Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Alan O'Neill from Bord Iascaigh Mhara to give some advice for people considering this job:

Alan O'Neill


Bord Iascaigh Mhara

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Alan O'Neill
Some may think that you can go untrained into fishing. The best advice I would give people considering fishing as a profession is to get training. Fishing is an all encompassing career - when you need to go fishing, the rest of your life goes on hold unfortunately. It is very unpredictabe because you could be fishing non stop for three weeks and tied up for two.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Telecommunications Field Technician
In Summary header image

Telecommunications Field Technician

This new apprenticeship programme has reached development stage as of May 2017.

Proposer /Provider: Telecommunications Industry Ireland

This apprenticeship programme is not yet fully approved. Additional information is constantly being added here, as it becomes available. Outline information correct - May 2017.

The  Telecommunications Field Technician apprentice is concerned with the installation, commissioning, testing and maintenance of Telecommunications infrastructure and the services that utilise the infrastructure. 

This is an NFQ Level 6 apprenticeship with 80 places to potentially be available annually.

Training header image

The Telecommunications Field Technician apprenticeship is a two-year programme. On successful completion, the Telecommunications Field Technician will:

  • Be able to demonstrate the knowledge to install and maintain telecommunications access networks equipment
  • Be able to demonstrate a broad range of knowledge of the functioning of a telecommunications network with significant depth in a specialist area
  • Be able to demonstrate specialist knowledge of key concepts and methods underpinning the planning installation and maintenance of telecommunications access networks


Core Skills
  • Installation of Cabling infrastructure in both network and customer premises
  • Repair and maintenance of infrastructure and services
  • Testing of Cables, Network terminations and in-home CPE
  • Interpretation of test results and customer feedback
  • Assembly of materials and the requisite tools necessary to complete a range of discrete activities
  • Fault analysis of network infrastructure and in-home CPE/wiring
Specialist Skills
  • Utilisation of test equipment necessary to commission and diagnose defective infrastructure and in-home CPE
  • Installation of in-home services such as broadband and TV
  • Repair and maintain cabling infrastructure
  • Testing of copper, fibre and wireless technologies
  • Interpretation of test results
  • Assembly of in- home equipment installations and external infrastructures such as splicing enclosures
  • Fault analysis of broadband/TV services and cabling infrastructure that includes complex splicing arrangements.
Common Skills
  • Utilisation of Company motor vehicles, Mechanical aids, Manual Handling equipment, Safe Pass and associated legislative conformity, in a safe and efficient manner
  • Installation of network infrastructure both overhead and underground
  • Repair and maintain network infrastructure both overhead and underground
  • Testing of cables, splices, Network termination points at both exchange, street-side cabinets and in customer premises.
  • Interpretation of work instructions and health & safety regulations to ensure work is at all times carried out in a safe manner
  • Assembly of components, tools and Health & Safety equipment necessary to complete tasks both at ground level and when working at height
  • Fault analysis of network infrastructure and in-home faults.

Personal Qualities header image

  • Customer Focus – the role is varied and individuals will frequently manage a series of tasks to ensure end-to-end continuity in the delivery and maintenance of service. Unlike other roles, the individual must be equally comfortable working in the network and in someone’s home while completing a series of related tasks
  • Business Focus – In a competitive market, individuals must be aware of competitor offerings and the business environment they are operating in
  • Results Focus – In a competitive environment, speed and quality are of the essence, so an individual will need to achieve a range of objectives around construction, delivery and repair times
  • Innovation
  • Problem-Solving
  • Oral & Written Communication
  • Team Work

Work Activities header image

The  Telecommunications Field Technician apprentice is concerned with the installation, commissioning, testing and maintenance of Telecommunications infrastructure and the services that utilise the infrastructure. 

Tasks and Responsibilities include: 

  • Construction activity such as cabling and splicing
  • Commissioning and testing of cables and associated network termination devices
  • Installation of in-home wiring and wireless devices
  • Installation of customer services such as broadband, telephony and TV
  • Fault localisation on all of the above

Pay & Fees header image

Information to follow...

Funding Arrangements

All apprentices are paid a Training Allowance while attending off-the-job training in training centres or college, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship.

Details of the Training Allowances payable are available here.

What apprentice rate wages are paid?

Apprentice rates are paid for the on-the-job phases of apprenticeships. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer. Generally, the rates will increase in a number of steps during the apprenticeship. For example:


All other Trades




€ / hr

€ / hr

1st Year Rate

2nd Year Rate

3rd Year Rate

4th Year Rate









Note: You should always seek details of specific rates of pay for apprentices from prospective employers.

Apprentice Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of the changes included in Budget 2014, apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. 

Female Apprentices' bursary for employers

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, a bursary is available to employers to encourage an increased level of recruitment of female apprentices.

For more information Click here or contact your local ETB Training Centre.

Entry Requirements header image

Applicants for the eir Telecommunications Field Technician apprenticeship must have the following:

  • Leaving Certificate - must have passed a minimum of 6 subjects (must include a pass in maths)
  • Full driving license

Getting an Apprenticeship header image

This will be an annual program, with the recruitment process beginning in the spring, and candidates coming on board later in the year. 

Career Opportunities header image

Information to follow

Occupation Profile header image

Progression Routes header image