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Telecommunications Industry

The telecommunications industry provides access to facilities for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video. Due to the broad nature of the classification, many jobs comprise the telecommunications field. Generally, available positions fit into one of six categories: customer service; electronic engineers, with the exclusion of computers; supervisors and managers; equipment installers and repairers, with the exclusion of lines; line installers and repairers; and telephone operators. Though seemingly counterintuitive due to the mass amounts of information traded through voice, text, sound, and video, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth rate of less than 10 for most telecommunication positions. The explanation provided cites improvement in the durability of equipment as a potential deterrent for market growth. However, applicants looking for work in the field of more than 700,000 available positions, according to Communication Workers of America, should find little resistance and viable options for employment.

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Available Positions

Since the telecommunications field remains diverse, the positions available entail a diverse set of duties and skills. Customer service representatives must answer customer questions, deal with concerns or complaints, and provide information about the product or service. Electronic engineers may need to conduct research, design new products, test components of equipment or an entire system for error, and should possess working knowledge of electronic theory and material properties. Supervisors and managers should retain the ability to oversee and coordinate several mechanics, installers, and repair people. Equipment installers and repairers stand responsible for the installation, inspection, and service of equipment, wiring, and phone jacks. Additionally, equipment installers may need to demonstrate or explain the use of equipment to the customer. Line installers and repairers must install, maintain, and repair power lines, identify any defects, string cables between poles, towers, and buildings, and lay underground cables. Finally, telephone operators provide information by accessing any number of directories and may also assist customers with special requests. Potential applicants should note several positions in the industry entail a higher than average risk of injury due to the nature of the duties.

Experience and Earnings

Again, due to the assortment of the job market, generalizations about the telecommunications field tend to lack accuracy. However, most of the aforementioned positions require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some positions, such as equipment and line repairers and installers require some post-secondary education, an industry certification, or an apprenticeship. Furthermore, most positions offer at least some form of on-the-job training. The vast majority of telecommunication employees enjoy the stability and work benefits of full-time employment, and average annual salary options ranging from $38,000 to $88,000.

Telecommunications Job Descriptions

Customer Service Representative – Customer service representatives make up a central piece of operations at most telecommunications companies. Employees work one on one with each customer to explain the benefits of the merchandise in clear and useful manners. Workers seeking employment should possess friendly dispositions and greet patrons upon entry to store locations. Listening carefully to customers remains an essential part of the job in order to recommend the most fitting phone plans or device options for each individual. Handling cash transactions and other cashier-related duties often comprise a portion of the role, as well. Typically an accessible position for entry-level candidates regardless of educational background, the job title of customer service representative yields roughly $10.00 to $15.00 per hour, on average.

Technical Consultant – Technical consultants provide information and support to customers directly as well as advise customer service representatives on tech-related issues. Referred to by some companies as technical support representatives or technical specialists, technical consultants may also repair damaged or broken phones and devices. The ability to multitask and keep track of multiple projects or customers at once aids job seekers considerably. High school diplomas commonly stand necessary for obtaining a technical consultant job, and past tech support experience almost always proves essential, as well. Depending on the level of responsibility delegated to the position, some companies may prefer to hire candidates with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in computer science or related fields. Technical consultants may earn as much as $25.00 an hour or more.

Manager – Overseeing all operations of each store, managers carry many responsibilities. Daily tasks frequently include training new employees, supervising staff, assisting difficult or disgruntled customers, and reporting sales and progress to higher management and administrators. Candidates with at least three to five years of work experience in a previous manager position enjoy considerably better job prospects. Successful applicants for supervisory jobs also usually hold at least high school diplomas or the equivalent. The median hourly wage for telecommunications managers stands at about $29.00 per hour.