Employment of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to grow 15 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Demand for telecommunications equipment will continue to grow as Internet connections become faster, hundreds of cable television stations are added, and emerging technologies become more popular. Although building, maintaining, and upgrading these networks should create some jobs, employment gains may be offset by a decline in maintenance work.
Modern equipment is more reliable, sturdier, easier to repair, and more resistant to damage from the elements, significantly limiting the need for new telecom technicians.
Although job opportunities will vary by specialty, those with postsecondary electronics training and strong computer skills should have the best job prospects.
Popular technologies, such as video on demand and broadband Internet connections, require high data transfer rates in telecommunications systems. Central office, PBX installers, and headend technicians will be needed to service and upgrade switches and routers to handle increased traffic, resulting in very good job opportunities.
By contrast, station installers and repairers can expect strong competition for most positions. Prewired buildings, the reliability of existing telephone lines, and increasing wireless technology usage may reduce the need for general installation and maintenance work.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition