Telecommunications Line Installer and Repairer
If you have been thinking about getting into career in the skilled trades, there are many different options related to electrical technology that go well beyond simply working as an electrician. Working as a telecommunications line repairer and installer may be right up your alley if you enjoy physical work, like being outside and don’t mind heights. These professionals are responsible for the telephone, cable and internet lines that run between poles, towers and buildings.
Duties of Line Installers and Repairers
The job of a telecommunications line installer or repairer is to work on the cables and lines that are used to transmit information by communication companies. They install, repair and maintain these lines. Some of the more specific duties include:
- Installing new lines to replace old ones or in areas of new construction
- Maintaining and making repairs to existing lines
- Putting in underground cables and lines as well as overhead lines
- Use equipment and tools to work on lines
- Diagnose problems with lines
- Communicate with customers about service and repairs
Work Environment for Telecommunication Line Installation and Repair
The work of a line installer and repairer for telecommunications is physically demanding. In this job you can expect to be working outside most of the time as well as driving out to job sites each day. The work of repairing and installing lines has to go on even in pretty bad weather, including snow, cold temperatures, hot days and in the rain.
Line workers are often up high, either climbing poles or using the bucket on a truck to do their jobs. You have to be comfortable with heights in order to work in this field. You also need to realize that there are risks and dangers associated with the work. Safety training and gear can minimize these risks, but there is always a possibility of falling, being electrocuted, suffering from bad weather or being injured by equipment and tools.
How to Become a Telecommunications Line Installer
There are different requirements for working as a line installer and repairer depending on where you will be working. States set regulations for education requirements and licensing, but there may also be local requirements. The most common path taken to become this type of electrical worker is to complete an apprenticeship. This will ensure you take all the necessary steps, including classroom learning and paid training, in order to be licensed. It may take three to five years of apprenticeship to become a licensed telecommunications line worker.
Salary and Job Outlook
Skilled trades often come with competitive salaries because of the specialized knowledge and training required. Telecommunications line installers make more money than general electricians, with the average annual income in May 2017 at $69,380 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners in the field make nearly $100,000 per year.
The outlook is also positive for these line workers. Growth is about eight percent, and thousands of new jobs for trained and qualified workers will be available in the coming years. This is both a stable job and a career that pays well for those ready to go through the training.