What Does a Cable Technician Do?

Angela Wheeland
Angela Wheeland
Cable technicians repair, maintain, and install cable services for both residential and commercial clients.
Cable technicians repair, maintain, and install cable services for both residential and commercial clients.

Cable technicians are responsible for ensuring that cable systems operate properly by performing a wide variety of tasks, including repair, maintenance and installation of cable services. Depending on the company's capabilities, a cable technician's duties can include installation and maintenance of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephone service. Technicians also might be responsible for connecting drop lines and feeder lines to homes and businesses.

Cable technicians must sometimes use bucket trucks to work on the lines.
Cable technicians must sometimes use bucket trucks to work on the lines.

When a customer contacts a cable provider seeking service, the provider dispatches a cable technician to the customer's home or business to connect the service. If a feeder line is in place near the address, the provider generally is capable of providing service to the customer. A technician installs a drop line, which connects cable service from the main feeder line to the customer's home or business. After performing a variety of electronic tests to measure signal strength, the technician will then install any required equipment on the outside or inside of the structure, which can include a cable box, digital video recorder (DVR), cable jack and a cable modem.

Cable technicians may need to use a network cable tester to troubleshoot and identify issues along a cable installation.
Cable technicians may need to use a network cable tester to troubleshoot and identify issues along a cable installation.

Cable technicians also are responsible for all repairs, including inside a customer's residence or business and throughout the cable feeder lines. If a main cable line is damaged and service is disrupted, cable technicians are responsible for repairing the lines and restoring service. Most cable lines are located above ground, and to access these lines, a cable technician must use a bucket truck or must climb a pole or tower. For lines that are underground, the technician must crawl into a tunnel or trench to repair the line and restore service. In addition, cable technicians perform a series of preventative tasks by periodically scanning the cable systems to assess and repair small problems in an effort to avoid an outage.

A cable technician may be responsible for installing completely new cable wires in a customer's home.
A cable technician may be responsible for installing completely new cable wires in a customer's home.

Some cable technician jobs include expanding service to new locations. Generally, these technicians dig holes, install poles and connect lines from the main tower to a customer's home or business. If the cable connections are required underground, the cable technician will dig trenches and pull the lines through them to connect to the main tower.

Most cable service providers require cable technicians to possess at least a high school diploma, but some require vocational training or related work experience. Generally, cable technicians must complete a series of cable technology courses, either at a post-secondary training institution or on-the-job training. If the cable service provider provides on the job training, new technicians will gain experience by shadowing experienced technicians and receive hands on training.

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Discussion Comments

Vincenzo

@Logcifest -- Good point about bringing the right equipment. The last cable tech who showed up at my house got halfway through the job when he figured out he did not have a part he needed to get everything working.

What did he do? He left and came back the next day. Wow.

Logicfest

And the best ones show up when they say they will. That might seem like a minor thing, but I lived one in town where the cable tech would give about a four hour window during which time he would show up at your home and install cable. If you weren't there, too bad.

When we moved, the cable guy said he would be at our home at a specific time. He was actually a couple of minutes early and he arrived with all the equipment needed to get the job done.

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    • Cable technicians repair, maintain, and install cable services for both residential and commercial clients.
      Cable technicians repair, maintain, and install cable services for both residential and commercial clients.
    • Cable technicians must sometimes use bucket trucks to work on the lines.
      Cable technicians must sometimes use bucket trucks to work on the lines.
    • Cable technicians may need to use a network cable tester to troubleshoot and identify issues along a cable installation.
      Cable technicians may need to use a network cable tester to troubleshoot and identify issues along a cable installation.
    • A cable technician may be responsible for installing completely new cable wires in a customer's home.
      A cable technician may be responsible for installing completely new cable wires in a customer's home.