Telephones and radios depend on a variety of equipment to transmit communications signals. Electronic switches route telephone signals to their destinations. Switchboards direct telephone calls within a single location or organization. Radio transmitters and receivers relay signals from wireless phones and radios to their destinations. Newer telecommunications equipment is computerized and can communicate a variety of information, including data, graphics, and video. The workers who set up and maintain this sophisticated equipment are radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers

Job Outlook and Growth Potential:

Employment of radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to decline through 2012. Although the need for installation work will remain as companies seek to upgrade their telecommunications networks, there will be a declining need for maintenance work—performed by telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers—because of increasingly reliable self-monitoring and self-diagnosing equipment and because installation of higher capacity equipment will reduce the amount of equipment needed. The replacement of two-way radio systems with wireless systems, especially in service vehicles, will eliminate the need in many companies for onsite radio mechanics. The increased reliability of wireless equipment and the use of self-monitoring systems also will continue to lessen the need for radio mechanics. Applicants with electronics training and computer skills should have the best opportunities for radio and telecommunications equipment installer and repairer jobs.

Job opportunities will vary by specialty. For example, opportunities should be available for central office and PBX installers and repairers experienced in current technology, as the growing popularity of VoIP, expanded multimedia offerings such as video on demand, and other telecommunications services continue to place additional demand on telecommunications networks. These new services require high data transfer rates, which can be achieved only by installing new optical switching and routing equipment. Extending high-speed communications from central offices to customers also will require the installation of more advanced switching and routing equipment. Whereas increased reliability and automation of switching equipment will limit opportunities, these effects will be somewhat offset by the demand for installation and upgrading of switching equipment

Wages and Earnings Potential:

In 2002, median hourly earnings of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers were $22.78.

Median hourly earnings of radio mechanics in 2002 were $17.42. .

Median hourly earnings in the wired telecommunications carriers (telephone) industry were $24.07 in 2002.

Copyright © 2014, Ohio's 2-Year Council of Deans and Directors of Engineering & Industrial Technologies

Career information from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition and member schools.