Understanding the different training requirements in broadband

A lucrative and rewarding career in broadband is much closer than many may realize. And while it doesn’t require anything near as expensive as a college degree, it is important to understand the respective training options within various fields that will help set you up for success in this dynamic industry.   

From a “broad” perspective, training can vary a lot sector to sector. Some roles may prioritize understanding physical safety requirements while others may focus more on technical learning (and many may balance both). Regardless of the role, working in broadband can be most rewarding for those who are able to adapt and keep learning with industry changes — and training and certification is a big part of staying up to date.    

Here are some training overviews for various in-demand broadband roles:  

Fiber technicians   

Starting off in fiber optics will often center around gaining practical experience in cable installations, maintenance, troubleshooting and splicing. This may be through entry-level titles such as Fiber Optic Technician Assistants or Junior Fiber Optic Technicians.

Trainees will likely be shadowed by mentors to learn on the job, but it is also important to understand the technology foundations of what fiber is and how it works. This is typically done through training programs geared towards gaining certifications from organizations like the Fiber Optic Association (FOA). Learn more

Tower technicians   

Telecom Tower Technicians, essential for the maintenance and installation of our wireless communication infrastructure like cell towers, typically begin their careers with hands-on roles as well apprenticeship and assistant roles. They may assist in installations, basic tasks and learn about essential safety protocols of the job.   

Apprentices will begin to take on responsibilities like equipment testing and troubleshooting to ascend to a Telecom Tower Technician I (TTT1). Formal training programs and TTT1 certifications like those offered by the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) will also provide essential education for a successful career as a tower tech. Learn more.  

Network technicians

While a Fiber Technician helps service the backbone of broadband connection, Network Technicians manage and maintain the brain-like computer networks of that connection. Entry-level positions, like Network Technician Assistants, involve supporting daily operations and troubleshooting. Junior Network Technicians may advance to responsibilities such as configuring network hardware and assisting with network management.  

Because the role focuses more on the technical network applications of broadband, training programs and certifications may be an even more common pursuit. Established groups offering training and certification include The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Cisco, Juniper networks, the EC-Council and more. They offer education to equip a more comprehensive knowledge of the networks they service. Learn more