Telecommunications Engineer How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

Telecommunications are the backbone of every major business operation on the planet. All that hardware and software needs to be upgraded, optimized, repaired, and troubleshooted by someone. Companies need experts to install phones, routers, run network cables, and set up servers.

Telecom engineers are a vital component of the telecom industry. They are responsible for the design and implementation of communication systems and analyze and test current systems to ensure they meet current requirements or for future-proofing. Additionally, they resolve client issues and work to resolve any system errors, and help provide remote resolution to issues.

These engineers will typically have excellent attention to detail and problem-solving skills. They’ll possess strong calculation and math skills, alongside solid interpersonal skills in environments where they’ll be discussing a variety of topics with a variety of people.

Sample job description #1

The Telecommunications Engineer expert will provide guidance in the initial high-level solution design of multiple voice/data networks from a technology perspective. They will assist with the translation of business requirements into technical requirements, taking into account the existing infrastructure and the need to integrate new and existing technologies. Ensure that a scalable, flexible enterprise voice or data solution is developed that will meet the complex needs of the business.

Day to day activities include telecom/data provisioning, performance tuning, adding networks and links, scripting for automating of tasks, assigning ports, error tracking, data movement, software configurations, product evaluation, and addressing interoperability issues. The position also works as part of a cross-functional team that deals with the full spectrum of technology and will fulfill the role of third level support for telecom network technologies, providing training and direction to other technical staff that perform the bulk of the first and second level support tasks.

  • Plans and coordinates the future state of the Enterprise Telecom/Data networks for ABC Company information management. Designs network solutions that meet the information system vision and strategy of the organization; plans, prioritizes, and manages projects, service requests, and routine assignments
  • Analyzes Voice/Data network configurations for critical corporate resources; develops plans and recommendations to improve the performance and efficiency of the telecom network; addresses all aspects including hardware, software, outside services, etc. and prevents unplanned disruptions of critical systems
  • Integrates system components, subsystems, facilities and services into the existing technical systems environment; assess impact on other systems, and works with other IM associates to ensure a positive impact; installs, configures, and verifies the operation of system components; maintains or improves integration and operation of systems relative to the overall environment; leads or participates as team member in cross-system projects
  • Designs, implements, and oversees a proactive process to collect and report data and statistics on the telecom internetworking environment; ensures the systems operate efficiently and meet the needs of the organization; ensures they are kept at most current stable version/release using vendor-supplied updates and patches; performs research and testing to verify impact of installing all updates; coordinates vendor support and ensures relationship is never jeopardized; monitors performance of all assigned systems, responds to reports of slow or erratic performance; control of all aspects of the network; provides training to IM associates and clients as needed
  • Maintains in-depth knowledge and current certification in data/voice technologies including but not limited to vendor certifications
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Math or related field or equivalent experience (8 years) required
  • Extensive technical knowledge of Voice/Data Networks to include:
  • Experience designing and implementing converged networks which should include the following: IP, ATM, Frame Relay, Gigabit Ethernet, VoIP, and Wireless-based technology
  • Knowledge of traditional and IP products as well as services include telephone systems (Avaya, Cisco), voice mail systems (Octel, Unity), AVAYA call routiong systems, and data communication’s hardware
  • Knowledge of Data Communications concepts and IP Networking
  • Assist in documentation and tracking all Telco network services including Telecom Expense & Inventory Management and all associated functions/processes.
  • Experience with one or more of the following models is desired:
  • WAN Networks: T1, DS3, OC3, ATM,Frame Relay, GB Ethernet
  • Avaya PBX Enterprise Voice Systems – with Call Accounting/Manager
  • One or more of the following certifications required:
  • Telco (Avaya/Cisco) Certified Voice and Data Professional
  • Cisco CCIE, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA, CCVP, CCSP, CISSP
  • Knowledge of local and wide area networking on multiple platforms: Windows, Novell, Unix, Linux, and VMware; network protocols and routing; network, server, and host operating systems; IP networking, internet, and intranet technologies; email, groupware, office automation, and collaboration technologies; voice and/or data communications; voice and/or data networking; Windows desktop OS; server hardware, software, and administration.
  • A total of eight (8) years of experience in large corporate systems environment with a wide variety of Information Management systems, networks and technologies required
  • Minimum of (5) years of experience in telecom network engineering, design, implementation and support of large scale Voice and Data Systems/Networks
  • Prior experience in a health care systems environment is a plus

Sample job description #2

The Telecommunications Engineer is a key member of the ABC Company Telecommunications team. This position must handle multiple assignments in a rapidly changing, fast paced environment with frequent direct interactions with senior management. This position supports multiple departments in various capacities.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide technical support to IT department
  • Perform technical evaluations of systems and projects
  • Address, propose, design software solutions to address complex business needs
  • Prepare technical and procedural documentation required
  • Provide technical guidance and support to colleagues
  • Review coding, testing, and documentation of software
  • Apply modern principles, methods, and tools to business initiatives and capabilities
  • Optimize systems in compliance with the required performance
  • Ensure minimal cost and promote simplification
  • Prepare functional analysis
  • Implement detailed engineering projects (examples: layout, routing, supports, etc.)
  • Support and assist Telecom staff where necessary

