How to Become a Cable Technician

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Cable television and related telecommunications services are an aspect of everyday life. Cable technicians are trained professionals that install, maintain, and repair a variety of cable systems.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does a cable technician do?

Cable technicians perform a variety of installation, maintenance, and repair tasks of many different types of cable systems including cable television and cable modems for Internet services. They install drop lines and feeder lines. Drop lines only allow cable access to one residence and feeder lines provide cable access to several locations. Cable technicians also install the necessary upgrades and respond to service problems. They strive to keep cable systems operating in an efficient manner and they perform a variety of preventative maintenance tasks such as periodically electronically scanning cable systems. They aim to catch small problems early to prevent major problems in cable service at a later time. Cable technicians run a variety of tests to diagnose the sources of problems. They often test each component of equipment to find the problem area. They use a variety of hand tools to perform repairs. They often repair cable lines, cable poles, and amplifiers. Cable technicians also repair electrical malfunctions that occur in cable systems.

What kind of training does a cable technician need?

Cable technicians must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with some postsecondary training and related work experience. Some vocational and technical schools offer programs in cable technology. Prospective cable technicians often complete courses in electronics, electrical engineering, physics, and telecommunications installation. Many cable technicians begin their careers in entry-level positions such as cable television installers to gain practical experience. Many cable companies provide on the job training that provides instruction to new technicians on how to maintain equipment. New technicians often shadow experienced workers before working independently. Cable technicians complete continuing education and additional training as needed throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a cable technician?

Employment of cable technicians is expected to experience little or no change from 2008 to 2018 (1).

Job prospects are expected to be fair. Cable technicians with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will result from the need to replace cable technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do cable technicians make?

As of March 2010, the average annual salary for cable technicians is $38,000; average annual cable technician salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a cable technician is a great choice for people with a strong interest in installing and repairing a variety of cable equipment. Cable technicians must have a solid understanding of the concepts and techniques of cable installation and repair. Manual dexterity, mathematical aptitude, and good problem solving are necessary characteristics. Cable technicians must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work independently.

Joshua T Osborne

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