how to become a satellite systems technician

What does a Satellite Systems Technician do?

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A satellite systems technician works on intricate systems on the ground that are responsible to control a satellite in space or maintain the communications data link with a satellite. They are needed worldwide and work for the government or large corporations. These technicians do not work on equipment for residential purposes. Watch the following video to learn what telecommunications equipment installers and repairers do:

How to Become a Satellite Systems Technician

Step 1: Earn a Degree

To become a satellite systems technician employers are looking to see if you have at least an associate’s degree in electronics, communications, or computer science. Some technicians gain their training and experience by joining the military. People trained by the military can look impressive to an employer as this demonstrates they have in-depth knowledge and experience all in one.

Step 2: Get Certified (Optional)

An employer may also prefer a candidate with a certification from the Satellite Broadcast Communication Association (SBCA). The SBCA has many certifications to choose from. For instance, the Satellite Master Antenna Television Systems Certification (link opens in a new tab) is an online certification program that trains you on the theory of satellite tv and its applications.

Step 3: Gain Experience

At this step you’ll apply for jobs and likely work under an experienced technician. Some employers may require a background check because of access to potentially sensitive data you could access on the job. You may also gain experience in a related field that will help your application as well, such as TV cable/satellite, computer communications, or radiofrequency (RF).

Job Description of a Satellite Systems Technician

how to become a satellite systems technician

Satellite systems technicians can be responsible for a variety of tasks depending on the type of system they are hired to maintain. However, they typically assure reception to the satellite to minimize data loss, maintain antennae operations from 1 meter to 13 meters in diameter, and repair and replaces any defective equipment.

Technicians guarantee data distribution to customers, such as telephone companies, government agencies, and other satellite systems locations. Most employees work indoors, however, some technicians may be required to work outdoors in the instance of a repair of a large antenna. The tools used to perform their job are automated measurement equipment, RF analyzers, and general communication test equipment.

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Career Video Transcript

On a daily basis, businesses and individuals send and receive vast amounts of data through online communications. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers install and service this equipment. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers (also called telecom technicians) set up and maintain equipment that carries communications signals, connects to telephone lines, and accesses the Internet. They also demonstrate and explain the use of equipment to customers and keep records of jobs they’ve completed.

Job tasks for these technicians vary depending on their specialization: central office technicians maintain switches, routers, fiber optic cable, and other equipment at switching hubs, called central offices. “Headend” technicians work at distribution centers for cable and television companies. They monitor cable network signals and maintain networking equipment to ensure proper transmission. Station installers and repairers set up telecommunications equipment in homes and businesses, and troubleshoot equipment problems if they come up.

Most telecom technicians work full-time. At companies that provide services 24/7, shift work is typical, and may include evenings, holidays, and weekends— with some workers on call around the clock. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers typically need technical training in electronics, telecommunications, or computer technology. Courses are usually offered at community colleges and technical schools. For some positions, industry certification is helpful. Once hired, telecom technicians receive on-the-job training.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 49-2022.00. O*NET OnLine. This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. RethinkOldSchool, Inc. has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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