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Radio and Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Job Description, Career as a Radio and Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Gett

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesComputers, IT & Telecommunications

Education and Training: College

Salary Median: $21.66 per hour

Employment Outlook: Fair

Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers are involved in: installing, adjusting and testing circuits; wiring; stationary and mobile radio equipment; and communication systems. They also have to identify and repair any problems that might occur in telecommunications equipment and systems.

The work of radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers requires an in-depth know-how of computers and electronic equipment like processors, chips, hardware and software, and circuit boards. Knowledge of the practical application of engineering theories, broadcasting, transmission, operation and control of telecommunications systems is also necessary.

Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers may work under various occupational titles. Their roles are defined by the industry they work in. Central office installers and repairers are employed at switching hubs known as the central offices, while headend technicians work in the cable industry. Station installers and repairers, also referred to as telecommunications service technicians or home installers and repairers, install and repair telecommunications equipment in homes and businesses. PBX installers and repairers work with various organizations to set up their exchange switchboards.

Education and Training Requirements

Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers need to have postsecondary education in the field of computer technology or electronics. However, most employers now prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. In certain cases, associate’s degrees or certifications may also be considered valid. A large number of colleges and universities offer 2 to 4 year programs in electronics and communications technology. Trade schools, military institutes, and software manufacturers also offer similar courses.

In addition to the educational qualifications, one needs to have on-the-job training. Many organizations allow entry-level radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers to train under experienced people. At times, these companies also organize training sessions so that the installers and repairers can gain knowledge about new equipment and service procedures.

Equipment installers and repairers employed in the aviation and marine industries need to obtain licensure before they can start working. These licenses are provided by the Federal Communications Commission and require successful completion of exams on electronics fundamentals, radio law, and maintenance practices.

Getting the Job

Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers can directly approach telecommunications organizations for job openings. Requirements are also listed on job sites and advertised in the classified columns of newspapers. Further, there are various unions and other organizations that offer relevant information about employment opportunities.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

For advancement opportunities in this field, one must be up-to-date with the latest technologies. There are various certifications that one can opt for, like those offered by the Telecommunications Industry Association, and the Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers.

With experience, radio and telecommunications equipment repairers can move to positions of specialists who work as troubleshooters and focus on diagnosing complex problems. Home installers can take up work as central office installers and repairers, and move into the field of computer network wiring. One can also advance to positions which call for developing maintenance procedures and designing equipment in tandem with engineers, or become sales workers for manufacturers. Administrative positions like service managers and maintenance supervisors are also open to radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers.

The field of radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to grow by 2% in the coming ten years. In spite of stiff competition, job prospects will be good for both radio mechanics and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, especially for those with a strong background in electronics.

Working Conditions

Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers may work under different conditions depending on their respective job profiles. Some jobs may entail working outdoors while others involve working in an enclosed vehicle or equipment. However, in most cases, radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers have clean, air-conditioned, and well-lit surroundings. Travelling is a fixture in this profession. Work hours can be irregular, and one may be asked to work in various shifts even during weekends and holidays.

Where to Go for More Information

Information Technology and Telecommunications Association
P.O. Box 278076
Sacramento, CA 95827-8076
http://www.tca.org

United States Telecom Association
607 Fourteenth St. NW, Ste. 400
Washington, DC 20005
http://www.usta.org

National Association of Radio and
Telecommunications Engineers
167 Village St.
Medway, MA 02053
http://www.narte.org

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
900 Seventh Street NW.
Washington, DC 20001
http://www.ibew.com

Communications Workers of America
501 3rd Street NW.
Washington, DC 20001
http://www.cwa-union.org/jobs

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210
http://www.doleta.gov/OA/

Earnings and Benefits

The median hourly salary of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers was $25.21, while radio mechanics reported a median hourly salary of $18.12, as per the records of May 2006. On the whole, the mean annual wage of radio mechanics was between $34,930 and $58,410, while that of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers ranged from $43,750 to $84,090.

Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers working in the government or for large organizations enjoy a variety of benefits including paid leaves and vacations, dental, vision, health, and life insurances, as well as generous retirement plans.

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