A telecommunications engineer is involved in the planning, design, commissioning and monitoring of telecommunications networks. A telecommunications engineer is responsible for a broad range of telecommunications equipment from complex electronic switching systems through to telephone systems and fibre optics.
A telecommunications engineer has an in-depth knowledge of the telecommunications industry. A telecommunications engineer may work autonomously and will often work on systems and equipment that are new and complex. As with most engineers telecommunications engineers are often expected to provide the best solution for the lowest cost to the organisation. This often calls for the identification of creative solutions to problems.
An important responsibility of a telecommunications engineer is keeping records of the equipment and facilities the company is using.
A telecommunications engineer exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the Leadership competencies for Queensland.
Within the SFIA profile, the telecommunications engineer has level 4 and 5 capabilities, i.e. enables, ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.
Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.
SFIA skill code
SFIA skill level of responsibility
SFIA skills level descriptor
Takes responsibility for understanding client requirements, collecting data, delivering analysis and problem resolution. Identifies, evaluates and recommends options, implementing if required. Collaborates with, and facilitates stakeholder groups, as part of formal or informal consultancy agreements. Seeks to fully address client needs, enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of client personnel, by ensuring that proposed solutions are properly understood and appropriately exploited.
Actively maintains recognised expert level knowledge in one or more identifiable specialisms. Provides definitive and expert advice in their specialist area(s). Oversees the provision of specialist advice by others, consolidates expertise from multiple sources, including third party experts, to provide coherent advice to further organisational objectives. Supports and promotes the development and sharing of specialist knowledge within the organisation.
Emerging technology monitoring
Monitors the external environment to gather intelligence on emerging technologies. Assesses and documents the impacts, threats and opportunities to the organisation. Creates reports and technology roadmaps and shares knowledge and insights with others.
Systems installations / decommissioning
Undertakes routine installations and de-installations of items of hardware and/or software. Takes action to ensure targets are met within established safety and quality procedures, including, where appropriate, handover to the client. Conducts tests of hardware and/or software using supplied test procedures and diagnostic tools. Corrects malfunctions, calling on other experienced colleagues and external resources if required. Documents details of all hardware/software items that have been installed and removed so that configuration management records can be updated. Develops installation procedures and standards, and schedules installation work. Provides specialist guidance and advice to less experienced colleagues to ensure best use is made of available assets, and to maintain or improve the installation service.
Radio frequency engineering
Develops maintenance schedules and procedures. Approves equipment upgrades and modifications. Monitors system performance, recommends equipment modifications and changes to operating procedures, servicing methods and schedules.
Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.
Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:
- Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
- Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
- Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
- Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
- Chief executive (leads the organisation).
When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
Anyone wishing to be employed as a telecommunications engineer will need to have a degree level qualification. Typically, this qualification would be a Bachelor of Engineering with a major in electrical or telecommunications engineering.
To gain entry to one of these courses it is expected that applicants with have completed year 12 and have completed studies in Mathematics B, Mathematics C, Physics and Chemistry at a minimum. Each university has their own entry requirements, applicants are advised to contact individual universities for course entry details.