In Summary - Telecommunications Engineer
Telecommunications Engineers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Telecommunications Engineer
Telecommunication Engineers or Network Architects are involved in the planning, designing, commissioning and monitoring of complex telecommunication networks and associated broadcasting equipment.
Their job involves researching and developing innovative products, as well as working on ways to improve existing technology, like fibre optic cables.
Some telecommunications companies design, build and install telecommunications systems for their clients. Increasingly, networks are inter-linked; for example, engineers have developed systems where a mobile telephone user can access the Internet. Digital television systems can be interactive; users can have high-speed access to the Internet and email.
Engineers may work on ways to provide solutions for business and private customers. For example, engineers may help a company to handle high volumes of telephone calls, perhaps by setting up or helping to improve a call centre. Engineers work closely with their clients, discussing solutions like Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). Telecommunications engineers have installed video conferencing links in hospitals. Surgeons can perform operations under the supervision of experts at another hospital, using the video-link to hear and see their colleagues.
Engineers work on services like mobile communication, high-speed data and fax transmission, and radio paging. They may install the equipment needed for these types of communication. Some engineers are responsible for routine maintenance and repair work, to make sure the system does not break down. Engineers may run centres or work on help desks, to respond quickly to repair or deal with any disruptions to the network.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Communicate with telecommunications vendors to obtain pricing and technical specifications for available hardware, software, or services.
- Keep abreast of changes in industry practices and emerging telecommunications technology by reviewing current literature, talking with colleagues, participating in educational programs, attending meetings or workshops, or participating in professional organizations or conferences.
- Implement or perform preventive maintenance, backup, or recovery procedures.
- Consult with users, administrators, and engineers to identify business and technical requirements for proposed system modifications or technology purchases.
- Assess existing facilities' needs for new or modified telecommunications systems.
- Order or maintain inventory of telecommunications equipment for customer premises equipment (CPE), facilities, access networks, or backbone networks.
- Install, or coordinate installation of, new or modified hardware, software, or programming modules of telecommunications systems.
- Develop, maintain, or implement telecommunications disaster recovery plans to ensure business continuity.
- Monitor and analyze system performance, such as network traffic, security, and capacity.
- Estimate costs for system or component implementation and operation.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Interests - Telecommunications Engineer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
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.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
You must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge, to keep up to date with advances in areas such as satellite technology, electronic commerce, and mobile telephone networks.
Also, you must have an investigative mind and excellent problem solving and analytical skills. Telecommunications engineers need management and organisation skills, to plan networks. For example, they may need to map cable networks.
Engineers work closely with sales and marketing departments. They may answer customer enquiries, and could be involved in selling networks to new clients. You therefore need the ability to build up comprehensive product knowledge; persuasive sales skills are useful.
Engineers need computer software skills because computers are often used to control telecommunications systems. You should also enjoy technical design.
Entry Requirements - Telecommunications Engineer
Telecommunications engineers typically complete an appropriate Engineering or Computer Science degree. There are several specialist courses, with titles such as Telecommunications Engineering, Electronic and Communications Engineering, Operational Telecommunications and Mobile Telecommunications Engineering.
Engineers can gain Chartered Engineer or Associate Engineer status through Engineers Ireland after first gaining an accredited degree, diploma or certificate, followed by three or four years experience in the workplace. All professional titles are highly regarded by employers throughout industry.
Many employers operate graduate training programmes of Initial Professional Development (IPD) to enable their employees gain chartered status. Once this is achieved you are expected to maintain and up-date your skills through a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
It is essential to explore course details to make sure the course you choose is appropriate to the branch of engineering you want to follow.
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Telecommunications Engineer
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 48k - 75k
Last Updated: February, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Telecommunications Engineer
Useful Contacts - Telecommunications Engineer
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