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Telecommunications Technician

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2018: 5,001 to 10,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1201 to $1500 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2014
Brief In today's technology-driven world, most of us couldn't survive without access to the Internet and our mobile phone. Telecommunications technicians provide the links to such technology.

There are currently around 200 Telecommunications Technicians working in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the Information, Media and Telecommunications industries. Majority of persons in this occupation are males and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Telecommunications Technician

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Installing, repairing and maintaining telecommunications systems, such as a television broadcast network, or any associated equipment is all in a day's work for the telecommunications technician. The telecommunications industry is responsible for the provision of a diverse range of telecommunications services to both residential and commercial clients. According to Telstra Telecommunications Manager, Brian Walsh, these services range from voice services (standard telephones), through to high-speed data services that carry communications such as the Internet, Pay TV, mobile telephones or wide area networks that enable computer systems to communicate with each other. Telecommunications technicians may also be involved in setting up and maintaining systems, which allow a television station to broadcast interstate.

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Education Requirements

Employers generally prefer applicants to have completed some formal training in this area. However, some telecommunications carriers such as Telstra conduct their own in-house training.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma & Advanced Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering and Associate Degree in Electronic Engineering. Pathways include the Certificate II & III in Data and Voice Communications.

Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in the Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering/Bachelor of Engineering Science, Advanced Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering/Bachelor of Engineering Science. Dual pathway courses are also available to TAFE SA and Adelaide University in the Associate Degree in Electronic Engineering/Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic).

SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

Career Path

'There has been widespread take-up of high-speed digital transmission methods such as fibre optic cabling and an increasing use of a diverse range of mobile telecommunications services. This has resulted in rapid change and evolution in the industry, so it's important that people are prepared to continuously update their technical skills,' says Telstra Data Technical Specialist, Colin McGregor.

Rapid and ongoing advancements in and the convergence of telecommunications technologies (you can now access the Internet via your mobile phone) are creating demand in the telecommunications industry generally. Estimates of the demand for technicians vary greatly, particularly with some of their previous functions now being automated. However, local industry sources suggest that demand for the installation of equipment will be generated as the use of high-speed ADSL for data communication increases. The labour market demand for cabling technicians will continue to improve.


Communication Services

Nature of the Job

For many, the most familiar example of a telecommunications technician's work is the setting up of phone connections in homes or businesses. To do this, telecommunications technicians connect a phone line to the nearest telecommunications network, thereby creating a link for voice or data communication. Many businesses use and depend on automatic telephone systems, such as a PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange) to assist their business to run efficiently. Before installing a system like a PABX, telecommunications technicians undertake a series of wiring tests, circuit checks and power tests. If all is compatible, then the system along with the relevant cables and switches is assembled, installed and checked by the technician.

Typical Physical Working Environment

They are generally out on the road, but some, more senior technicians also work from an office and direct these technicians. People interested in this occupation should have good communication skills because they are regularly dealing with customers, who may be upset because their phone or Internet is on the blink. They need to be able to deal with routine tasks but at the same time need excellent diagnostic skills in electronics in order to handle complex, unexpected problems.

Typical Occupational Example

Telecommunications technicians are employed by a variety of small, medium and large enterprises. These include large telecommunications carriers such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, network and exchange equipment suppliers and installers such as Ericsson, and installation/maintenance service providers.

Telecommunications technicians, like Telstra System Specialist, Michael Hoffman, are also called in to maintain telecommunication systems. Michael, whose speciality is PABXs, says to carry out maintenance work, telecommunications technicians need to have a very good understanding of the systems they maintain.

Just like vehicles need to undergo routine check-ups, so too, do telecommunications systems. Individuals and businesses depend on these systems, so it's important to prevent them from breaking down. Regular maintenance, such as the replacement of cables and wires, help prevent this. When breakdowns do occur, telecommunications technicians also have the skills to diagnose faults and correct the problem.

Earning Potential

The starting salary for telecommunications technicians is about $28,000 per year and may go as high as $45,000 for someone with around six years experience. In some very rare cases, this may climb as high as $200,000 for those in senior management.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online