Telecommunications and network engineers design, implement and trouble-shoot the infrastructure and systems that enable us to make telephone calls, access the internet, and receive TV and radio broadcasts. They generally work for telecommunications companies such as Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees, or for television and radio broadcasting organisations.
Telecommunications engineers need both electronics and information technology skills, for example, to work out the best place to put a new cell phone tower or figure out which design that requires the smallest amount of new cable to be laid.
Network engineers specialise in the planning and development of computer networks that support voice, data, video and wireless network services, and may have a qualification in either engineering or information technology. There’s a lot of overlap with network administrators, who may concentrate on the day-to-day maintenance of the network whereas network engineers are involved in designing and developing networks.
Telecommunications engineers are different to line mechanics and telecommunications technicians: they’re the people who install, maintain and repair the lines and electronic equipment that make up the physical network.
Increased spending on telecommunications networks, in particular the roll-out of high speed broadband and changes in the way we use mobile technologies, mean that there are growing opportunities for people with skills in telecommunication and network engineering.
Telecommunications and network engineers in New Zealand generally earn:
$45-60,000 starting salary
Key tertiary qualifications:
Alternatively you may be able to train on the job as part of an apprenticeship programme, completing a National Certificate in Telecommunications (Level 3).
Recommended and required school subjects:
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