We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Communications Engineer do?

By Maggie Worth
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A communications engineer is a professional engineer who works with one or more of a large range of communication technologies. Such an engineer may work with computer networks, Internet connectivity, satellite transmissions, cellular technology, broadcast technology, video and radio equipment, weaponry or medical imaging equipment. Functions can include research, design, implementation, modification and troubleshooting of these technologies.

The specific, day-to-day functions of a communications engineer vary significantly based on the employer, the type of technology and the current project. These engineers may work to design and troubleshoot tiny circuits or may work with the technology that manages a city-wide electrical grid. They may work in a lab or at the top of a cellular tower; they also may travel extensively or remain in a central office.

Generally, a communications engineer must be an educated, degreed electrical engineer. For some positions, he must also be certified by one or more advisory bodies. In some localities, he must further be registered in order to legally work in the community. Communications engineers can also work in highly sensitive roles and may be required to pass criminal or background investigations or obtain security clearances.

Science and mathematics are the core competencies of a communications engineer. He uses those skills to evaluate a technology or a situation requiring a technology and to develop solutions that are both functionally effective and cost effective. Such professionals may also work closely with clients or governmental agencies, so solid personal communication skills may also be important. Other key skills include problem solving, analytical skills and organization.

A communications engineer may specialize in one or more areas. Common areas include microwave technology, fiber optics and telecommunications. Additional training within the chosen area is generally required to qualify as a specialist.

These professionals can also specialize in either software or hardware, but most jobs require the ability to work with both. Even an engineer whose specialty is developing hardware, such as cell phones, routers or switches, will need to be familiar with modeling and simulation software. He may also need to be capable of working with common programs such as estimating or proposal-development software.

A communications engineer may work in a variety of settings. Cell phone, utility, cable and satellite providers employ a large number of such engineers as do Internet providers and computer networking companies. Local and national governments are another employment option. For those interested in research, foundations, universities or non-profit organizations may be a logical choice.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.