Cable installation includes laying and positioning the telecommunication lines used to transmit Internet, television or telephone services. Cable installers are the technicians behind this activity. They install cables in private homes, offices and buildings under construction. Aspiring cable installers must undergo technical training and develop the requisite skills to qualify for employment.
Prospective cable installers can pursue a certificate program in cable installation to get started. These programs are typically offered by technical schools and community colleges and enhance student’s basic knowledge of various telecommunication equipment and systems. Individuals who want to stand out from the crowd should pursue an associate degree in telecommunications technology. Students receive more in-depth training in telecommunications broadband systems, digital systems, circuits and antenna systems, making them competent candidates for this job
Develop the Skills
To thrive in the job, cable installers need superior technical and practical skills. When installing Internet cables in a cyber cafe, for example, they must be able to effectively use Ethernet cable testers, crimping tools and other pieces of equipment. Installers at the construction site should have basic blueprint reading skills and need normal color vision to distinguish wires and cables.
The Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers offers a range of certifications relevant to cable installers. For example, the Broadband Premises Installer certification demonstrates the holder possesses the basic expertise to install data, video and voice cables at residential premises. Aspiring BPIs must pass a certification examination. Other relevant designations include Broadband Premises Expert and Broadband Premises Technician.
Beginning cable installers generally find jobs with telecommunication carriers, building equipment contractors, cable television companies and providers of telecommunication repair and maintenance services. With technology quickly advancing, cable installers must engage in continuing education activities, such as attending training workshops, to maintain their competence. Those who obtain a bachelor’s degree in in telecommunications technology can become technologists in companies that manufacture telecommunication equipment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of telecommunication line installers will grow by 6 percent from 2012 through 2022, slower than the 11 percent for all jobs.
2016 Salary Information for Line Installers and Repairers
Line installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $60,800 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, line installers and repairers earned a 25th percentile salary of $44,070, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $78,070, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 227,000 people were employed in the U.S. as line installers and repairers.