Cable and broadband technology affords customers the luxury of watching television programming across hundreds of channels and accessing high-speed Internet. To ensure that your cable service installs and functions properly, cable companies send out trained cable technicians to deliver customer service and technical expertise. If you are thinking of acquiring skills to set up your own cable television or starting a telecommunications career, there are programs offered specifically for cable technicians at local community and junior colleges.
Cable technician training teaches students how to work with new telecommunications technologies and services such as fiber-optic cables and wireless networks. Students learn not only how to set up cable and Internet communications at residents' homes, but also how to connect and splice telecommunication lines for businesses and customers. Other cable technicians specialize in setting up and repairing communications devices and wiring. All of these skills enable technician professionals to connect customers and companies to television programming, the Internet and various telecommunications services.
Cable technician training programs teach students the fundamentals of communications systems and networks. Students learn how to work with and splice phone, cable, fiber optic and satellite cables, as well as how to test methods for measuring telecommunications signals. In addition, trainees receive instruction on designing and operating telephony, broadband, cable and satellite technologies. Other topics include safety procedures, security systems and job searching strategies.
Most cable technician training programs only require that applicants have a high school diploma or equivalent education. An aptitude for math, writing and reading comprehension, as well as previous course work in trigonometry and basic algebra are helpful. Some training institutes require that applicants have reading and writing proficiency in English, possess a valid driver's license and successfully complete an interview with a program instructor before being admitted to the program.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition," some employers jointly offer one-year certificate programs with training organizations. Students learn practical skills and trades that they can use on the job. Associate degree programs typically last two years and emphasize study in electricity, fiber optics, electronics and telecommunications.
The BLS predicts that jobs for line installers, which include professionals who set up and repair telecommunications equipment, will grow 1 percent during the 2008 to 2018 decade. Cable technician jobs will be fueled by population growth and increased Internet use. Moreover, professionals who possess technical skills should have good job prospects during this period.