Is Telecommunications Equipment a Good Career Path Option?

Telecom equipment careers offer a variety of options that can pay well and bring long-term job security.

Jill Caren
By Jill Caren
Updated December 17th, 2023

Telecommunications equipment is a good career path with Statista showing over 1.4 million telecom and internet jobs in the United States in 2020. In this article we will break down the different opportunities in the telecom equipment industry so you can discover the options for a career.

This makes it a secure and long-term career option. Salaries and benefits for workers of all types in this industry are very good and can allow you to create a comfortable life.

For those that might not know specifically what telecommunications equipment is, it is the hardware that is used for providing telecommunications services. This can include a lot of different technologies like transmission lines, communication satellites, telecom towers, switches and so much more.

Working in this industry means you are helping the world connect! Kind of cool right?

This is why the opportunities are so strong in the telecom industry, there are a lot of moving parts that need skilled workers. Whether you choose to maintain equipment, do computer programming, or are looking to work with sound engineers – there is a really big variety of opportunities waiting for you.

You might be interested in seeing if public utilities is a good career path too since telecommunications is closely related.

Telecommunications industry overview

Telecommunications are one of the most critical industries in the world, it is what powers our phones, internet, cable and so much more.

Without it, think about how different your world would be.

This sector includes Voice over Internet Protocal (VoIP), cable services, satellite and Internet. It is all the services that allow us to communicate with voice, text, sound and video. It is considered a blue collar career path, and if you are interested checkout our blue collar meaning guide to learn more about the history of the term.

Many jobs in the industry mean you will be working from central offices, electronic service centers, or on site at at a customers location whether it is a business or residential location.

Benefits Of Working In The Telecommunications equipment Industry

There are many great reasons to work in the telecommunications industry including good pay, benefits, and a variety of job prospects just to name a few. Let’s dig in a bit and review all the reasons that make this a great industry to consider working in.

  • Security. No matter where you are, telecommunications systems are being used in some way. It is a critical part of our daily lives so we can communicate with others. This is not going to go away any time soon, and as the technology advances – the job outlook will remain high.
  • Diversity. Working in the telecommunications field offers so many different types of jobs. While we are focusing on those that deal with equipment, there are so many other careers you can dive into as well.
  • Travel. There is opportunity to travel in this career path, especially during times of natural disasters. When hurricanes or other disasters hit, it is not uncommon for equipment technicians to go to other states to help with getting telecommunications back on line.
  • Salary. The salary ranges for telecommunications professionals are fairly strong depending on the job you work in and experience you have. The range of salaries is large, with those working in engineering making the most competitive wages. According to Payscale the average salary in the telecommunications industry is $82,000 annually.
  • Education. Engineering jobs may require more formal postsecondary education, but for many careers in this industry only a high school diploma or vocational training is required. For some jobs postsecondary training in computer technology, telecommunication systems, or electronic equipment can be helpful for advancement opportunities and to earn higher wages.

Types Of Telecommunications Equipment Careers

There are so many different types of jobs in the telecommunications field. Some may require a college degree, but many are trade jobs and may only need an apprenticeship or trade school education.

Below are a few examples of some of trade specific jobs within the industry that you can consider. The specific tasks each job entails will vary based on location, experience, and employer.

We have provided a brief job description for each. None of these jobs need a Bachelor’s degree but some type of training, apprenticeship or vocational training is recommended.

Check out another career path: Is marine transportation a good career?

Line installers and repairers

Line installers and repairers generally work in local communities to lay new telecommunications lines or repair old ones. They go to different installation sites to make sure that all the devices that transmit communications signals work and join phone lines so you can reach the outside world.

You can also find them putting up utility poles or working underground to ensure the lines run from the street to our houses or businesses. The work environment can be challenging sometimes because they often work in all kinds of weather including snow and storms.

These are the people that make sure the telephone lines are working and maintain the equipment outside homes and businesses that allows us to get phone and internet.

This trade job is very physical and requires the ability to be up high or down low and has a median salary of $78,310. An apprenticeship or trade school is recommended. You can read more on our how to become a lineman guide.

is telecommuncations equipment a good career

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers

Sometimes also called telecom technicians, this job is the most common in the industry. Many telecom technicians use computers, tools, and various testing methods to diagnose problems in the equipment that will carry communications signals.

