The structured cabling industry is growing with ongoing and new developments, including existing and new construction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected numeric change in employment from 2012 to 2022 is 8,400 or 4% growth. Everyone wants (or needs) to be connected, and that creates the need for efficient, up-to-date networks that can provide us all with the means to be ‘connected’. This demand can be satisfied by experienced, knowledgeable and efficient cable installers.
Cable installers are telecommunication workers, who specialize in the installation and repair work of either the main lines or at the end users’ location, including homes and businesses. Telecommunication workers who specialize in main line work are referred to as linemen or line installers. The telecommunication workers that provide services to the customer at their place of residence or business are called telecom technicians.
Line installers work mainly outdoors. When burying lines or working with buried lines they may operate borers or trenchers, while when hanging cables from poles or towers they may use lifting equipment. Because most of their work is done outdoors, they deal with different weather conditions that with time may damage cables. A part of their job is to locate and repair issues caused by cable’s age or extreme weather.
Telecommunication Technicians Working in Structured Cabling
Telecommunication technicians work mainly indoors. They install or repair equipment in homes and businesses. Their duties include installing new networks and testing them, troubleshooting, replacing malfunctioning or outdated equipment, adjusting equipment to enhance performance, inspecting internal phone jacks and wires and so on. Along with installation of networks, telecommunication techs working in structured cabling also handle telephone, audio network cables as well as home entertainment, home theater, and smart networks using cable such as Category cable, hdmi, usb and specialty cables like RG6 and coax.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), line installers and telecom technicians should have a high school diploma when applying for jobs in the construction cabling industry, though a formal apprenticeship or a post secondary program in electronics or telecommunications computer science or similar areas are recommended in today’s competitive work force. A four year degree and certification are becoming increasingly important for advancement in the field.
Both line installers and telecom technicians troubleshoot issues, therefore they both need to be able to reason through problems with excellent technical skills. Color vision is required in order to distinguish between wire colors. Basic bookkeeping skills are essential in order to record parts used and time worked for billing purposes. Manual dexterity is important because much of the work involves handling small parts. People skills are also important due to the frequent work with end users and customers.
As in any field, passion and knowledge are crucial for thriving in the industry. Staying involved and aware of new technologies and development is key for always being able to offer the most current solution for both new and existing networks. There is always room for passionate installers to grow in the field and make a difference in the world of telecommunication.