A telecommunication engineer works with telecommunications equipment, hardware and services. As an engineer, you would solve problems, assess situations and apply solutions with the understanding of knowledge of telecommunications, including ISDN, analogue, T1, T2, SONET and ATM. Telecommunication engineers understand how telecommunications equipment and services work and are equipped to handle disruptions of service and come up with solutions to deal with problems as they may arise in the field. They also design and create telecommunications systems.
A telecommunication engineer troubleshoots equipment and technical problems that can happen in the field or through routine inspections. Telecommunication engineers also design and create telecommunication systems. With an understanding of circuitry, installation, government compliance and telecommunication systems that include voice, data, radio, fibre optics and waves, telecommunication engineers need a vast array of knowledge to perform their duties.
Most telecommunication engineers are well versed in engineering and often hold degrees in engineering. Courses that are fundamental to the field are math and physics with particular emphasis on circuitry and mechanical engineering.
Some telecommunication engineers start off as installers or repair workers and work their way up to engineers and supervisors. Many who hold a degree in science or engineering can land a job as an entry level telecommunication engineer, but many companies prefer to hire someone with experience, notably at least 5 years with experience in FCC/FAA regulation, microwave systems, telecommunication engineering and design.
Problem solving and the ability to analyse situations are critical to the job. Since textbooks only teach how things work, it takes a strong, persistent, organizational and analytical person to take the information on how telecommunications works and apply it to the real world where a variety of unforeseen and unexpected circumstances require unique problem solving to get the job done. Also, communication (verbal and written) are needed, as well as the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
Telecommunication engineers understand how to support and use telecommunication equipment. They understand how it works, so they are able to assess problems and find solutions that work in the field. Engineers also are proactive in anticipating problems in service and equipment and come up with solutions before they occur. They may visit sites frequently to inspect or service telecommunications equipment when needed.