What does a Fiber-Optic Technician do?

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  • Written By: Meghan Perry
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2019
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A fiber-optic technician, in a broad sense, installs and maintains fiber-optic systems and locates and repairs defects within these systems. There are a wide variety of employment and educational options within this field. Some general areas of focus include making sensors, performing optical inspections or working within the a certain field, such as lighting, communications or medical.

Fiber-optics is the science of sending signals, in the form of light, through either glass or plastic fibers. This field first began in the 1970s, and by the 1980s, fiber was replacing copper as the preferred way to transmit information. This is because fiber allows more information to go longer distances in a shorter amount of time. It also has become a more economical way to send information.

There are generally two types of fiber-optics: outside plant and premises cabling. Outside plant means that a fiber-optic technician works outside of buildings, installing fiber-optic systems. This can include running fiber-optic cables underground or underwater, and it can span very long distances. Premises cabling, on the other hand, is when a fiber-optic technician works inside a building. Technicians usually do one or the other and not both.

The job can be dangerous, as it sometimes requires technicians to enter sewers or climb poles to install the fiber-optic cables. Another responsibility of a fiber-optic technician is to measure signal strength and make sure it is working properly. Technical knowledge is very important in this field.


Someone who wishes to work as a fiber-optic technician must, at the very least, have a high school diploma or an equivalent certification. It has become increasingly common for those wishing to enter the field to earn a two-year associate's degree from an accredited community college. Courses can include technical math, such as geometry and algebra, as well as fiber-optic-specific courses, increasing in difficulty as the student progresses toward his or her degree.


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What is the annual pay of a fiber-optic technician though?

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