The telecommunication industry delivers telephone, television, Internet, and other services to customers in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry provides the primary means of communication for customers through provision of wired and cellular phone service, cable and satellite TV, and broadband and mobile Internet services. If you prefer hands-on work and have an affinity for electronics and an interest in upcoming technologies, you may want to consider pursuing formal telecom training in order to begin a career in the field.
One Million Employees: Changing Face of Telecommunications
The rapid introduction of new technologies in telecommunications makes it one of the fastest-changing industries in our economy. In 2008, the most recent survey of total number of employees working in the industry, there were over one million telecommunication employees. Telecommunication training is important as this industry undergoes a major shift in demand for services, due to rapid technological changes.
Wireless services dominate wired (landline) services today and fiber optic cable is widely replacing traditional copper cable, because of its excellent reliability, resulting in decreased repair need. This growing technological efficiency will cause a slight decline in job growth through 2018, which makes it increasingly important for employees to keep abreast of new technologies with ongoing telecom training.
Job Openings and Telecommunication Training Requirements
From customer service representatives to equipment installers and computer software engineers, telecommunication positions all require varying levels of education. If you prefer hands-on work, you could get a job in either the installation, maintenance or repair of telecommunications systems, which may necessitate postsecondary education in electronics from a two or four year college program. You could also join the industry as an engineer, network systems and communications analyst or computer software engineer, which would require you to receive a bachelor’s degree in a correlating IT area.
Once hired, the telecommunications companies themselves often provide telecom training for employees or arrange for courses, such as those offered through the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning (NACTEL), to help employees stay current. Declining demand due to market saturation will be offset by increased demand for new business and personal services, especially technological innovations, making on-the-job telecommunication training that much more important to employees in this industry.
According to the BLS, telecommunications earrings significantly surpass those of the private industry. The average weekly income of nonsupervisory workers in the telecommunication industry was $1,038 in 2008, which was $430 more per week than the salary of those in the private industry. The breakdown of the median hourly wage of common job-types are as follows:
- Installers and repairers received a median hourly wage of $27.60.
- Network systems and data communications analysts earned $36.48.
- Computer software engineers earned the most at $41.84.
Beginning Your Telecom Training
With the slightly thinning labor market as technology become more efficient, telecom training is important for getting and retaining jobs in this industry in the near future. This means that employees will need to keep their skills up-to-date with changes in voice technology, software design, laser and fiber optic cable technology, wireless technology, and data compression, among others.
In order to enter into the field of telecommunications or advance within your current position, additional telecom training might assist you in remaining on the cutting edge of technology. Begin exploring the various education options available within IT and telecommunications today.