Not every job makes the world a more accessible place, but a cable/fiber optics technician’s job certainly does by making information more widely available. A cable/fiber optics technician — also called a cable installer — designs, installs, operates, maintains and repairs telecommunication networks for internet, television and telephone services. This involves different types of cables — primarily fiber optic cables but also copper cables — used to transfer data. Fiber optics technology uses sheathed glass threads to transmit light.
They design cabling systems that connect the network, and also run the cables. Some technicians specialize in installing the cable while others specialize in trouble-shooting.
They may also be responsible for responding to homes and businesses when services go down. These technicians work in commercial and residential settings and may work indoors or outdoors.
- Install fiber optic cables, including in trenches and difficult-to-reach places
- Inspect and repair cables
- Create networking plans and install equipment
- Test and troubleshoot lines and networking equipment for signal strength
Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent for entry-level positions. Technical schools and community colleges offer one- and two-year programs focusing on electronics, telecommunications and computer technology. Some employers provide apprenticeships, which consist of technical training and on-the-job training.
Although not required, certification is available from several associations and may be beneficial for advancement. For example, the Fiber Optic Association (FOA) offers different levels of certification through approved schools.
- Are good at troubleshooting
- Like creating plans or layouts and then executing them
- Are good with hand tools
- Enjoy working outdoors
- Are not bothered by heights or confined spaces