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Communications engineer: Job description

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Communications engineers work within a number of industries, including:

  • internet and computing technologies;
  • networking and telecommunications;
  • radio.

Some engineers concentrate on applying technical knowledge, while others focus on managerial activities. Many posts include elements of both managerial and technical responsibilities.

The technical aspect of the role includes using specialist knowledge to design and deliver solutions, as well as providing technical guidance to others within the employing organisation.

Managerial responsibilities involve planning and managing projects, ensuring that they are delivered on time, within budget and to the agreed standards of quality.

Typical work activities

The technical activities carried out by a communications engineer are likely to include:

  • carrying out site surveys;
  • travelling to meet suppliers, customers and colleagues based in other offices;
  • negotiating product requirements with customers;
  • providing technical guidance to colleagues and other teams;
  • finding creative solutions to the challenges of network design, mobile communications, data service requirements and internet and network signalling protocols;
  • testing theoretical designs;
  • attending conferences and seminars to network and keep up to date with the latest developments in the sector;
  • liaising with internal and external customers;
  • analysing and interpreting data to inform your work;
  • working to tight timescales as part of a high-performing team;
  • arranging process meetings;
  • rewriting or modifying processes to ensure all aspects of the service run smoothly and to schedule.

The management aspects of the work involve:

  • managing projects and attending regular meetings to discuss the best way to move projects forward;
  • participating in conference calls and meetings to discuss products, action plans and team performance;
  • attending briefings on new networks and new products;
  • managing resources, including budgets, physical resources and staff;
  • preparing high-quality written reports and presentations for management and customer review;
  • ensuring that projects are delivered on time, within budget and to agreed standards of quality.

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Written by AGCAS editors
July 2015

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