Telecommunications Line Installers and Repairers
Install and repair telecommunications cable, including fiber optics.
Sample of reported job titles: Cable Splicer, Cable Technician, Cable Television Technician (Cable TV Tech), Combination Technician, Field Service Technician, Installation and Repair Technician (I and R Technician), Installer, Lineman, Outside Plant Technician, Service 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
- Set up service for customers, installing, connecting, testing, or adjusting equipment.
- Travel to customers’ premises to install, maintain, or repair audio and visual electronic reception equipment or accessories.
- Measure signal strength at utility poles, using electronic test equipment.
- Inspect or test lines or cables, recording and analyzing test results, to assess transmission characteristics and locate faults or malfunctions.
- Splice cables, using hand tools, epoxy, or mechanical equipment.
- Access specific areas to string lines, or install terminal boxes, auxiliary equipment, or appliances, using bucket trucks, climbing poles or ladders, or entering tunnels, trenches, or crawl spaces.
- Clean or maintain tools or test equipment.
- String cables between structures and lines from poles, towers, or trenches, and pull lines to proper tension.
- Pull up cable by hand from large reels mounted on trucks.
- Lay underground cable directly in trenches, or string it through conduits running through trenches.
- Pull cable through ducts by hand or with winches.
- Dig trenches for underground wires or cables.
- Explain cable service to subscribers after installation, and collect any installation fees due.
- Place insulation over conductors, or seal splices with moisture-proof covering.
- Compute impedance of wires from poles to houses to determine additional resistance needed for reducing signals to desired levels.
- Install equipment such as amplifiers or repeaters to maintain the strength of communications transmissions.
- Use a variety of construction equipment to complete installations, such as digger derricks, trenchers, or cable plows.
- Fill and tamp holes, using cement, earth, and tamping devices.
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- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD
- Customer relationship management CRM software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Workforce management system software
- Facilities management software — Mapcom systems M4
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Voice over internet protocol VoIP system software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Cisco IOS
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Transaction security and virus protection software — Ping tools
- 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.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- 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.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
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- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- 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.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
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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.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
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- 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.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- 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.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- 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.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- 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.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- 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.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Install audio or communications equipment.
- Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
- Test communications equipment to ensure proper functioning.
- Collect payments for goods or services.
- Explain use of products or services.
- Travel to work sites to perform installation, repair or maintenance work.
- Measure equipment outputs.
- Analyze test or performance data to assess equipment operation.
- Connect electrical components or equipment.
- Inspect telecommunications equipment to identify problems.
- Climb equipment or structures to access work areas.
- Install insulation in equipment or structures.
- Lay cables to connect equipment.
- Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
- Maintain work equipment or machinery.
- Calculate requirements for equipment installation or repair projects.
- Move large objects using heavy equipment.
- Dig holes or trenches.
- Compact materials to create level bases.
- Assemble structural components.
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
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- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 81% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “Some freedom.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to High Places — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 47% responded “More than half the time.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 47% responded “40 hours.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 31% responded “Very important results.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 30% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Very important.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 33% responded “Very important.”
- Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 30% responded “More than half the time.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Consequence of Error — 34% responded “Very serious.”
- Level of Competition — 40% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Electronic Mail — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 26% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 44% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Letters and Memos — 32% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 28% responded “Every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|60||High school diploma or equivalent
|13||Less than high school diploma|
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Interest code: RE 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.
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- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- 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.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- 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.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- 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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- 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.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$28.30 hourly, $58,870 annual|
|Employment (2020)||124,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Little or no change|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||13,100|
|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.
- American Public Power Association
- Building Industry Consulting Service International
- Center for Energy Workforce Development
- Electrical Training Alliance
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Line installers and repairers
- Telecommunications Industry Association
- The Fiber Optic Association
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