Postsecondary education in electronics and computer technology is increasingly required for radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairer jobs, and a few employers even prefer people with a bachelor's degree for some of the most complex types of work.
As telecommunications technology becomes more complex, the education required for radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairer jobs has increased. Most employers prefer applicants with postsecondary training in electronics and familiarity with computers. The education needed for these jobs may vary from certification to a 2- or 4-year degree in electronics or a related subject. Sources of training include 2- and 4-year college programs in electronics or communications technology, military experience in radios and electronics, trade schools and programs offered by equipment and software manufacturers. Educational requirements are higher for central office installers and repairers and for those working in nonresidential settings.
Many in the telecommunications industry work their way up into this occupation by gaining experience at less difficult jobs. Experience as a telecommunications line installer or station installer is helpful before moving up to the job of central office installer and other more complex jobs, for example. Military experience with communications equipment is also valued by many employers in both telecommunications and radio repair.
Newly hired repairers usually receive some training from their employers. This may include formal classroom training in electronics, communications systems or software and informal hands-on training assisting an experienced repairer. Large companies may send repairers to outside training sessions to learn about new equipment and service procedures. As networks have become more sophisticated-often including equipment from a variety of companies-the knowledge needed for installation and maintenance also has increased.