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Engineering design

Telecoms engineer

Telecoms engineers work on satellite, digital TV and fibre optic systems, and install broadband, mobile and landline phone networks.

Annual Salary

£19,000 to £37,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 a week

You could work: on call; at short notice

Future employment

There will be 5% fewer Telecoms engineer jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

On a typical day you may:

  • set up mobile and fixed communications and data networks
  • repair lines and equipment on mobile masts and antennae
  • lay and test underground and underfloor cabling
  • find and fix faults, including remotely using specialist software
  • design, build and test components and equipment
  • update work records
  • communicate with business and domestic customers in person, on the phone or online

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work at a client's home or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be at height, cramped, outdoors in all weathers and you'll travel often.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

You could do a college qualification, for example:

  • Level 2 Award in Communications Cabling
  • Level 3 Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles
  • Level 3 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals
  • T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing
  • T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control

Courses like these could help you to find a trainee position with a telecoms company.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information

You could start by doing a telecoms field operative intermediate apprenticeship.

You could also do an advanced apprenticeship for radio network technicians, or network cable installers.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You may need a full driving licence to travel from job to job.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in engineering from Tomorrow's Engineers.

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With training and experience, you could move into supervisory roles, network design or electronic engineering.

You could set up your own installation and repair business.

You can find out more about careers in engineering from Tomorrow's Engineers

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • analytical thinking skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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