How do I Become a Telecommunications Engineer?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2019
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A telecommunications engineer is responsible for the hardware and software that make modern communication possible in a business environment. If you want to become a telecommunications engineer, you must begin by getting the proper education in electrical systems. With your degree, you will be able to attain entry level jobs that will help you develop the skills and duties necessary to be successful in this field and move up the ladder. In addition, you should study the various fields that utilize telecom engineers and find one that sparks your interest.

Education is the foundation for anyone who wishes to work as a telecommunications engineer. There are many universities around the world that offer a bachelor's degree in this field. Students must master electronics, networks, technology, computer software, and communications. The coursework generally takes students four years to complete and prepares you for a variety of problems and situations in the working world.

One of the best ways to become a telecommunications engineer after receiving your degree is to seek employment in an entry level position. Sometimes referred to as assistant telecommunications engineers, these positions can be important for many reasons, chief among them is the opportunity to learn the craft under the watch of more experienced engineers. It generally takes a great deal of work to make the transition from school learning to real world application, so an entry level job is a helpful start.


In order to build a bank of skills necessary to move up in the field, you will most likely have to work several years in an entry level job or the equivalent. During this time, it is important to learn how various electronic systems work from circuit designers and how physical electronic wiring and fiber optics operate with computer systems. Problem solving is another important skill that is fostered and developed in a learning opportunity like an entry level job. Experiencing different electrical issues and learning how to find efficient ways to solve telecommunications problems are essential in order to become a telecommunications engineer.

Keeping your options open is another important aspect of this career path. On-the-job-training will help you develop your skills and earn promotions as you become a telecommunications engineer, but it is equally important to find a specific field that fits your interests. This type of electronic engineering is often found in broadcasting, corporate communication, or government. Learn what challenges each field offers and choose a working environment that compliments your abilities as an engineer.


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Post 2

@allenJo - I worked in the hardware side of things, and I also worked in a NOC (Network Operations Control) center, where we monitored traffic on the network. Some of us touched the actual hardware like the switches and stuff when things went down.

In terms of how to become a engineer, most of us had the same qualifications for the job. Most of us came into telecommunications with degrees in electrical engineering.

The specifics of how to work in different departments was gleaned from on the job training. But there really wasn’t a telecommunications degree (at least not when I went to school). You could pursue CISCO certification or something like that, but most of us started with the same credentials upon entering the workforce.

Post 1

I worked in a telecommunications company for many years. While I was not a network engineer I did work alongside many of them. I should point out that, at least in our setting, the telecommunications engineer was more of an analyst. He or she worked in the circuit designing or provisioning part of engineering – the softer engineering, if you will.

In provisioning, they locate T1s on the network that are not being used efficiently or not being optimized, and they put in orders to disconnect the T1s and redirect traffic along other T1s.

This was a big cost savings initiative and they did a lot of number crunching; they didn’t actually touch the hardware at all.

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