Become a Telecoms Engineer

Telecoms engineers install, repair and maintain broadband, mobile phone and landline telephone networks. They also work on satellite, digital TV and fibre optic systems.

If you have good practical skills, and can track down and solve problems, this could be the job for you.

You will need to be well organised, able to follow technical diagrams and happy to work as part of a team or on your own.

Work activities

As a telecoms engineer you would install, test and repair data communications systems, such as:

  • Fixed-line and mobile telephony networks
  • Copper wire and fibre-optic cabling
  • VoIP communication systems
  • Analogue and digital satellite systems
  • Wireless radio networks providing internet access via PCs, smartphones and tablets

Your work could vary in scale from setting up a communications network in a large organisation, to the installation of a home satellite system. Your work could involve:

  • Laying, connecting and testing underground and underfloor cabling
  • Testing and repairing faults in public and private switching exchanges
  • Working with aerial rigging and related equipment
  • Installing mobile and static antennae on buildings or masts
  • Designing, building and testing telecommunications components and equipment

Skills, interests and qualities

As a telecoms Engineer, you will need:

  • A methodical approach and attention to detail
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Technical and practical skills
  • Good communication skills to explain technical issues clearly
  • An ability to read technical drawings, cabling plans and circuit diagrams
  • A willingness to keep up to date with new developments in technology
  • Good customer care skills
  • The ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • A reasonable level of fitness
  • A knowledge of health and safety issues
  • Colour-normal vision to work with electrical wiring
  • A driving licence would be beneficial however not essential
  • Work could be indoors in a customers' premises or outdoors on-site
  • Some tasks involve working at heights

Training and development

You may also be able to work towards industry qualifications, such as:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Telecommunication Systems
  • Level 3 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT & Telecoms Professionals (QCF)
  • Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma In Cabling Installations
  • Level 3 (NVQ) Certificate in Rail Engineering Telecoms Installer