set up the intricate systems, and craft workers keep the switching equipment in fine running condition. Used equipment is replaced before it breaks down so that the telecommunications system never stops working.

Most central office installers are employed by telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Others work for telecommunications companies or contractors that coordinate large installations. Central office equipment installers, also called equipment installation technicians, set up, rearrange, and change communications equipment associated with the complex switching and dialing operations vital to telecommunications central offices. Using equipment work order information, blueprints, circuit diagrams, and floor plans, installers set up new central offices, add equipment to existing offices, and replace outdated equipment. Once the installation is complete, it is the installers' responsibility to verify that everything works properly. Using sophisticated equipment, they test each piece of equipment, determine the cause of any difficulty, and correct the problem.

Central office craft workers are usually employed by telecommunications companies. They are generally divided into three categories: the frame wirer, the central office repairer, and the test desk technician. Frame wirers, sometimes referred to as frame attendants, connect, disconnect, and rearrange wires that run from the telecommunications lines and cables to the central office. Central office repairers, also known as switching equipment technicians, test, repair, and A telecommunications central office technician locates a problem at a control station. (Photograph by Kelly A. Quin. Thomson Gale. Reproduced by permission.) maintain all types of local and long-distance switching equipment that automatically connects telecommunications customers. Most of the switching systems are electromechanical—that is, they contain many moving parts that require frequent cleaning, oiling, and replacement. Newer switching systems, which use digital electronics, have few moving parts and require practically no maintenance. Test desk technicians, sometimes called trouble locators, use specially designed testing equipment to locate problems in telecommunications lines. They supervise the troubleshooting procedures used by both the inside and the outside repair crews to clear problems from subscribers' lines.

Education and Training Requirements

Candidates for central office technician positions were traditionally selected from inside and outside telecommunications companies. They received both formal classroom instruction and on-the-job training. As of the early 2000s, however, most companies preferred workers who had already acquired these skills through the military or through other job experience. In addition to experience, employers look for people who have completed an associate's degree or postsecondary vocational school program in telecommunications technology, electronics, or related subjects.

Persons considering a job as a central office technician should have the analytical skills and judgment to resolve complex mechanical problems. Candidates must be able to work in a team environment and have the patience to follow detailed instructions. Solid reading comprehension, logic, and mathematical skills are necessary to understand company manuals and follow circuit diagrams.

New workers may receive a combination of formal instruction, on-the-job training, and practical experience by observing and helping experienced technicians.

Getting the Job

Individuals interested in this type of work should apply directly to the personnel offices of telecommunications equipment manufacturers or large installation contractors. Candidates should also contact local telecommunications companies because they frequently hire installers and offer excellent training programs. To get a job as a central office craft worker, students should apply directly to the nearest telecommunications company employment office.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

There are several avenues of advancement for central office technicians, and particularly for craft workers. After one or two years of satisfactory performance, frame wirers may be selected to train for a more skilled job such as that of test desk technician or central office repairer. The central office craft worker can advance to a supervisory position and then to a position as an engineering assistant or administrative staff worker. The central office installer can also advance to engineering assistant.

The employment of central office technicians is projected to decline through the year 2014. Although there will be a need for telecommunications services and equipment due to the growth in both population and demand, newer electronic switching equipment requires little maintenance and is relatively easy to install. In addition, with computerization, more companies are centralizing their maintenance forces in switching control centers. However, the growing popularity of voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP), expanded multimedia offerings such as video on demand, and growth in other telecommunications services will provide new job opportunities. Mobile maintenance crews can be dispatched to clear trouble conditions, thereby reducing the need for on-site central office repairers. This trend is expected to continue.

Working Conditions

Telecommunications central offices are generally comfortable and clean. Because communications systems operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, central office craft workers have schedules that include late shifts, holidays, and weekends. Those craft workers who are assigned to mobile work forces must travel within their assigned territories. Central office installers are also expected to do some traveling.

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

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
900 Seventh St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 833-7000
http://www.ibew.com

United States Telecom Association
607 Fourteenth St. NW, Ste. 400
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 326-7300
http://www.usta.org

Earnings and Benefits

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for telecommunications central office technicians is $23.96 per hour. Experienced technicians who belong to unions earn more. For technicians covered by a union contract, the contract provides for health and life insurance, educational benefits, retirement plans, and overtime pay.

