How to become a Telecommunications Engineer

Telecommunications engineers plan, design, construct and install complex telecommunications networks and associated broadcasting equipment.

Personal requirements of a Telecommunications Engineer

  • Able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • Enjoy mathematical and technical activities
  • Good communication and organisational skills
  • Able to work independently and accept responsibility

Education & Training for a Telecommunications Engineer

To become a telecommunications engineer you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a telecommunications engineer by completing a degree in engineering at university with a major in telecommunications or telecommunication and network engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional Information

Telecommunications engineers may require certification to work on particular networks and with certain types of telecommunications technology. In order to carry out cabling work, you must be registered with an Australian Communications and Media Authority accredited registrar. See www.acma.gov.au for more details. Students and graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia. See www.engineersaustralia.org.au for more details.

Duties & Tasks of a Telecommunications Engineer

Telecommunications engineers:

  • commission, install and test voice and data optical communication networks
  • provide specialist technical support in monitoring and administering large telecommunications optical networks
  • install and maintain internet protocol (IP) based optical network telecommunications equipment
  • install and test simple IP devices in convergence networks
  • develop project management plans
  • plan the development of core and access network capabilities
  • analyse demand data, and evaluate and forecast network growth
  • implement convergence technologies
  • design and manage telecommunications and information technology (IT) networks
  • diagnose problems and provide network management support
  • plan a project from a design specification
  • research and analyse the key concepts in design.

Working conditions for a Telecommunications Engineer

Telecommunications engineers have a broad role that requires in-depth technical knowledge of appropriate equipment and services and extensive experience within the telecommunications industry.

Employment Opportunities for a Telecommunications Engineer

The telecommunications industry is subject to continuing and rapid technological change. Telecommunications engineers 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.

Specialisations:


Telecommunications Network Planner and Designer

A telecommunications network planner and designer plan and design the development of network infrastructure for customer access.


Telecommunications Optical Network Specialist

A telecommunications optical network specialist plan and manage fibre-optic communication networks and digital multiplexing transmission systems.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,548

Future growth:

Moderate

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 3.4%

NSW NSW 30%

NT NT 2.8%

QLD QLD 14.1%

SA SA 13%

TAS TAS 0%

VIC VIC 35%

WA WA 1.8%

Hours worked:

35.2

Unemployment:

Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 79.7%

Female 20.3%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 0%

25-34 - 30.8%

35-44 - 33.1%

45-54 - 18.7%

55-59 - 11.8%

60-64 - 5.6%

65 and Over - 0%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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