The cable and broadband communications industry is an excellent field for career seekers looking to avoid several years of post-secondary education. A preference for hands-on work, a high aptitude for math and a desire to stay abreast of technological advancements are necessary skills for cable technicians, whether company employed or independent contractor. Most cable technicians begin as installers and service technicians, gradually gaining experience and advancement within the industry. Cable technicians are both company-employed and self-employed. Industry technicians desiring to become independent contractors must obtain the necessary licenses and tools to sustain their own business and meet the demands of their contracting companies.
Decide on a business structure. Each structure has its own pros and cons. Consider your business and personal goals, then choose a business structure that will best protect those interests.
Obtain a business license. State licensing requirements will vary. The Small Business Administration website (see Resources) allows you to search for business licensing requirements by state.
Obtain a contractor's license. Apply for a contractor's license through your state. The Contractor's License Reference Site (see Resources) allows you to search for the licensing requirements for each state, listed by industry.
Acquire the tools of the trade. Most independent cable contractors are required to possess a work vehicle, such as a truck or van. Cable technicians frequently use ladders and meters for cable adjustments. Purchasing these tools in advance will save time and effort later; however, you may also wait and inquire about which specific tools your potential contracting company might provide or require to perform the duties of their contract.
Search for independent cable contractor openings. Using a search database such as CABL Bar (see Resources) will provides several leads for contract cable jobs. Choose a job that meets your goals and apply using the contact information provided. Follow all application guidelines listed and be prepared to provide any professional information requested such as a resume, work experience or references.
Experience, education and tool requirements will vary for cable contractor jobs. Be sure that you meet each individual contracting company's requirements before applying for the contract.