Kaihangarau Torotoro Waea
This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Telecommunications technicians install, maintain and repair electronic communications equipment in telecommunication networks and internet supply systems.
New telecommunications technicians usually earn
$39K-$49K per year
Telecommunications technicians with more than five years' experience usually earn
$50K-$70K per year
Source: Trade Me, 'Salary Guide' February 2016.
Current job prospects
How many people are doing this job?
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
Pay for telecommunications technicians varies depending on experience.
- Telecommunications technicians usually earn between $39,000 and $49,000 a year.
- Technicians with more than five years' experience usually earn between $50,000 and $70,000.
- Senior technicians and supervisors may earn more.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
Source: Trade Me, 'Salary Guide', February 2016.
What you will do
Telecommunications technicians may do some or all of the following:
- examine equipment and systems to find and repair faults
- update and maintain existing equipment
- install telecommunications equipment, and connect it to networks
- test repaired, updated, or newly installed items
- assist with selecting sites for equipment
- carry out general administration duties.
Skills and knowledge
Telecommunications technicians need to have:
- knowledge of electronics and electrical circuits
- knowledge of computer software and hardware
- up-to-date knowledge of new technology, including communication technologies
- skill with tools and testing equipment
- a basic knowledge of first aid and health and safety regulations.
- often work regular business hours. However, they may work overtime, evenings and weekends and may also have to be on call
- work indoors (workshops, offices and telephone exchanges) and outdoors at various sites
- may work at heights, in confined spaces, and in dirty or dusty conditions
- may travel locally.
What's the job really like?
Telecommunications technician Ryan Drew spends a lot of time climbing on roofs or crawling under houses – and says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I spend most of my time repairing telephone faults and provisioning, which is installing broadband. With faults at people's houses you might have to climb into the roof or under the house, and the actual fault finding can be quite tricky. But I like challenges – I wouldn't like to be in a mundane job."
Getting stuck in
The tricky conditions don't stop there. "We get a lot of faults in windy or stormy weather. And in winter the number of faults increases when it's damp. You are as keen as mustard when you first start the job to get out there in bad weather and fix the fault, so you don't care if it's pouring with rain, you just get into it!"
While being a telecommunications technician can be tough, it's the variety of work on offer that keeps the job interesting, Ryan says. "I hate doing the same thing, so this job is great for me because there's always a different challenge. It's good because I have constant contact with people and I get to learn new things all the time."
To become a telecommunications technician you need to complete a telecommunications apprenticeship and gain a National Certificate in Telecommunications (Level 4). However, some telecommunications technicians enter the job with a New Zealand Certificate in Telecommunications (Level 3).
Telecommunications apprenticeships are available through The Skills Organisation.
Employers may require telecommunications technicians to be registered electrical service technicians.
NCEA Level 1 maths, English and science are recommended to enter this job, and computers and electronics are also useful.
Telecommunications technicians need to be:
- practical, quick and efficient
- accurate, with an eye for detail
- responsible, alert, and safety-conscious
- good at problem-solving
- good communicators
- able to work well on their own or as part of a team.
Useful experience for telecommunications technicians includes:
- experience working with electronics
- engineering work
- computer work
- telecommunications work.
Telecommunications technicians must have normal colour vision, steady hands and be comfortable working at heights and in confined spaces.
Tellecommunications technicians usually need to become registered electrical service technicians with the Electrical Workers Registration Board.
- Electrical Workers Registration Board website - find out about registering as an electrical service technician
Find out more about training
- (04) 499 9144 - www.connexis.org.nz
- (04) 473 2023 - email@example.com - www.futureintech.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Mobile technology and government investment creating work for telecommunications technicians
Opportunities for telecommunications technicians have been rising due to:
- introduction of the Government's ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband initiatives. These aim to provide improved internet access for 80% to 90% of New Zealanders by 2022
- increased use of mobile communication technology such as smartphones.
Telecommunications technicians sought from overseas to work in New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand’s immediate skill shortage list includes:
- telecommunications technician - general
- cabler (data and telecommunications)
- telcommunications cable jointer.
This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled telecommunications technicians, cablers and cable jointers from overseas to work in New Zealand.
Most technicians employed by phone companies
Most telecommunications technicians in New Zealand are employed by telephone installation and servicing companies.
Some telecommunications technicians work for independent contractors or are self-employed.
- Futureintech website, accessed January 2016, (www.futureintech.org.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Immediate Skill Shortage List', accessed March 2017, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2015 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Ministry of Business, innovation and Employment, 'Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative', January 2016, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Once telecommunications technicians have completed their apprenticeship, they can specialise in areas such as radio, cable or services. They may also work for internet service providers (ISPs), or progress to become telecommunications engineers.
Last updated 14 March 2017