cancel
search
Search by IRC, Industry, sector, training package, IRC skills forecast or occupation.

Telecommunications Technology

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Telecommunications Technology sector, which is one component of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. Telecommunications Technology includes cabling, wireless, switching, transmission, radio frequency, optical communications, media and internet protocol networks. Workers in this sector are likely to either work as contractors or to be embedded in a large telecommunications company. This makes it difficult to accurately describe what this workforce is like at an occupational level.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required in the Telecommunications Technology sector for occupations such as:

  • Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
  • Telecommunications Technical Specialists
  • Electronics Trades Workers
  • Telecommunications Trades Workers.

Nationally recognised training for Telecommunications Technology is delivered under the ICT – Information and Communications Technology Training Package and ICT10 – Integrated Telecommunications Training Package.

For information on other ICT sectors, see Digital MediaICT NetworksICT Operations and Support and Programming Software and Web Development.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels for the Telecommunications Services industry group have fluctuated between 2001 and 2021, marked by periods of increases, for example between 2003 and 2006, followed by periods of declining levels, as seen more recently between 2019 and 2021, when the level reached 80,100.  Employment numbers to 2025 are projected to increase slightly to 82,100 (about 2.5%).

The highest proportion of the total workforce in the Telecommunications Services industry group is in the occupation of Telecommunications Trades Workers (almost 13% of the total). Employment projects to 2025 in this occupation is projected to remain stable (less than 1%). The employment growth until 2025 for occupations in this industry sub-sector are projected to be minimal, and are highest for Telecommunications Engineering Professionals at 2%.

Training trends

Training snapshot

After a sharp fall between 2016 and 2017 and again between 2017 and 2018, program enrolments in Telecommunications Technology have since steadily declined from 3,960 in 2018 to 3,650 in 2020. Program completions in this sector followed a similar pattern, falling from a high of approximately 3,110 in 2016 to almost 1,050 in 2019; however, there was a slight increase in 2020 from the previous year. The majority of enrolments in 2020 were at the certificate III level (57%), with 30% at the diploma level or higher.

In 2020, most enrolments were either in (telecommunications) Technology-related qualifications (68%) or (telecommunications) Networks-related qualifications (29%). The most common intended occupations for this sector were Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General) (56%) or Telecommunications Network Engineer (28%).

Almost all training in 2020 was conducted via private training providers (90%). Overall, more than half of the funding for subjects came from Commonwealth and state funding (58%) with both domestic and international fee for service funding approximately 21% each.

Students located overseas made up the highest proportion of program enrolments (30%), followed by students New South Wales (28%), Queensland (20%), and Victoria (13%). New South Wales delivered the highest proportion of training (42%), with Queensland delivering 30% and Victoria 17%.

In 2020, there were 1,000 apprentice and trainee commencements and approximately 550 completions in this sector. Commencement numbers are down from their peak in 2013 of nearly 6,870 but were up slightly compared with 2019 levels. Completion numbers were at their highest in 2014 at approximately 4,330 and have continued to decline.

In 2020, most apprentices and trainees in-training in (telecommunications) Technology-related qualifications had the intended occupation of Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General). The highest proportions of apprenticeships and traineeships were reported in New South Wales (49%), followed by Queensland (18%) and Victoria (17%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Labour Market Information Portal, the top ICT occupations in this industry include Telecommunications Trades Workers, Telecommunications Engineering Professionals, and ICT Managers.

In ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse: Future directions for Australia's technology workforce, Gross Value Added (GVA) estimates of telecommunications services and computer system design and related services suggest the ICT sector directly contributed $57.4 billion to Australia’s economy in the 2019-20 financial year. The Australian Government purchase of computer services, software and IT and telecommunications hardware accounted for $3.4 billion in 2019-20, which accounts for 10% of its procurement expenditure.

In the ASIC report Critical skills, the Emergency Response Sub-Committee under the direction of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Skills Council enabled fast-tracked adjustments to qualifications and training package requirements critical in supporting economic recovery. This included skill sets endorsed to support the rollout of cellular wireless networks, including 5G and future network generations.

