Telecommunication Engineers design and develop telecommunications systems, devices and products.
Designs, builds, configures and commissions devices, networks and systems and ensures systems interconnect with equipment from different manufacturers, service providers and users.
Compiles proposals to define goals, identifies scope, background and need, and ascertains cost of the proposal.
Evaluates and procures new products and services.
Ensures compliance with laws, regulations, policies and procedures in the provision of systems.
Selects and develops new sites by locating sites, filing, drawing up, and drafting drawings, and following through to approval.
Determines appropriate configurations of hardware and software, ensuring desired performance of equipment.
Prepares and interprets specifications, drawings and regulations for the use of equipment.
Determines the type and arrangement of circuits, transformers, circuit-breakers, transmission lines and equipment.
Identifies and analyses problems and needs of existing systems, to determine the most appropriate means of reducing, eliminating and avoiding current and future problems and improve communications.
Monitors systems to assess need for updates, upgrades, enhancements, preventive maintenance and new systems.
Assesses performance levels of system hardware and software to project future needs, and develops short and long-terms plans for updating equipment, adding capabilities, enhancing existing systems and providing improved telecommunications.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Telecommunications Engineering Professionals, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 95% of people employed as Telecommunications Engineers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 29 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Telecommunications Engineers work in industries like:
- Information media and telecommunications
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Wholesale trade
- Public administration and safety.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Telecommunications Engineers||All Jobs Average|
Around 88% of Telecommunications Engineers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Melbourne - South East
- Sydney - Parramatta
- Sydney - Ryde
- Melbourne - Inner.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Telecommunications Engineers is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 9% of the workforce. This is 39 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Telecommunications Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.9||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor or postgraduate degree in engineering with a major in telecommunications is usually needed to work as a Telecommunications Engineer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Information and Communications Technology VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Telecommunications Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||25.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.1||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Telecommunications Engineering Professionals who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
54%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
50%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Talking to others.
48%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Teaching people how to do something.
Looking for ways to help people.
45%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
73%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
70%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
61%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
61%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
53%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
46%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
43%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
42%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
41%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
41%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
38%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
37%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
35%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Read and understand written information.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
50%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
45%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
See details that are far away.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
84%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
77%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
72%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
71%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
71%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
70%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
69%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
69%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
68%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
68%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
67%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
66%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
65%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
63%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
61%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
59%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
58%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
57%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
52%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Use electronic mail.
Talk on the telephone.
Talk with people face-to-face.
88%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
86%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work with people in a group or team.
82%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
81%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
81%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Work to strict deadlines.
77%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
77%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
73%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
72%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
69%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
67%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
63%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 15-1143.01 - Telecommunications Engineering Specialists.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.