How to become a Data and Telecommunications Cable Worker

Data and telecommunications cable workers are involved in the installation and maintenance of data and telecommunications cables, which may be located in underground pipes, trenches or overhead systems. They usually work with either copper or fibre optic cables and specialise in a particular procedure or area of expertise.

Personal requirements of a Data and Telecommunications Cable Worker

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Normal eyesight and colour vision
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Good hand–eye coordination
  • Safety-conscious
  • Able to work at heights and in confined spaces
  • Good communication skills

Education & Training for a Data and Telecommunications Cable Worker

To become a data and telecommunications cable worker you usually have to complete a traineeship in Telecommunications Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. You can also become a data and telecommunications cable worker by completing a VET qualification in telecommunications technology. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Duties & Tasks of a Data and Telecommunications Cable Worker

Data and telecommunications cable workers may perform the following tasks:

  • install, join or splice metallic and fibre-optic cables
  • perform relevant cable tests to ensure joints and fibre splices comply with site and manufacturer specifications and relevant legislation
  • install underground and aerial lead-in cables
  • install above-ground equipment enclosures
  • fix cable faults
  • perform fault clearance
  • tag cables for future identification.

Working conditions for a Data and Telecommunications Cable Worker

Data and telecommunications cable workers may work indoors and outdoors, sometimes in cramped conditions or at heights. They often work as part of a team. Some telecommunications cable workers are involved in installing equipment on customer premises and need to maintain good relations with property owners, tenants and authorities.

Employment Opportunities for a Data and Telecommunications Cable Worker

Data and telecommunications cable workers are employed by a variety of small, medium and large enterprises. These include large telecommunications carriers and their contractors, network and exchange equipment suppliers, customer premises equipment suppliers and installation or maintenance service providers. The data and telecommunications industry is subject to continuing and rapid technological change. One of the major Australian Government initiatives for the telecommunications industry is the National Broadband Network (NBN). This is the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in the country, and aims to deliver high-speed broadband to all Australians. With the rollout due to be completed in 2020, data and telecommunications cable workers are increasingly involved in this area. For more information, visit www.nbnco.com.au/workforce.

Specialisations:


Broadband Fibre Splicer

A broadband fibre splicer joins, terminates, splices, tests and repairs fibre-optic cables and installs optical splitters.


Broadband Network Installer

A broadband network installer installs and maintains network termination and connection devices and points of entry (known as service drops) on customer premises.


Telecommunications Linesworker

A telecommunications linesworker installs, maintains and hauls fibre-optic cables in container pipes or conduits placed in specially created underground pits or trenches.

Additional Information
In order to undertake data and telecommunications cabling work, you need to be registered with an Australian Communications and Media Authority-accredited registrar. See www.acma.gov.au for more details.
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