Telecommunications engineers use their technical expertise to provide a range of services and engineering solutions revolving around different modes of communication and information transfer, such as wireless telephony services, radio and satellite communications, internet and broadband technologies.
Most of the work is carried out on a project basis with tight deadlines and well-defined milestones for the delivery of project objectives. Telecommunications engineers are involved across all aspects of service delivery, from carrying out feasibility exercises and determining connectivity to preparing detailed, technical and operational documentation.
Telecommunications engineers are usually employed by telecom service providers, equipment and infrastructure manufacturers, communications software developers, public sector bodies and transport organisations.
Salary & benefits
Entry-level telecommunications engineers tend to earn between £21,000 and £30,000 per annum.
Incorporated engineers earn around £30,000 to £50,000, and chartered engineers earn around £40,000 to £70,000 depending on their level of experience.
Telecommunications engineers tend to work nine-to-five. However, in order to meet project delivery targets, you may be required to work extra hours from time to time. Travel across the country may also be required, typically on site surveys and periodic inspections.
An undergraduate or postgraduate degree in telecommunications, electronic engineering, computer science, physics, I.T. or another technical subject tends to be the minimum academic requirement. However, you might be able to enter this profession as a lower-level technician via an apprenticeship scheme or with another vocational qualification.
Your degree should ideally be supplemented with work experience placements, in addition to proven analytical, technical and problem-solving skills, to ensure that your CV stands out amongst the tons received by prospective employers.
Training & progression
Many employers offer structured graduate training programmes, which last between 12 and 24 months. These schemes combine formal training sessions with opportunities to gain hands-on experience across a range of crucial functions.
It’s also likely that your employer will support you through the completion of relevant professional qualifications to become a chartered engineer. They may also sponsor you to complete industry-standard technology certifications.
Career progression is driven by performance, professional experience and expertise. Once you have become a chartered engineer, you may progress into a managerial role within three to five years.