Career Profile: Communications...

Career Profile: Communications Equipment Operators

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Have you ever been talking with someone on the phone when the sound suddenly cut out? Maybe you were listening to the radio or watching television when it stopped working. Those situations are frustrating, but communications equipment operators can help. These people have an important role in helping people to communicate with each other over long or short distances.

Communications equipment operators install and maintain equipment for radio and satellite communication, as well as maintaining records for their work. When something goes wrong, they investigate to find the problem and then repair or replace the equipment. Many people in this field work for radio or television stations, but others work for the military or other agencies.

Depending on the job, communications equipment operators might do most of their work in offices. However, outdoor work might be required in some cases, especially when repairs need to be done. Being able to work in the cold, rain, or heat is very important. Many people in this job work regular hours, but others might work at special events in the evenings or on weekends. Troubleshooting can also happen at odd hours.

Some communications equipment operators work with very complicated machines, including communications systems, computers, weapons systems, and even vehicles. They may be responsible for developing the communications systems or they might work with a system that is already in place. Having a good knowledge of computer coding, applications, and troubleshooting is useful.

Educational requirements for communications equipment operators vary. A high school diploma is normally the basic requirement. High school students can begin to prepare for this job with English and mathematics courses, besides anything related to communication or technology.

Most employers provide short-term on-the-job training. Some people in this trade take courses to get a certificate that takes a year or two to complete. The certificate includes practical training, as well as courses to teach students about the theory behind the techniques.

Communications equipment operators can work in a variety of settings. Besides radio, television, and the military, people in this field might be able to find work in schools, career colleges, and even universities. Some jobs might include teaching or working in administration as well as operating communications equipment.

Salaries in this type of work can vary, depending on many factors. Generally, salaries begin at about $50,000 per year and can rise to $71,000. Some people in this job might begin as an assistant to the main communications equipment operator. In this case, they are likely to receive a relatively lower salary than others. Job prospects vary with the economy and location, but at least some work is likely to be available in this field. Large cities like Toronto or Vancouver which have movie industries are the best places to find work, although opportunities are also available elsewhere.

The ability to concentrate is important in this job since it often involves listening carefully to the people who are talking and adjusting the equipment for background noise, louder or softer voices, or anything else that might affect the quality of the sound. If the recording includes video, communications equipment operators also need to adjust the settings for different levels of light.

Working as a communications equipment operator is not usually physically difficult, although it can be tiring if a recording session takes a long time. However, as people age, their hearing and vision can begin to fail, and they might find the work too hard to continue. For many people, however, working as a communications equipment operator can be a good career choice.



Career Planner. “Communications Equipment Operator.” https://job-descriptions.careerplanner.com/Communications-Equipment-Operators-All-Other.cfm.

College Grad. “Communications Equipment Operators (All Other).” https://collegegrad.ca/careers/communications-equipment-operators-other.

Glassdoor. Equipment Operator Salaries in Canada. https://www.glassdoor.ca/Salaries/equipment-operator-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm.

Indeed. “Communications Operator Salary in Canada.” https://ca.indeed.com/career/communications-operator/salaries.

Zippia. “What Is a Communications Equipment Operator and How to Become One.” https://www.zippia.com/communications-equipment-operator-jobs/.

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