Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers
Install, set up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends. Service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications equipment on customers’ property. May install communications equipment or communications wiring in buildings.
Sample of reported job titles: Broadband Technician, Central Office Technician, Combination Technician, Customer Service Technician (CST), Field Technician, Install and Repair Technician, Installer, Outside Plant Technician, Service Technician, Telecommunications Technician
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Demonstrate equipment to customers and explain its use, responding to any inquiries or complaints.
- Test circuits and components of malfunctioning telecommunications equipment to isolate sources of malfunctions, using test meters, circuit diagrams, polarity probes, and other hand tools.
- Test repaired, newly installed, or updated equipment to ensure that it functions properly and conforms to specifications, using test equipment and observation.
- Climb poles and ladders, use truck-mounted booms, and enter areas such as manholes and cable vaults to install, maintain, or inspect equipment.
- Assemble and install communication equipment such as data and telephone communication lines, wiring, switching equipment, wiring frames, power apparatus, computer systems, and networks.
- Run wires between components and to outside cable systems, connecting them to wires from telephone poles or underground cable accesses.
- Test connections to ensure that power supplies are adequate and that communications links function.
- Note differences in wire and cable colors so that work can be performed correctly.
- Inspect equipment on a regular basis to ensure proper functioning.
- Collaborate with other workers to locate and correct malfunctions.
- Remove loose wires and other debris after work is completed.
- Repair or replace faulty equipment, such as defective and damaged telephones, wires, switching system components, and associated equipment.
- Maintain computer and manual records pertaining to facilities and equipment.
- Communicate with bases, using telephones or two-way radios to receive instructions or technical advice, or to report equipment status.
- Remove and remake connections to change circuit layouts, following work orders or diagrams.
- Clean and maintain tools, test equipment, and motor vehicles.
- Perform database verifications, using computers.
- Request support from technical service centers when on-site procedures fail to solve installation or maintenance problems.
- Analyze test readings, computer printouts, and trouble reports to determine equipment repair needs and required repair methods.
- Adjust or modify equipment to enhance equipment performance or to respond to customer requests.
- Remove and replace plug-in circuit equipment.
- Refer to manufacturers’ manuals to obtain maintenance instructions pertaining to specific malfunctions.
- Dig holes or trenches as necessary for equipment installation and access.
- Review manufacturer’s instructions, manuals, technical specifications, building permits, and ordinances to determine communication equipment requirements and procedures.
- Drive crew trucks to and from work areas.
- Route and connect cables and lines to switches, switchboard equipment, and distributing frames, using wire-wrap guns or soldering irons to connect wires to terminals.
- Designate cables available for use.
- Diagnose and correct problems from remote locations, using special switchboards to find the sources of problems.
- Program computerized switches and switchboards to provide requested features.
- Enter codes needed to correct electronic switching system programming.
- Examine telephone transmission facilities to determine requirements for new or additional telephone services.
- Measure distances from landmarks to identify exact installation sites for equipment.
- Install updated software and programs that maintain existing software or provide requested features, such as time-correlated call routing.
- Perform routine maintenance on equipment, including adjusting and lubricating components and painting worn or exposed areas.
- Determine viability of sites through observation, and discuss site locations and construction requirements with customers.
- Install telephone station equipment, such as intercommunication systems, transmitters, receivers, relays, and ringers, and related apparatus, such as coin collectors, telephone booths, and switching-key equipment.
- Clean switches and replace contact points, using vacuum hoses, solvents, and hand tools.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Analytical or scientific software — Fluke ClearSight Analyzer; Fluke Networks TechAdvisor Field Access System
- Communications server software — IBM Domino
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Expert system software — Fluke Networks Fluke TechEXPERT
- Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Voice over internet protocol VoIP system software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Cisco IOS
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web platform development software — Apache Struts
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- 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.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- 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.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Installation — Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- 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.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- 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).
- Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
- Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
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- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- 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.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- 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.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Explain use of products or services.
- Test communications equipment to ensure proper functioning.
- Test electrical circuits or components for proper functioning.
- Install electrical components, equipment, or systems.
- Assemble electrical components, subsystems, or systems.
- Climb equipment or structures to access work areas.
- Run wiring to connect equipment.
- Drive trucks or other vehicles to or at work sites.
- Gather information about work conditions or locations.
- Inspect telecommunications equipment to identify problems.
- Confer with coworkers to resolve equipment problems.
- Clean work areas.
- Repair electronic equipment.
- Document operational activities.
- Connect electrical components or equipment.
- Determine types of equipment, tools, or materials needed for jobs.
- Rewire electrical or electronic systems.
- Troubleshoot equipment or systems operation problems.
- Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
- Maintain work equipment or machinery.
- Service vehicles to maintain functionality.
- Verify information or specifications.
- Install programs onto computer or computer-controlled equipment.
- Analyze test or performance data to assess equipment operation.
- Enter codes or other information into computers.
- Measure distances or dimensions.
- Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
- Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.
- Paint surfaces or equipment.
- Repair electrical components.
- Read technical information needed to perform maintenance or repairs.
- Dig holes or trenches.
- Interpret blueprints, specifications, or diagrams to inform installation, development or operation activities.
- Advise others on issues related to repairs, installation, or equipment design.
- Investigate legal issues.
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- Electronic Mail — 79% responded “Every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 73% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 52% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 63% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 23% responded “Important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 60% responded “Important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 14% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 22% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 45% responded “Very important.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 33% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 54% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 62% responded “More than half the time.”
- Physical Proximity — 40% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 28% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Exposed to High Places — 24% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 36% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 37% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 23% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 33% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 34% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
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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|
|43||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: RIC 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.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- 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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- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- 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 wages (2020)||$29.55 hourly, $61,470 annual|
|Employment (2020)||195,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||21,500|
|Top industries (2020)||
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.
- Communications Workers of America
- Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association
- NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers
- Telecommunications Industry Association
- The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers
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