Getting your dream job: Communications Engineer

Communications engineers are responsible for the research, design, development and production of communications equipment and systems. Employers seek committed, business-minded candidates with strong technical abilities.

What does a communications engineer do?

Communications engineers design and modify electrical communications systems for scientific, military, industrial or commercial use. The level of in-depth technical and design work varies; after a few years of experience many communications engineers will start to move into managerial and consultancy roles.

Responsibilities typically include:

  • managing, monitoring the performance of and working as part of a team of communication engineers and planners
  • agreeing project budgets, timescales and specifications with clients and managers
  • undertaking site surveys
  • producing, testing and implementing designs
  • creating test procedures
  • producing disaster management plans
  • ensuring that objectives and deadlines are met
  • attending conferences and briefings on new products and networks
  • writing reports and documentation
  • making presentations
  • managing resources
  • liaising with suppliers, customers, directors and other teams of staff
  • undertaking relevant research
  • analysing and interpreting data
  • providing technical support
  • organising and attending meetings.

Typical employers of communications engineers:

Most communications engineers work for telecommunications companies and manufacturers and installers of communication devices and systems. Self-employment via consultancy/contract work is possible for individuals with several years’ experience.

Qualifications and training required:

Most communications engineers possess a good honors degree in a relevant subject, such as communications engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering, physics, telecommunications or computer science. A postgraduate qualification can also be helpful, and may be necessary for research positions. 

Employers seek committed, business-minded candidates with strong technical abilities. 


  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • organisational and managerial skills
  • presentation skills
  • the ability to work well under pressure
  • teamworking skills.

Recommended IBDP subjects needed to apply to university to study communications engineering:

Math HL. Physics HL or SL.