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Cable-Television Technician


Description

Imagine someone in the middle of watching the cliffhanging season finale of their favorite television show, when all of a sudden all they see is salt and pepper! The cable goes out and they are devastated because they miss the end of the show! What do they do? Most people cannot fix their television on their own. Often times, they need a cable-television technician to come to their house or the nearby cable box to do the maintenance work and restore their cable television. Cable-television technicians install, service and repair cable-television wiring and related digital equipment in building and houses.

When cable television technicians come onto a scene, keep in mind that they must tackle each problem head on. They will check for different problems like loose parts, electrical shortages, frayed electrical cords, unusual vibrations or noises. Technicians often disassemble the appliance to look inside for signs of wear and tear or another problem. When they have found the mishap, technicians estimate the time and cost of the repairs. With the customers approval, they replace and repair parts using hand tools to do the majority of the repairs.

When it comes to the cable television, technicians do house calls. Since cable is directly wired into someone's house or apartment building, they need to be fixed on the spot. In fact, most cable companies even have their own service and repair people who are specifically trained to fix their cable services and products.

There will always be a need for cable television technicians, until the day cable no longer exists (if that ever happens). Since things always seem to break down and average people do not know how to fix their cable, technicians are still important people in the lives of cable television watchers. Nevertheless, advances in digital cable and computer chips are helping the lifespan of such machines. Therefore, cable television technicians must keep up-to-date with fast changes in today's cable world.
 
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  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
n/a
 
Median Salary:
$49,610
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
n/a

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in working as a cable-television technician? They need good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity, as well as a mechanical aptitude. Most enjoy paying careful attention to details, and they like solving difficult problems on their own. They can work both individually or in a team and should always be open to suggestions. Finally, cable-television technicians should be interested in keeping up to date with changing technology and constantly learning as much as possible in their approach to each task they undertake.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Determine why the cable is not working by getting a description of the problem from the customer, checking the appliance and troubleshooting for the most likely causes
  • Diagnose faults by checking controls, condensers, timer sequences, fans and other components using test equipment
  • Repair cable in the customer's home on a service call or in a repair shop
  • Replace components and subcomponents and reassemble cable using hand tools and other equipment
  • Consult manufacturers' service manuals and bulletins when the cause of the problem is not readily apparent, and use specialized tools and testing devices to locate the source of the problem
  • Disassemble the cable box, clean all internal parts, replace any faulty or worn parts, reassemble the appliance, and test it to be sure it is working properly
  • Answer customers' questions, give cost estimates, advise customers on correct appliance use and care, and demonstrate the proper operation of cable
  • Prepare work orders, complete the necessary reports for billing, and maintain records for parts inventories and future service calls
  • A typical day for a cable-television technician varies since they are always working on different products. They often work alone with little supervision, either in people's houses or in a shop. Therefore, they may have to drive a truck with an inventory of parts and tools and travel to customers' homes. Most generally work about 40 hours per week, with longer hours consisting of emergencies or at busy times of the year. Physically, most are in good shape as installing and servicing large appliances may involve heavy lifting, stooping and reaching.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Cable-television technicians work for cable, digital and satellite television companies, appliance dealers, independent appliance service companies, department stores, and appliance manufacturers' service departments.

  Long Term Career Potential  
What does the future hold for cable-television technicians? Those employed in larger organizations may become specialists, or they may advance to supervisory positions within that organization. Some may choose to start their own independent appliance service companies or appliance sales and service outlets. They may also become factory service representatives employed by manufacturers, supervising authorized repair depots in a particular region or working in sales. Some may choose to take their skills and apply them to related occupations, like electronic technician, or small engine repair.
 

  Educational Paths  
Cable-television technicians typically require completion of secondary school and completion of a college program in electronics or, a combination of college, correspondence or industry courses related to electronics and electrical systems and on-the-job training or, completion of a four-year CATV technician apprenticeship program.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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