Career Profile: Network Cabling Specialist
Every day, people use computers, televisions, phones, and other devices for work or entertainment, or to communicate with each other. Without the work of network cabling specialists, none of that would be possible.
When you use a cell phone, you see only a small part of the structure behind the technology. Cell phone towers, cables for landlines, and wires for Internet connections, and many other cables and wires are part of what makes it possible to use all of these machines. Network cabling specialists install wires and cables that these systems need to function.
Becoming a network cabling specialist takes a combination of training and work experience. A high school education is a requirement for many jobs, and courses are also available at post-secondary schools like the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Ontario’s Humber College.
An apprenticeship takes about two and a half years, with four thousand hours of on-the-job training and another six hundred hours of classroom study. Through this training, aspiring network cabling specialists learn to install cables and the infrastructure necessary for keeping the systems working. Sometimes this involves splicing cables together and troubleshooting when things go wrong.
Working as a network cabling specialist requires the use of both hand and power tools. People in this field label the cables, test them, and record their findings. Often, people find employers willing to train them, and once they are ready, they take a certification test to get their journeyperson status. Salaries in this field can vary widely, but generally they start at about $44,000 per year and can rise to about $85,000.
Network cabling specialist jobs are available in almost every part of the country. More jobs are likely to be available in large cities than in small towns, but even towns and rural communities need network connections, and jobs are likely to be available there, as well. Making connections with companies that do this kind of work can be good for taking care of the future. Taking courses in mathematics or business methods can help, especially for people who want to start their own companies.
Working conditions depend on many factors, including the size of the company where people work. Working alone is a possibility, but many people work in an established company. Both indoor and outdoor work are part of the job, and people in this field should be prepared for dealing with bad weather, possibly even snow, cold, or rain. Working hours in this field can be unpredictable, although customers generally make appointments except in emergencies. When these emergencies happen or when many people need new connections, network cabling specialists might need to work in the evenings or on weekends.
Generally, the work of a network cabling specialist is not very physically difficult, but it can be tiring. Often, it involves bending down to work with small wires while trying to avoid breaking or tearing anything. Network cabling specialists have to work carefully to make sure that they make as few mistakes as possible. Being able to work with others is important, as well as dealing with the public. If that describes you, why not check it out?
College of Trades. “Network Cabling Specialist.” https://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/TFS_Network_Cabling_Specialist-_Oct2015.pdf.
Humber College. “Network Cabling Specialist Apprenticeship.”
Network Telecom. “What Do Network Cabling Specialists Do & How to Become One.” http://network-telecom.com/what-do-network-cabling-specialists-do-how-to-become-one/.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. “Network Wiring and Troubleshooting.” http://www.nait.ca/course_cctm116.htm.