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.