Telephone technicians are professionals who set up telephone lines and ensure that they continue to work properly. These individuals must have solid manual dexterity skills for meeting the needs of both residential and commercial customers. If you wish to become a telephone technician, you should consider completing two years of training beyond high school. You also need to be prepared to complete an internship to gain hands-on experience in the field, and you can pursue industry certification to make yourself even more attractive to employers.
An individual who wants to become a telephone technician can complete an associate degree program in communications technology, which typically takes two years. Enrollment in this type of college program requires submission of your standardized exam results along with a completed admissions form. You also have to submit a copy of your high school transcript as well as proof of your high school diploma or the equivalent certification to your desired school. Some employers only require job candidates to have completed high school-level training, but completing college classes will make them more competitive in the job market.
Courses in your training program will cover various technologies in the field. For instance, you will study how to install and maintain fiber optic cables along with other phone devices used in the long-distance telephone industry. In addition, classes will teach you about local area networks — computer networks that can connect to other networks using telephone lines. If you plan to become a telephone technician, you also must master Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which customers use to make phone calls across the Internet rather than using traditional telephone lines.
You can expect to be required to complete an internship before you graduate from your college program as well. This type of opportunity gives you the chance to practice performing telephone and data wiring in a real-world situation and getting used to using industry tools. Your company might require you to manage requests for maintenance or installation work and even help during technology-related emergency situations. The experience will help you to hone your communication and interpersonal skills as well, which you must possess when you become a telephone technician.
Some employers additionally require workers in this career area to be licensed. Licensure comes from taking and passing an industry examination. You then need to complete continuing education requirements to maintain this credential. Even if a company does not make having this field designation mandatory, being licensed does increase your job opportunities as you seek to become a telephone technician by showing hiring managers that you are proficient in your work.