Requirements:

  • Minimum of 5 years experience in a hands-on Telecommunications Systems Administration
  • Must have technical knowledge and aptitude in the following areas: VoIP, SIP, digital and analog trunking, LAN, and WAN topology
  • Must have both hardware and software support experience
  • Must have strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Must demonstrate ability to collaborate and contribute as a strong team member, build solid relationships with team members; proactively seek guidance, clarification, and feedback
  • Experience with Jira, Genesys, Call Centers, and databases a plus
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events)
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways
  • Travel if required for duties
  • Keying/typing, sitting, standing, walking, lifting, reaching, and bending
  • Constant mental, visual and auditory attention; the flow of work requires focused, detailed attention, and keying at a computer monitor

Sample job description #3

Responsibilities

As a Telecommunications Engineer in our Electric Grid Infrastructure Services business unit you will:

  • Engage in fast-paced utility client projects to plan, engineer, and design communications solutions to address operational requirements and emerging trends including Smart Grid, Distribution Automation, and Smart Metering
  • Perform radio path studies including path profiles, propagation analysis, link power budgets, coverage studies
  • Recommend, coordinate, and assist in licensing and permitting efforts
  • Develop network architecture designs based on TDM, SONET, IP/MPLS, and other relevant standards
  • Prepare network and channel diagrams and perform timing studies
  • Design fail safe systems with path and equipment redundancies and diversity to serve mission-critical operations with extreme reliability
  • Ensure strict adherence to NERC standards for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP)
  • Stage, configure, and test integrated systems designs, for interoperability and performance consistent with predictive models in our Protection, Automation and Telecommunication Laboratory
  • Specify requirements and provide cost estimates for ancillary support systems including radio towers, outside (fiber) cable plant (typically OPGW & ADSS), DC power, grounding, fiber splice cases and distribution panels, shelters and outdoor enclosures, etc.
  • Coordinate and provide guidance to other engineers, project managers, client personnel, and suppliers to ensure a complete and timely design
  • Develop your career via peer-learning through sharing of knowledge with other experienced engineers by way of ABC Company’s systems of process and associated “Communities of Practice.”
  • Provide guidance as a mentor in the development of less experienced engineers
  • There is the potential for you to travel to client and vendor offices as needed

Essential skills and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications, or Computer Systems Engineering
  • Telecommunications project or systems engineering experience in radio, fiber optics and/or network engineering
  • Familiar with time-division multiplexing (TDM) hierarchy, digital cross-connect switches, channel banks, SONET, IP, ethernet and serial interfaces, wiring/cabling methods, DC power systems, radio towers, electrical substations, link power budgets, path profiles
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications
  • Ability & willingness to travel up to 30%

Valued but not required skills and experience

  • Professional Engineering (P.E.) License
  • Master of Science degree in Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications, or Computer Systems Engineering
  • Experience using radio propagation modeling tools such as EDX Signal Pro and Pathloss
  • Electric utility systems experience, knowledgeable regarding System Protection, ECS/EMS/SCADA/DA, and AMI/AMR
  • Well versed in use of MS Project and Visio
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Familiar with NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards & Cyber-Security
  • CISSP certification
  • Network design credentials, applied knowledge of IP/MPLS

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a telecommunications engineer is $86,700 per year in the United States, with a potential for cash bonuses per year. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education, and geographical location. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$86,200$116,650
Los Angeles, California$97,300 $131,600 
Denver, Colorado$81,050$109,700 
Washington, DC$98,750 $133,600
Miami, Florida$80,700$109,200
Orlando, Florida$74,450$100,700
Tampa, Florida$75,200$101,700 
Atlanta, Georgia$78,850 $106,700
Chicago, Illinois$90,650 $122,650 
Boston, Massachusetts$98,000$132,600
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$78,100 $105,700 
New York City, New York$103,200$139,600
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$84,000 $113,650
Dallas, Texas$81,800$110,700 
Houston, Texas$81,050$109,700
Seattle, Washington$94,350 $127,600 
National Average$73,700 $99,700 

Sample interview questions

  • Have you ever applied new technology to a company? How did it improve?
  • How would you organize, plan, and prioritize your work?
  • Give men an example of a time you solved a problem with outside the box thinking.
  • Would you consider data analytics a strength of yours?
  • When was the last time you went above and beyond? What was the result?
  • Can you describe a time you monitored a problem? What did you do to resolve it?
  • How do you approach large amounts of data that need to be organized?
  • Do you have any programming skills?
  • Would you rather optimize a system or repair it periodically?
  • Would you consider yourself good at walking someone else through a problem to a solution?
  • Can you describe a time you had to deal with a frustrated customer or client? What was the outcome?
  • Can you explain VoIP?
  • Can you describe a time that your observance and attention to detail saved time and trouble?
  • How do you keep up with changes in technology in this field?

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