Design or configure wired, wireless, and satellite communications systems for voice, video, and data services. Supervise installation, service, and maintenance.
Sample of reported job titles: Communications Engineer, Engineer, Infrastructure Engineer, Network Engineer, Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD), Telecommunication Design Analyst (Telecom Design Analyst), Telecommunication Design Engineer (Telecom Design Engineer), Telecommunication Engineer (Telecom Engineer), Telecommunication Systems Designer (Telecom Systems Designer), Telecommunications Consultant (Telecom Consultant)
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Consult with users, administrators, and engineers to identify business and technical requirements for proposed system modifications or technology purchases.
- Implement system renovation projects in collaboration with technical staff, engineering consultants, installers, and vendors.
- Keep abreast of changes in industry practices and emerging telecommunications technology by reviewing current literature, talking with colleagues, participating in educational programs, attending meetings or workshops, or participating in professional organizations or conferences.
- Review and evaluate requests from engineers, managers, and technicians for system modifications.
- Assess existing facilities’ needs for new or modified telecommunications systems.
- Develop, maintain, or implement telecommunications disaster recovery plans to ensure business continuity.
- Communicate with telecommunications vendors to obtain pricing and technical specifications for available hardware, software, or services.
- Inspect sites to determine physical configuration, such as device locations and conduit pathways.
- Document procedures for hardware and software installation and use.
- Install, or coordinate installation of, new or modified hardware, software, or programming modules of telecommunications systems.
- Instruct in use of voice, video, and data communications systems.
- Implement or perform preventive maintenance, backup, or recovery procedures.
- Prepare purchase requisitions for computer hardware and software, networking and telecommunications equipment, test equipment, cabling, or tools.
- Document technical specifications and operating standards for telecommunications equipment.
- Provide user support by diagnosing network and device problems and implementing technical or procedural solutions.
- Document user support activity, such as system problems, corrective actions, resolution status, and completed equipment installations.
- Estimate costs for system or component implementation and operation.
- Order or maintain inventory of telecommunications equipment for customer premises equipment (CPE), facilities, access networks, or backbone networks.
- Work with personnel and facilities management staff to install, remove, or relocate user connectivity equipment and devices.
- Use computer-aided design (CAD) software to prepare or evaluate network diagrams, floor plans, or site configurations for existing facilities, renovations, or new systems.
- Prepare system activity and performance reports.
- Implement controls to provide security for operating systems, software, and data.
- Manage user access to systems and equipment through account management and password administration.
- Test and evaluate hardware and software to determine efficiency, reliability, or compatibility with existing systems.
- Monitor and analyze system performance, such as network traffic, security, and capacity.
- Supervise maintenance of telecommunications equipment.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Access software — 2AB iLock Security Services; Access management software; Avaya Identity Engines
- Administration software — Network management software
- Backup or archival software — NovaStor NovaBACKUP; Zmanda Amanda
- Communications server software — IBM Domino
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Microsoft SQL Server ; SiteMaster SiteSmart; Structured query language SQL
- Development environment software — Apache Kafka ; Microsoft PowerShell ; Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript
- Electronic mail software — IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange ; Microsoft Outlook
- Helpdesk or call center software — Call accounting software
- Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Voice over internet protocol VoIP system software
- Network monitoring software — Cisco Systems Cisco Traffic Analyzer; Nagios ; Wireshark
- Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Virtual private networking VPN software
- Object or component oriented development software — Oracle Java ; Perl
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Linux ; Microsoft Windows Server ; Shell script ; UNIX (see all 6 examples)
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio
- Project management software — Microsoft Project ; Project scheduling software
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — IBM Rational Requirements Composer; Requirements analysis software
- Spreadsheet software — IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel
- Transaction security and virus protection software — Antivirus software; McAfee; Symantec
- Web page creation and editing software — Web design software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
- Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
- Implement security measures for computer or information systems.
- Analyze project data to determine specifications or requirements.
- Evaluate new technologies or methods.
- Maintain contingency plans for disaster recovery.
- Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
- Document operational procedures.
- Identify information technology project resource requirements.
- Install computer hardware.
- Coordinate software or hardware installation.
- Install computer software.
- Create electronic data backup to prevent loss of information.
- Teach others to use computer equipment or hardware.
- Analyze security of systems, network, or data.
- Evaluate project designs to determine adequacy or feasibility.
- Monitor the performance of computer networks.
- Test computer hardware performance.
- Maintain the inventory of equipment.
- Document operational activities.
- Document technical specifications or requirements.
- Provide technical support for computer network issues.
- Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems.
- Estimate time or monetary resources needed to complete projects.
- Maintain computer hardware.
- Develop models of information or communications systems.
- Document network-related activities or tasks.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 57% responded “Very important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 33% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 33% responded “Important results.”
- Level of Competition — 48% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 38% responded “About half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 33% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “High responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 33% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity — 62% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Very serious.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|14||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: REC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Computer Network Architects.
Employment data for Computer Network Architects.
Industry data for Computer Network Architects.
|Median wages (2020)||$56.14 hourly, $116,780 annual|
|Employment (2020)||165,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||11,000|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Building Industry Consulting Service International
- Computing Research Association
- Construction Specifications Institute
- ETA International
- IEEE Computer Society
- National Center for Women and Information Technology
- National Fire Protection Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer network architects
- Society of Communications Technology Consultants International
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