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over 4 years ago

i am a Diploma In Telecommunication engineer

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about 5 years ago

Maurice Anthony Finch
61 Foraker Drive
Xenia, Ohio 45385
(937) 372-6865 Home (937) 768-3589 Cell
Email – FinchMaurice@yahoo.com

Professional Objective

Design, manage and maintain Telecommunication systems and data networks. Support communication needs of a diverse user community requiring voice, data and networking.

Experience

Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio
Telecommunications Engineer, IT Converged Technology
November 1998 – November 2010

· Install, MAC’s, Troubleshooting for multi-node Rolm 9751 CBX, Mod 10’s, 9200’s, Hi-Com 300, Spectralink Wireless and PhoneMail systems for thirty-eight facilities. Nortel/Avaya VOIP CS1000, BCM50 and Call Pilot experience.
· Responsible for installing and maintaining thirty-eight offsite facilities connected via T1, DS3’s and Sonet ring to provide redundant service for 10,000 + lines.
· Responsible for USA Mobility Paging systems, TRU Call Accounting systems, Observer/Composer ACD reporting systems and specialized recording devices.
· Provide excellent customer service for design, moves, adds, changes and training.

Norstan Communications, Inc., Dayton, Ohio
Telecommunications MAC/Service Technician
March 1991 – November 1998

· Managed voice and data installation projects for new customers.
· Installed cable, telephone switches and key systems for numerous accounts prior to being promoted to Site Technician for Miami Valley Hospital.
· Supervised and trained warehouse personnel, processed invoicing.
· Developed alternative work around solutions to enhance customer service.
· Extremely responsive to customer complaints and provided expedient repair.

Education & Training

Associate of Applied Science, Electronic Engineering
Rets Tech Center, Centerville, Ohio

United States, Army

Xenia High School Diploma

Certifications/Training: Siemens PBX Systems certified, Paging Systems, Executone Key Systems, Advantage II PBX, Voice Mail Systems, Trunking Technology, Telephony cabling, Call Accounting System, Electronic crosscut cabling connections and Wireless System.

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over 5 years ago

Maurice Anthony Finch
61 Foraker Drive
Xenia, Ohio 45385
(937) 372-6865 Home (937) 768-3589 Cell
Email – FinchMaurice@yahoo.com

Professional Objective

Design, manage and maintain Telecommunication systems and data networks. Support communication needs of a diverse user community requiring voice, data and networking.

Experience

Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio
Telecommunications Engineer, IT Converged Technology
November 1998 – November 2010Maurice Anthony Finch.doc

· Install, MAC’s, Troubleshooting for multi-node Rolm 9751 CBX, Mod 10’s, 9200’s, Hi-Com 300, Spectralink Wireless and PhoneMail systems for thirty-eight facilities. Nortel/Avaya VOIP CS1000, BCM50 and Call Pilot experience.
· Responsible for installing and maintaining thirty-eight offsite facilities connected via T1, DS3’s and Sonet ring to provide redundant service for 10,000 + lines.
· Responsible for USA Mobility Paging systems, TRU Call Accounting systems, Observer/Composer ACD reporting systems and specialized recording devices.
· Provide excellent customer service for design, moves, adds, changes and training.

Norstan Communications, Inc., Dayton, Ohio
Telecommunications MAC/Service Technician
March 1991 – November 1998

· Managed voice and data installation projects for new customers.
· Installed cable, telephone switches and key systems for numerous accounts prior to being promoted to Site Technician for Miami Valley Hospital.
· Supervised and trained warehouse personnel, processed invoicing.
· Developed alternative work around solutions to enhance customer service.
· Extremely responsive to customer complaints and provided expedient repair.

Education & Training

Associate of Applied Science, Electronic Engineering
Rets Tech Center, Centerville, Ohio

United States, Army

Xenia High School Diploma

Certifications/Training: Rolm CBX 9751 certified; CBX Hi-Com 300, Spectralink Wireless, Paging systems, Rolm CBX II 8000, Rolm 9200 PBX, Executone Key Systems, Advantage II PBX, AVT Voice Mail system, Trunking Technology, Basic Telephony and DOS, ATMS, TRU system call accounting, install

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over 6 years ago

Telecommunications central office technicians keep the complex and equipment used in the telecommunications industry working properly.Most central office installers are employed by telecommunications equipment manufacturers.