Job Prospects... At a glance
Job prospects as a telecommunication s technician are currently quite good due in part to government investment in ultra-fast broadband (due for completion in 2019). Demand is expected to start tailing off slightly after 2019. The income for this occupation is above average.
Telecommunications technicians install, maintain and repair electronic communications equipment in telecommunication networks and internet supply systems.
According to the latest information from the New Zealand and Australian online job ads, some of the top skills employers look for include:
Source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight™ Real-time Labor Market Information tool
To become a telecommunications technician you need to complete a telecommunications apprenticeship and gain a National Certificate in Telecommunications (Level 3 or 4).
|National Certificate in Telecommunications - Level 3 (Apprenticeship|
|$6,200 over one year|
Average costs in 2018 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for fees-free tertiary education for their first year of study, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to feesfree.govt.nz. Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.
Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.
Telecommunications apprenticeships can be done through the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation (Connexis) and The Skills Organisation.
The New Zealand Apprenticeships scheme is available for anyone over the age of 16, and is subsidised by the government. More information on the scheme is available on the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) website.
The Skills Organisation: skills.org.nz
Employers may require telecommunications technicians to become registered electrical service technicians with the Electrical Workers Registration Board.
The number of students completing a Level 4 Certificate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Tech has been steady over the last few years, apart from a peak of 400 in 2013. The number of graduates has stayed over 200 in the years since then.
Qualification completions chart
Source: Ministry of Education
In 2017, the average income for telecommunications trades workers was around $58,500. However, income is highly variable, and depends on a person’s qualifications and area of specialisation:
|Estimated Average Income|
Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index
Telecommunications trades workers’ employment
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are for the broader category “Electronics and Telecommunications Trades Workers”
Employment for telecommunication trades workers grew from 2006 to 2013. This growth is projected to continue but at a slower rate until 2021. After 2021, a small decrease in employment is expected until 2026.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections
|Overseas||In further study||Receiving a benefit||In employment||Median Salary|
Source: Tertiary Education Commission.
*Three years after completion of L4 Certificate - Electrical & Electronic Engineer & Tech.
Most people are in employment three years after graduating with a level 4 Certificate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology. Some are overseas, and very few are in further education. The median salary is around $64,000 three years after graduating.
The job of electrical linesworker appears on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage lists. Electronic equipment trades worker, cabler (data and telecommunications), telecommunications cable jointer, and telecommunications technician are on the immediate skill shortage list (all regions). If a job appears on the lists, it means the government is actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in New Zealand. A full list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website. Other occupations related to telecommunications trades workers are not on the skill shortage lists.
Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
Online vacancies for telecommunication trades workers have started to grow again after a dip.
Jobs advertised chart
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Vacancies for telecommunications trades workers are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs and Seek websites.
Telecommunication trades workers may be promoted to senior technician or management roles.
The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level telecommunication trades workers.
More information on telecommunications trades workers is available on the Careers New Zealand website and through the "Just the Job" videos.
The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.
The occupation of telecommunication trades workers has been coded to the following ANZSCO codes for the purpose of this report:
342211 – Electrical Linesworker (Aus) / Electrical Line Mechanic (NZ)
3423 – Electronics Trades Workers
3424 – Telecommunications Trades Workers