Sitting in their comfy office, cheerfully using the latest in technology and computers, or even just an electric typewriter and calculator, most worker don't realize what's all around them. Hidden in the walls, behind the plaster and paint, is a veritable spider's web of wires that hook up not only their computers, but telephones, TVs and just about every other communications device there is. Without all that wiring, we'd be down to snail mail and the town crier. Keeping these systems in top form is the domain of the telecommunications analyst.
At his or her core, a telecommunications analyst is a technician who is responsible for a company's telecommunications systems. Because of the vastness of the field, they are forced to specialize in four main sectors: wired, wireless, satellite and other. It's a field that is going through incredible change almost every day thanks to the introduction of such devices as smart phones, notepads and more.
In the corporate world, they are tasked with the acquisition, installation, modification and upgrading of a company or agency's communications systems. They do not create the content that's being communicated, but they have a say in how this content is delivered, from landline through over-the-air. While your typical phone repairman can get away with just a high school degree and job certification, most analysts have gone on to get BS degrees, primarily in electrical engineering or computer science.
Those interested in the field should come in with strong math, science and similar analytical backgrounds. They should look for an in-person or online college that has a strong engineering and/or computer science program. They should also sit down with a career advisor as this is considered a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field, and is open to more than the usual financial aid opportunities.
From there, most employers tend to be located in urban areas, where there is the most such equipment. They usually end up working for one of two ends of the industry; the communications provider - such as a telephone or a cable company, or the end user - such as a major corporation or agency.
The salary range does tend to be wide, and much dependent on what sector of the industry this professional winds up working in. The average wage is about $69,000 a year. Still, the typical Bell curve on salary ranges from the low 40s up to over $100,000 a year.
There is currently a lot of change also going on in the profession. The industry is moving away from copper-based wiring to fiber optics. Public radio bandwidth is also moving away from analog to digital. If that isn't enough, satellite communications is still a growing sector. This is making many telecommunications analysts set up an online college subscription in order to stay on top of their particular specialty.