Become a Cable Technician: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a cable technician. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career in the telecommunications field.

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Do I Want to Be a Cable Technician?

Cable technicians install, repair and upgrade systems that transport cable television and telephone signals and provide access to the Internet. Line installers install new cables and line repairers maintain existing cables. Work often involves travel in utility vehicles and working outdoors. Safety procedures must be followed to prevent injuries.

Job Requirements

Cable companies typically require technicians to possess a high school diploma, but formal training through a college or technical training program can be beneficial in this career. Voluntary certification is available. The following table contains essential requirements needed to become a cable technician:

Common Requirements
Degree Level High school diploma is standard, but postsecondary training is useful*
Degree Fields Telecommunications, electronics or electricity*
Certification Voluntary certification is available from organizations such as the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee*
Experience Entry-level, though apprenticeships and long-term job training are often required*
Key Skills Color vision, able to troubleshoot and work within a team*
Computer Skills Workforce management software, ping tools and customer relationship management software**
Technical Skills Must be able to use complex diagnostic equipment and appropriate tools needed to fix sophisticated electrical systems, such as cable slitters, cable reels, trenchers and cable strippers*
Additional Requirements Physical strength and stamina, driver's license*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*NET OnLine.

Step 1: Meet Educational Requirements

Courses in advanced math, reading and writing are beneficial to aspiring cable technicians. Students might also consider taking classes that allow them to develop mechanical skills and learn about electrical systems. Prospective technicians may enroll in certificate programs or associate's degree programs in telecommunications, electronics or electricity.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Most cable technicians start their careers as cable television installers. Cable installers typically deal with the initial setup of cable systems in homes and offices, while cable technicians do installations as well as repairs. Installers gain valuable experience working with cable equipment and interacting with customers. They may also perform minor troubleshooting, which is also good preparation for a cable technician role. After a few years on the job, installers may advance to cable technician positions.

Step 3: Earn Certification

Voluntary certification for cable television technicians is available from several organizations. The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee offers certification for telecommunications technicians in a variety of specialty areas. To earn the cable splicing certification, individuals need to meet work experience requirements and pass written and practical exams. The Fiber Optic Association also offers various certification programs.

Success Tip:

  • Keep certification current. Individuals must usually meet re-certification requirements to renew their certification in a mandated amount of time. Technicians should check with their certifying agency for detailed renewal instructions.
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Schools with Cable Installation Programs: How to Choose

Popular Schools

  • School locations:
    • New York (3 campuses)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate in Electrical Technology

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (1 campus)
    • Colorado (1)

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate - Audio Production
        • Associate - Post Production

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 17 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
        • Communications Systems Services
        • Computer Installation and Repair
        • Electronic Equipment Repair
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
        • Appliance Installation and Repair
        • Communications Systems Services
        • Industrial Electronics Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics