What Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Except Line Installers Do
Installers set up a small television antenna.
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, also known as telecom technicians, set up and maintain devices or equipment that carry communications signals, connect to telephone lines, or access the Internet.
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers typically do the following:
- Install communications equipment in offices, private homes, and buildings that are under construction
- Set up, rearrange, or replace routing and dialing equipment
- Inspect and service equipment, wiring, and phone jacks
- Repair or replace faulty, damaged, or malfunctioning equipment
- Test repaired, newly installed, or updated equipment to ensure that it works properly
- Adjust or calibrate equipment settings to improve its performance
- Keep records of maintenance, repairs, and installations
- Demonstrate and explain the use of equipment to customers
Telephone, computer, and cable telecommunications systems rely on equipment to process and transmit vast amounts of data. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers—often called telecom technicians—install and service this equipment.
Telecom technicians use many different tools to inspect equipment and diagnose problems. For instance, to locate distortions in signals, they may employ spectrum analyzers and polarity probes. They also commonly use hand tools, including screwdrivers and pliers, to take equipment apart and repair it.
Many technicians also work with computers, specialized hardware, and other diagnostic equipment. They follow manufacturer’s instructions or technical manuals to install or update software and programs for devices.
Those who work at a client’s location must track hours worked, parts used, and bills collected. Installers who set up and maintain lines outdoors are classified as line installers and repairers.
The specific tasks of telecom technicians vary depending on their specialization and where they work.
The following are examples of types of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers:
Central office technicians set up and maintain switches, routers, fiber optic cables, and other equipment at switching hubs, called central offices. These hubs send, process, and amplify data from thousands of telephone, Internet, and cable connections. Technicians receive alerts on equipment malfunctions from auto-monitoring switches and are able to correct the problems remotely.
Headend technicians perform similar work to central office installers and repairers, but work at distribution centers for cable and television companies, called headends.
PBX installers and repairers set up and service private branch exchange—or PBX—switchboards. This equipment relays incoming, outgoing, and interoffice telephone calls at a single location. Some systems use computers to run Internet access, network applications, and telephone communications, and support Voice over Internet Protocol—or VoIP—technology.
PBX installers connect telecom equipment to communications cables. They test the connections to ensure that adequate power is available and communication links work properly. They install frames, supports, power systems, alarms, and telephone sets. Because switches and switchboards are computerized, PBX installers also install software or program the equipment.
Station installers and repairers—sometimes known as home installers and repairers—set up and repair telecommunications equipment in customers’ homes and businesses. For example, they set up modems to install telephone, Internet, or cable television services.
When customers have problems, station repairers test the customer’s lines to determine if the problem is inside or outside. If the problem is inside, they try to repair it. If the problem is outside, they refer the problem to line repairers.