How to Become a Headend Technician

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The cable television industry provides services to millions of people around the world. Headend technicians are specially trained workers that install and maintain a variety of cable television networks.


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 headend technician do?

Headend technicians are responsible for the reception and distribution of cable television networks. They install, maintain, and repair the necessary headend and signal distribution equipment. They also monitor the audio and video quality of services and troubleshoot potential problems. They perform checks of quality control and other preventative maintenance tasks in the hub and headend sites. Headend technicians gather and analyze engineering documentation such as fiber management systems, schematics, and performance analysis reports. They use a variety of tools such as hammers, electric drills, wrenches, and screwdrivers. They are responsible for maintaining tools and equipment to ensure they are in proper working condition. They organize repair records on tools and equipment.

What kind of training does a headend technician need?

Headend technicians must have at least a high school diploma, but most employers prefer candidates with at least an associate degree in electronics or other related field. Many colleges and universities offer a variety of programs in electronics. Some headend technicians start out in entry-level positions and advance to technician positions as they gain experience. Most employers provide new headend technicians with on the job training that can include formal classroom instruction in communication systems, electronics, and software. New technicians typically start out assisting experienced employees and performing simple tasks. They move on to more advanced duties as they gain the necessary experience. Headend technicians complete additional training as needed throughout their careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.

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

Employment of headend technicians is expected to experience little or no change in employment from 2008 to 2018 (1). The increase in automation and the improvement in technology will limit job growth.

Job prospects should be good especially for headend technicians with advanced training and extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace headend technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do headend technicians make?

As of March 2010, the average annual salary for headend technicians is $39,000; average annual headend technician salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a headend technician is a great choice for people with a strong interest in the installation and maintenance of cable television systems. Headend technicians must have a solid understanding of a variety of cable television systems and networks. Mechanical ability, good vision, excellent problem solving, and good organizational skills are necessary characteristics. Headend technicians must have good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively as part of a team as well as independently. They must be able to work in many different weather conditions

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