Telecommunications Engineer Mataaro Whitiwhiti Kōrero

Telecommunications engineers design, test and build telecommunications networks and systems.

Telecommunications engineers may do some or all of the following:

  • analyse customers' telecommunications needs
  • design and update telecommunications equipment and systems
  • build and test prototypes of new equipment
  • test and repair equipment
  • make sure equipment meets regulations
  • give advice on suitable equipment, such as computer servers, and costs
  • supervise the installation and use of telecommunications equipment
  • provide training for users of new equipment
  • prepare and present reports and proposals.

Physical Requirements

Telecommunications engineers need to:

  • have normal colour vision to distinguish between different circuits and cables
  • have steady hands
  • be comfortable working in confined spaces or at heights.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for telecommunications engineers includes:

  • engineering
  • computing
  • telecommunications work.

Personal Qualities

Telecommunications engineers need to be:

  • logical, critical thinkers
  • good at problem solving and decision making
  • good at spoken and written communication
  • disciplined, patient and well organised
  • able to make good judgements and work well under pressure.


Telecommunications engineers need to have:

  • knowledge of electronics, communication systems and mechanics
  • knowledge of engineering methods, technology and industry trends
  • understanding of telecommunications rules and standards
  • design skills, and ability to interpret drawings and designs.


Telecommunications engineers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may also work evenings and weekends, and be on call
  • work in offices and laboratories, and inside or outside at work sites
  • may work at heights, in confined spaces, and in dirty or dusty conditions
  • may travel locally.

Telecommunications Engineers can earn around $60K-$65K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Telecommunications Engineer are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for telecommunications engineers varies depending on experience and what type of work they do.

  • Telecommunications engineers with up to three years' experience usually earn $60,000 to $65,000 a year.
  • Those with three to seven years' experience usually earn $65,000 to $85,000.
  • Telecommunications engineers or managers with over seven years' experience can earn up to $140,000.

Sources: Hays and Potentia, 2020.

Telecommunications engineers may progress into managerial roles.

Years Of Training

2-4 years of training usually required.

To become a telecommunications engineer you need to have a certificate, diploma or degree in telecommunications, electrical and electronic engineering, or computer science.

Some employers offer cadetships, which allow you to study for a qualification while working.

The New Zealand Army offers training for recruits who want to become engineers specialising in telecommunications.

Telecommunications Engineer