Telephone Technician: Job Description & Career Info
Telephone Technicians install, maintain, and repair phone systems. They may work as in-house technical support for corporations with complex phone and voice mail systems, or they may be employed by telecommunications companies to perform outside service calls. Telephone Technicians often have associate's degrees in fields related to telecommunications and many are continuing their education with professional certification programs as phone systems become increasingly complex.
Career Definition: Telephone Technician
Telephone Technicians work in a rapidly changing industry, so up-to-date skills and in-depth knowledge of a variety of phone systems and equipment are essential. In any given day, they may install phone systems, troubleshoot wiring problems, or repair switch equipment. They must be familiar with analog and digital phone systems, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which uses broadband connections to place calls over computer networks. Increasingly, Telephone Technicians must be able to test and install VoIP networks, as analog phone systems are replaced by digital. While deregulation continues to affect the industry, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reports that many workers are finding opportunities throughout the U.S. at smaller to medium sized telecommunications companies.
How to Become a Telephone Technician
Required Education for a Career in Telephone Technology
Telephone Technician positions often require postsecondary education in telecommunications, such as an associate's degree, but many employers will also consider candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent if they have several years of relevant experience. As phone systems in the workplace become increasingly complex, professional certification programs, such as those offered through the Cisco Learning Network, may not only give candidates a leg-up in the job market, but are becoming requirements for certain positions.
Skills Required for a Career as a Telephone Technician
Telephone Technicians must have good communication and technical skills to effectively diagnose and solve problems. They must be familiar with a variety of phone systems and be able to perform a wide range of services, from basic repair to full installations. They must be team players and have good customer service and project management skills to ensure that phone systems are configured and programmed according to the customer's needs. Telephone Technicians must also possess good computer and organizational skills so that they can place equipment orders and monitor service requests. They also need hand and finger dexterity and good eyesight with the ability to determine colors.
Economic Outlook for Telephone Technology
The BLS expected job growth in the telecommunications industry to increase at an average rate compared to all other industries for the 2010-2020 period. However, certain sectors, such as wireless and digital, may expand as demand for those services increases. Telephone Technology, such as VoIP, is rapidly changing the way companies communicate and may increase job prospects for Telephone Technicians who pursue certification. According to the BLS, telecommunications workers earned an average salary of $53,710 per year in May 2012.
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