While line installers and repairers work outside and bring telecom lines to homes and businesses, telecom techs will be the people that will work inside to make sure all equipment is working properly. Their jobs are important as they are the people that will make sure communications signals are being passed properly.

As a telecommunications equipment installer you will install communications equipment, inspect and service equipment, test and troubleshoot, or replace faulty equipment. Telecom equipment repairers will use diagnostic equipment and hand tools to repair the specialized hardware that is used in telecom components. So, this is a very hands on job!

Because telecom technicians work with color coded wires it is important that they have the ability to see colors.

There are different types of specialties within this job as well including central office technicians, headend technicians, and home installers and repairers.

Telecom installers or repairers typically need an associate’s degree or certification from a telecommunications specific program. With a median salary of $61, 470, it is definitely a good career!

Optics splicer

As a fiber optic splicer you would be responsible for taking care of the fiber optic cables that are used in most telecommunications. Fiber optic splicers will install, repair and maintain the cabling, and ensure that the cable is properly transmitting data. They might also inspect equipment and use technical manuals to understand how to use other diagnostic equipment or calibrate equipment.

This job will require working in all weather conditions and some challenging work environments like small spaces or at heights of 25 feet or more. Some fiber optic professionals will also need a DOT license (which may require a DOT drug test) as they may have to drive a truck to the work location.

Many of these jobs do offer great benefits and fair wages, but the days can be long and on-call duties are often required. A formal education is not required in most cases. Pay ranges vary but most can expect to make median pay of $20-$40 an hour depending on experience and location.

Satellite TV Installer

Satellite TV installers and repairers generally work both indoors and outdoors while installing or repairing satellite TV equipment. Duties may include going on roofs to install the satellite dish, troubleshoot connectivity issues, or work inside a clients home to troubleshoot television issues.

A large employer in this industry is DISH who has a lot of satellite tv installer positions available at the time of this writing. They offer paid training and a starting rate that averages around $18 – $20 per hour based on location. Lots of great benefits and opportunities for growth also exist for those that are looking for a true career.

Working for a smaller company may mean you will work with different types of satellites, which means the ability to follow manufacturers instructions will be really important.

Related: Check out basic industries job opportunities.

How Many Jobs Are Available In Telecommunication industry?

Statista shows that in 2020 there were over 1.4 million telecom and internet jobs in the United States. That can mean a big number of employment opportunities for those that want to get into the field as people retire or change careers.

While some jobs, like telecommunications equipment installers are seeing no real growth in jobs, the jobs that focus on wireless technology will increase. The reduction in wired equipment will impact any job opportunities where maintenance on lines are required.

Below is a more comprehensive list of the types of jobs that fall under telecommunications:

  • Telecommunications equipment installers
  • Telecom technicians
  • Systems managers
  • Customer service representatives
  • VoIP engineers
  • Data scientists
  • Wireless network engineers
  • Telecommunications managers
  • Computer programmers
  • Computer networking specialists
  • Cell phone technicians
  • PBX installers

Job automation for some of these careers may be something to consider. While this may not be as much of an issue for actual installers, those working in programming or engineering may be at risk.

Job Outlook for Telecommunications

The job outlook for telecommunications careers depends on the type of job you are considering.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall job outlook industry wide is slowing just a bit. If we look at employment data for the telecom workforce from 2021 through 2020 we can see that there is a small decrease in the amount of people working in telecommunications.

If you are looking to get into the industry, it is important to focus on a job that has future growth so we highly recommend securing a position that can work in the wireless services area.

Mobile and wireless services are increasingly popular, so finding a career that interests you within that segment will offer the biggest career path opportunity. Even though the maintenance and service needed in these areas are not as needed as wired products, there are still other opportunities!

Jill Caren is an international SEO consultant and founder of 2Dogs Media. She is also a trainer, journalist, and speaker who helps brands increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. She is also the co-founder of Blue Collar Brain, a resource for those looking to enter a trade career.

She has been featured on MSN, Wealth of Geeks, Hubspot, SEO Powersuite, and other publications for her work as an SEO and advocate for skilled trades.