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Telecommunications

Overview

The telecommunications technology sector involves the process of spreading the flow of information.

Sectors in the industry

Telecommunications covers the meeting of technologies across a number of industry areas, including telecommunications, sustainable networks, IP networks, optical and radio networks, mesh networks, cloud networks, information technology and digital media.

  • Digital and IP Networking
  • Transmission
  • Wireless
  • Radio Frequency (RF) & Optical Communications
  • Switching
  • Cabling
  • Media and Internet Protocol (IP) Networks

Source: PwC’s Skills for Australia Information and Communications Technology 4-year Work Plan, September 2016

Employer profile for the industry

There are about 1,000 employers in the telecommunications sector. Less than 100 of those employers employ more than 20 people.

Source: ABS, Counts of Australian Businesses, Jun 2012 to Jun 2016

There are three major companies in the Australian telecommunications services industry, together making up about 70 per cent of the industry of $42 billion annual revenue and 75,000 workers.

Source: PwC’s Skills for Australia Information and Communications Technology 4-year Work Plan, September 2016

96,000 people work in the telecommunications sector, and this number is expected to increase by 6.6% to 102,800 by 2020.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business Industry Projections - Five Years to November 2020.

Typical features of the workforce

Telecommunication technology workers are likely to either work as contractors or be embedded in a large telecommunication company.

Telecommunications Trades Workers install, maintain and repair data transmission equipment.  There are 22,300 trades workers in employment, and this number is expected to rise to 25,100 by 2020. They are almost all male and 89% of work is full-time. The most common level of education attainment is Certificate III or IV.

Telecommunications Technical Specialists develop, monitor and carry out technical support functions for telecommunications networks and install computer equipment, computer systems and other communication systems. There are 3,300 technical specialists in employment, and this number is expected to rise to 4,000 by 2020. Women make up 9% of the workforce, and most work is full-time. The most common level of education attainment is Certificate III or IV.

Telecommunications Engineering Professionals design, construct, install, service and support telecommunications equipment, systems and facilities. There are 9,600 engineering professionals in employment, and this number is expected to rise to 9.800 by 2020. Women make up 14% of the workforce, and most work is full-time. The most common level of education attainment is Bachelor Degree.

Source: Australian Government Job Outlook Website

Emerging sectors, future growth

  • The overall telecoms services revenue reached over $42 billion in 2016.
  • The overall market is predicted to grow at a stronger rate in 2017.
  • Strongest market growth is coming from the second tier providers.
  • Telstra still dominates the local telco landscape with around 60% overall market share.
  • Telstra’s market share is however gradually declining.
  • Prices for fixed-line and mobile voice services are being driven down by competition among operators.

Source: Budde Comms

Jobs in Demand

The Skill Shortage List Australia, Department of Jobs and Small Business, reports a shortage of telecommunications trades workers. It notes that employers have marked difficulty recruiting telecommunications trades workers who meet their skill needs. Those in regional areas attract very few candidates and shortages are most prominent in these areas

Licensed occupations and registrations

The installation and maintenance of customer premises cabling or wiring may only be undertaken by a registered cabling provider. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for regulating and monitoring telecommunications customer cabling.

Under the ACMA registration there are three types of registrations – Open, Restricted and Lift. To work in both commercial and domestic premises, a cabler will require Open registration. To work only in domestic premises, a cabler will require a restricted registration.

Want to look in detail at some major sectors in this industry?

Information Technology

Key Occupations

Telecommunications Technicians

Telecommunications Linesworkers

Telecommunications Technical Specialist

This industry is positioned in the following groups

Industry

Information Technology, Graphic Arts & Telecommunications

Work Type

Practical & Manual

Analytic & Scientific

Ready to see where Telecommunications can take you?

Career Pathways

Telecommunications has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the ICT Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quiz

This resource illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in this sector.

Download The Quiz

Support Services

Further Research

Information

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 

Industry

  • Communications Alliance
  • Australian Information Industry Association
  • Budde Comm
  • National Broadband Network (NBN) Co
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • BICSI South Pacific Ltd

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