Telecommunications is an ever-changing industry, and to meet customer demands, telephone companies now extend their services beyond the “basics.” No longer will you find them offering just telephone service, but also Internet, cable and wireless capabilities. So, telephone technicians have become telecommunication technicians, installing, repairing and troubleshooting a wide array of products, such as modems, routers, switchboards, network applications and other equipment that transmits signals and information.
In 2012, telecom technicians earned an average of $53,710 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent made more than $75,040, while the bottom 10 percent earned $30,840 annually. None of these figures actually account for experience. A survey by Modis, a national IT recruiter, found that entry-level technicians averaged closer to $46,158 a year as of 2013.
Not surprisingly, larger companies pay higher salaries. Entry-level telecom techs averaged $43,045 a year at small companies. Those working for mid-sized ventures averaged $44,553, while those working for large ones averaged $48,642 annually.
With two to five years of experience, salaries for telecom technicians increased to $56,045 a year, on average. Those with five or more years of experience averaged $66,874 annually. However, salaries could reach upward of $71,000 with two to five years of experience and almost $85,000 with five or more years of experience.
Employers typically seek candidates with postsecondary training. An associate's degree in electronics repair, computer science or a related field is beneficial, but a four-year bachelor's degree in similar disciplines could improve your chances of employment. Continuing education classes are also recommended, as they can keep you up to date on the most recent technologies.
The BLS expects employment for this occupation to grow by as much as 15 percent through 2020. This is keeping pace with the average growth rate for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent.