Top 10 careers to consider in broadband

Over 42 million people are estimated to still not have access to broadband in the US alone — a figure even greater than previously projected by the FCC. And while the global pandemic catalyzed an already growing demand for broadband access as a household necessity — a gap still remains.   

But closing this gap and bringing broadband access to the unconnected requires a new labor force of over 200,000 broadband workers. From fiber optics to cell tower construction, here are 10 broadband careers currently in demand and worth looking into: 

1. Network Technician: designs, implements and maintains high-speed broadband networks, ensuring optimal performance and reliability to support internet connectivity for homes, businesses and communities. They configure network hardware, troubleshoot issues and collaborate with cross-functional teams to deliver and enhance broadband services. Learn more.  

2. Telecommunications Technician: responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing telecommunications equipment and systems. This may range across a number of fields including fiber optics and wireless broadband methods like cell towers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that openings in this field are expected to grow greatly over the next eight years. 

3. Equipment Operator: operates heavy machinery and equipment to install, maintain and repair broadband infrastructure. Beyond equipment operation, the role requires being a good and open communicator with construction teams for ensuring safety standard compliance and project efficiency.     

4. Trenching Operator or “Trencher”: operates trenching equipment to excavate trenches for burying cables and conduits. These professionals are typically part of construction crews responsible for installing underground infrastructure, such as fiber optic cables, coaxial cables and ductwork to support broadband networks. 

5. Broadband Support (customer service representative): assists customers with technical issues related to broadband services (such as fiber to the home), troubleshoots connectivity problems and provides guidance on solution possibilities. They may also help dispatch technicians to report to that location should the network issue persist. Learn more.

6. Network Architect and Coordinator: designs and plans the architecture of computer networks. The role is crucial in ensuring that network infrastructures meet the requirements of organizations in terms of performance, scalability, reliability and security.  

7. Structural Engineer: designs and assesses the infrastructure needed for supporting broadband networks. Structural engineers may not directly work on the technical aspects of broadband networks, but they are involved in designing the physical structures that support the infrastructure.     

8. Broadband Surveyor: conducts site surveys, collects data and creates maps to assess terrain and plan optimal routes for broadband network deployment. Using software, they create detailed technical drawings and schematics based on survey data to supporting the design, documentation and planning of projects.  

9. Radio Frequency (RF) and Field Engineer: works on designing, optimizing and maintaining radio frequency systems and equipment used in wireless communication networks. 

10. Master Electrician: installs, maintains and troubleshoots electrical systems supporting broadband network equipment, ensuring compliance with safety standards and regulations.