When people think of the communication industry, and the jobs within it, they usually think of broadcasters, cell phone providers, and cameramen and women. But, there are so many jobs hidden below the surface that make every facet of communication possible. These are the unseen, behind the scene, and little known about career fields that are an integral part of making sure the word remains at our finger tips.
Radio Frequency (RF) engineer- The work of an RF engineer is found within every area of communications that works with radio waves. This field includes cell phones, Wi-Fi, radios, two-way radios and more. There are two specialties for the RF engineer, the first is the generation of signals that go to and from transmission systems to communication electronics. The second specialty is providing the coverage and controlling its dispersion with transmission systems. The must have a deep knowledge of physics, electronics, mathematics, and wave propagation.
Tower climbers- Mostly known for climbing up towers to do repairs, tower climbers are involved in all of the maintenance, construction, deconstruction, and preventative maintenance of a tower. They must be educated in engineering, proper climbing techniques, safety guidelines and much more. The also must understand how RF waves work, as exposure can be life endangering, and of course, they must lack a fear of heights.
Telecommunication Engineer- This is a branch of electrical engineering that focuses on bringing together electrical engineering and computer science. They design circuitry which allows communications equipment to effectively read and be read by computer systems. A telecomm engineer oversees the installation of copper wire, fiber optics, and the electronic switching systems which they have often designed. They must work closely with the account and project managers to ensure that the designs they create are cost effective and will work with the holistic view of the project.
Quality Control Engineer- These people oversee nearly every step of the material manufacturing process. The QC Engineer must make sure that all the materials used are of the required quality and that the steps and installation methods used maintain the original quality. This person is the one who makes it their job to minimize defects of any given product. Other factors that must be accounted for are cost, productivity, and quality, they will look for the least expensive yet still viable products to use. They need an understanding of all the other areas of the communication field in order to make the decisions.
Site Acquisition Manager- There is a lot more to this job then just finding a spot for a tower and buying it. The site acquisition manager looks at the element exposure of a site, the price, how the location will aid the signal of other towers in the area and if these factors make it the prime location. There is a complex interplay of factors within their job and site selection.
These jobs may not be in the spotlight, but without them and other jobs like them, communications as we know it could not exist. The people who take on these careers have a great deal of responsibility and often require years of training and education.