Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

Best Telecommunications Certifications 2018

Best Telecommunications Certifications 2018

When it comes to bringing people and systems together, networking is often required to make all the right connections and technologies work. However, there's a lot more than just networking involved in telecommunications certifications and the technologies they cover.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockHere we cover a variety of certifications, including classic telecommunications and telecommunications networking. Our top five picks include a Telecommunications Certification Organization (TCO) credential, as well as an intermediate routing specialist certification from Nokia that recognizes professionals who deliver both residential and business communication services.

You will also read about engineering-oriented communications certifications such as the Internet Protocol Engineering Professional (IPEP), the iNARTE Telecommunications Engineer, and a distribution credential from the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI), originally a building trades association. The BICSI certification is in such high standing that for some job roles, it's a Department of Defense requirement.

There's more than ordinary networking involved in many of these credentials, because voice and streaming media traffic come with certain unavoidable and important requirements for limited latency and quick delivery. These are necessary for real-time voice and video communications to occur, and for streaming media delivery to provide an acceptable user experience without hiccups, interruptions and so forth. Thus, there's a vital service-level establishment, monitoring and troubleshooting component in these credentials.

There's also a larger-than-usual collection of protocols and services that certified professionals must know to install, configure, manage and troubleshoot, above and beyond the usual TCP/IP basics commonly found in internet-connected networking environments.

We searched several job boards for telecommunications certifications and compiled those results. Note that these results are a snapshot in time, and several factors affect the results. For example, you can expect to see fewer listings for the most senior certifications because fewer people possess them. Also, results vary considerably depending on the job board. Although the table below doesn't reflect it, the Cisco CCNA and CCNP, and CompTIA Network+, certifications appear in many telecom job descriptions along with the featured certs.

Job Board Survey Results (in alphabetical order, by certification)*

CertificationSimply HiredIndeedLinkedIn Jobs
iNARTE Telecommunications Engineer
NRS (Nokia)7

*See our complete methodology for selecting top five certifications in the "Best Certifications" series.

What can a person expect to make in the telecommunications industry? Simply Hired reports an average salary of $65,165 for telecommunications technicians and $93,491 for telecom engineers. Glassdoor reports somewhat lower salaries – $56,650 for technicians and $76,668 for engineers.