Telecoms engineer

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Engineering
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Career outlook for telecoms engineer

UK Salary Ranges

Entry-level

£19,000

Experienced

£37,000


Currently employed in Scotland

5,500

Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would set up and look after broadband, mobile phone and landline telephone networks. You would also work on satellite, digital TV and fibre optic systems.

You would work with systems such as:

  • Landline and mobile phone networks
  • Copper wire and fibre-optic cabling
  • VoIP communication systems
  • Analogue and digital satellite systems
  • Wireless internet

The size of each job would vary. You might set up a large corporate network one day and a home satellite system the next.

You would:

  • Lay, connect and test underground and underfloor cabling
  • Test and fix faults in public and private switching exchanges
  • Work with aerial rigging and related equipment
  • Set up antennae on buildings or masts
  • Design, build and test telecommunications components and equipment

This job can be dangerous, and you may sometimes have to work at heights. You would have to follow health and safety guidelines carefully at all times. 

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may also have on-call duties to cover out-of-hours and emergencies.

Environment

Your work could be indoors on production lines and in customers' premises, or outdoors on-site. Some tasks involve working at heights.

Travel

You would spend a lot of time visiting homes and businesses. A driving licence may be needed for some jobs.

UK employment status

Full-time

91%

Part-time

2%

Self employed

6%

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  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Resourceful
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Taking responsibility
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Qualifications

There are different routes into this role:

  • A Modern Apprenticeship leading to a relevant Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Telecommunications (SVQ level 3).
  • A National Certificate (SCQF level 7), a National Qualification (SCQF level 7), a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in areas like Electronic Engineering or Computing Science.

Employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6, in particular for entry to a Modern Apprenticeship.

You can enter some National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with no formal qualifications but most courses ask for National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by many courses and employers)
  • Science subjects (required by many courses and employers)
  • English
  • Technologies subjects such as ICT and Engineering Science

You will also need

You may need to pass colour vision tests.

You may need a driving licence for some jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding and experience of information technology and engineering such as Skills for Work Engineering Skills (SCQF level 5).