Telecommunications engineering, or telecom engineering, is a major field within electronic engineering. The work ranges from basic circuit design to strategic mass developments. A telecommunication engineer is responsible for designing and overseeing the installation of telecommunications equipment and facilities, such as complex electronic switching systems, copper telephone facilities, and fiber optics. Telecom engineering also overlaps heavily with broadcast engineering.
Telecommunication is a diverse field of engineering including electronics, civil, structural, and electrical engineering, as well as being a political and social ambassador, a little bit of accounting and a lot of project management. Ultimately, telecom engineers are responsible for providing the method for customers to have telephone and high-speed data services.
Telecom engineers use a variety of equipment and transport media available from a multitude of manufacturers to design the telecom network infrastructure. The most common media, often referred to as plant in the telecom industry, used by telecommunications companies today are copper, coaxial cable, fiber, and radio.
Telecom engineers are often expected, as most engineers are, to provide the best solution possible for the lowest cost to the company. This often leads to creative solutions to problems that often would have been designed differently without the budget constraints dictated by modern society. In the earlier days of the telecom industry massive amounts of cable were placed that were never used or have been replaced by modern technology such as fiber optic cable and digital multiplexing techniques.
Telecom engineers are also responsible for keeping the records of the companies’ equipment and facilities and assigning appropriate accounting codes for purposes of taxes and maintenance. As telecom engineers responsible for budgeting and overseeing projects and keeping records of equipment, facilities and plant the telecom engineer is not only an engineer but an accounting assistant or bookkeeper (if not an accountant) and a project manager as well.