Occupations on the National Skills Commission’s Skills Priority List: June 2021 with an estimated strong future demand related to the ICT industry include: cabler (data and telecommunications); telecommunications cable jointer; telecommunications linesworker; and telecommunications technician.

For further industry insights on skills needs and job vacancy data, see the Information and Communications Technology industry cluster page.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit 580 Telecommunications Services Industry, employment projections to May 2025
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 1351 ICT Managers
    • 2633 Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
    • 3132 Telecommunications Technical Specialists
    • 3424 Telecommunications Trades Workers
    • 6212 ICT Sales Assistants.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ06 - Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit 580 Telecommunications Services Industry, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 3 digit 580 Telecommunications Services Industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

                                                                                                                                               

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET students and courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package and ICT10 Integrated Telecommunications Training Package
  • Broad Telecommunications & Engineering & Management
    • ICT20210 - Certificate II in Telecommunications
    • ICT20213 - Certificate II in Telecommunications
    • ICT30208 - Certificate III in Telecommunications
    • ICT30210 - Certificate III in Telecommunications
    • ICT30213 - Certificate III in Telecommunications
    • ICT30510 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Rigging Installation
    • ICT51015 - Diploma of Telecommunications Engineering
    • ICT80315 - Graduate Certificate in Telecommunications
    • ICT80515 - Graduate Diploma of Telecommunications and Strategic Management.
  • Broadband
    • ICT20613 - Certificate II in National Broadband Network Construction
    • ICT30110 - Certificate III in Broadband and Wireless Networks Technology
    • ICT30113 - Certificate III in Broadband and Wireless Networks Technology
    • ICT30610 - Certificate III in Broadband and Wireless Networks
    • ICT30613 - Certificate III in Broadband and Wireless Networks
    • ICT30713 - Certificate III in National Broadband Network Construction.
  • Cabling
    • ICT20310 - Certificate II in Telecommunications Cabling
    • ICT20313 - Certificate II in Telecommunications Cabling
    • ICT30310 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Cabling
    • ICT30313 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Cabling.
  • Digital Reception Technology
    • ICT20410 - Certificate II in Telecommunications Digital Reception Technology
    • ICT20413 - Certificate II in Telecommunications Digital Reception Technology
    • ICT30215 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Digital Reception Technology
    • ICT30410 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Digital Reception Technology
    • ICT30413 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Digital Reception Technology.
  • Networks
    • ICT20215 - Certificate II in Telecommunications Network Build and Operate
    • ICT30415 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Network Build and Operate
    • ICT30419 – Certificate III in Telecommunications Network Build and Operation
    • ICT40210 - Certificate IV in Telecommunications Network Engineering
    • ICT40610 - Certificate IV in Telecommunications Networks Technology
    • ICT40613 - Certificate IV in Telecommunications Networks Technology
    • ICT50110 - Diploma of Optical Networks
    • ICT50210 - Diploma of Telecommunications Network Engineering
    • ICT60110 - Advanced Diploma of Optical Networks
    • ICT60210 - Advanced Diploma of Telecommunications Network Engineering
    • ICT60615 - Advanced Diploma of Telecommunications Network Engineering
    • ICT70110 - Graduate Certificate in Telecommunications Network Engineering
    • ICT80110 - Graduate Diploma of Telecommunications Network Engineering
    • ICT80415 - Graduate Diploma of Telecommunications Network Engineering
    • ICT80615 - Graduate Certificate in Telecommunications Network Engineering.
  • Technology
    • ICT20113 - Certificate II in Telecommunications Technology
    • ICT20315 - Certificate II in Telecommunications Technology
    • ICT20319 – Certificate II in Telecommunications Technology
    • ICT30515 - Certificate III in Telecommunications Technology
    • ICT30519 – Certificate III in Telecommunications Technology
    • ICT41215 - Certificate IV in Telecommunications Engineering Technology
    • ICT41219 – Certificate IV in Telecommunications Engineering Technology.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 program completions.

 

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package and ICT10 Integrated Telecommunications Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 26 Oct 2021
To Top