Online Telecommunications Technician | Penn Foster Career School

Telecommunications Technician

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Career Diploma Overview

In Penn Foster Career School's Online Telecommunications Technician Career Diploma Program, you can learn about the nature of electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism, alternating current, transformers, semiconductor components, computer applications in telecommunications, and much more. With Penn Foster Career School, you train online – at home or on the go – at a pace that’s right for you. In our telecommunication courses, you’ll review how to setup and maintain devices or equipment that carry communications signals, connect to telephone lines, or access the Internet. You can complete the program in as little as 8 months!

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Telecommunications Technician program provides students with a working knowledge of electronics and telecommunications technology to gain employment in the telecom technician field.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand what telecommunications is and describe the job opportunities in the telecommunications field
  • Describe electricity and identify the functions of insulators, conductors, batteries, and resistors
  • Use Ohm’s law to identify the amount of current, voltage, or resistance in series and parallel circuits, and explain the function and application of capacitors and inductors in DC circuits.
  • Define alternating current and identify how inductors and capacitors operate in an AC circuit, as well as describe how voltages and currents may be changed by the use of transformers
  • Identify basic electronic devices and explain the function of diodes, basic rectifiers, and transistors, as well as practice taking measurements in DC circuits
  • Explain how computers are used in telecommunications, identify the measurements taken with the multimeter and oscilloscope, and explain how to take the measurements of both AC and DC circuits using these devices
  • Identify various hardware components, explain how some components are used as electronic switches, and describe discrete and surface-mount devices, and the proper soldering of both types of devices
  • Describe the interaction between capacitive and inductive reactance in AC and RF circuits, and how they can be combined to form filters or improve the efficiency of a tuned circuit, as well as explain how RLC circuits work, including bandwidth and Q
  • Identify various rectifier designs and their uses, describe different types of amplifier biasing, and understand basic oscillator and mixer circuits and explain their purpose
  • Understand how the basic electronic components and simple circuits are assembled into building blocks used to create a more complex system, and how the individual parts interact to create transmitted and received signals
  • Apply knowledge of modulation, amplification, audio and R-F circuits, oscillators, waveforms as well as electronic power supply systems by assembling, aligning, and testing an AM radio receiver
  • Describe the process of amplitude modulation transmission and reception, where it is used, and for what purposes, and describe the creation and use of Single Sideband systems
  • Describe the process of frequency modulation reception and explain how telephone systems work and communicate
  • Discuss the purpose of wave formation and propagation and how to match these waves to transmission lines and waveguides.

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Introduction to Telecommunications


  • Explore the fascinating world of technology behind distance communication.
  • Learn the basics of this telecommunications.
  • Discover interesting and challenging telecommunications job opportunities.

Unit 2

Nature of Electricity


  • Explore what electricity is and how we use it.
  • Discover the many important fundamental concepts related to electricity.
  • Read about the dangers and benefits of static electricity.
  • Familiarize yourself with volts, amperes, ohms, and series and parallel circuits.
Insulators, Conductors, and Batteries


  • Learn about the conductors that connect circuits together.
  • Explore the types of insulation used to cover conductors.
  • Learn how cells and batteries are used as both power supplies and backup power sources for electronic devices and systems.
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises on static electricity, making a battery, electronic components, and more.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Resistor Parts Kit
  • Component Color Code Wheel

Unit 3

Ohm’s Law and Circuit Analysis


  • Learn how Ohm’s law is used to identify the amount of current, voltage, or resistance that’s in a circuit.
  • Study power.
  • Discover how to take basic meter readings in circuits.
Magnetism and Electromagnetism


  • Learn about natural and artificial magnets and their north and south poles.
  • Find out how a DC motor operates.
  • Understand the operation of simple electromagnetic relays, buzzers, and stepping switches.
Capacitors and Inductors


  • Learn how capacitors and inductors operate in DC circuits.
  • Discover how a capacitor holds a charge.
  • Calculate the total capacitance, time constant, and total inductance.
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises on using an analog multimeter.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Analog Volt-Ohm-Milliamp Meter
  • Telephone Schematic
  • Ohm’s Law Parts Kit

Unit 4

Alternating Current in Electronic Circuits


  • Discover how AC current is created.
  • Learn about an AC cycle.
  • Express the time period of an AC cycle in degrees.
  • Learn the characteristic values of an AC cycle.
Inductors in AC Circuits


  • Learn how inductors operate in AC circuits.
  • Understand how inductors create magnetic fields when a current flows through them.
  • Discover how an inductor is made and how it operates in a DC and AC circuit.
  • Explore inductive reactance and impedance.
  • Apply Ohm’s Law and calculate the current in an AC circuit that includes an inductor.
Capacitors in AC Circuits


  • Discover how capacitors function in AC circuits.
  • Learn how to calculate the total capacitance of series- and parallel-connected capacitors.
  • Understand how to calculate capacitive reactance.
  • Learn how capacitors operate in series and parallel resistor/capacitor, or RC, circuits.
Transformers for Electronic and Other Applications


  • Discover how transformers increase or decrease voltage.
  • Study how transformers are used in the transmission of electric power, in control and signal circuits, and in electronic and radio equipment.

Unit 5

Rectification and Basic Electronic Devices


  • Learn how rectification takes place.
  • Discover how diodes are used as rectifiers.
  • Understand how a transistor operates as an amplifier.
  • Compare rectifier outputs.
Basic Semiconductor Components: Diodes


  • Learn about the electronic component called the diode.
  • Discover how diodes are used in electronic circuits.
  • Perform some basic measurements in diode circuits.
Basic Semiconductor Components: Transistors


  • Study the construction and function of several basic types of transistors, including bipolar transistors, JFETs, and MOSFETs.
  • Learn how to perform simple circuit measurements and tests on transistors.
  • Discover some basic troubleshooting techniques for electronic circuits that contain amplifying devices.
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises on evaluating color bands on resistors and determining their rated resistance values, building a circuit that demonstrates how a diode works, working with schematic drawings, and testing transistors.

Experiments with DC Theory

Perform experiments such as measuring voltage in a circuit, measuring current in a circuit, calculating resistance, using Ohm’s Law to calculate current and to analyze parallel circuits, measure power in series circuits, and more.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Electronics Workbench Software
  • Semiconductor Parts Kit

Unit 6

Computer Applications in Telecommunications


  • Discover how computers make possible many of the activities performed each day.
  • Learn to translate decimal numbers to binary and binary numbers to decimal.
  • Understand the technique used to translate text, pictures, and sound into binary code.
  • Explore two techniques used for encrypting data.
Troubleshooting with Volt-Ohm-Milliamp Meters


  • Understand the functions of a multimeter.
  • Learn the safety precautions when using a multimeter.
  • Explore resistance tests for continuity and short circuits.
  • Learn how to perform tests on various electrical and electronic components, including fuses, coils, transformers, motors, and some types of semiconductor devices.
Using Basic Oscilloscopes


  • Study the components of an oscilloscope and how it operates.
  • Learn how to perform low-voltage measurements on circuit boards.
  • Discover how to measure the voltage output of a power supply.
  • Learn how to measure AC ripple.
Experiments with AC Theory

Perform experiments in alternating current, inductance, capacitance, impedance, voltage, transformers, and resonance, using the simulation program, Multisim.

Experiments in Electronic Measurements

Perform experiments using the multimeter to measure resistance, AC, and DC voltages, using Ohm’s law to check simple circuits, troubleshooting circuits with a multimeter, and measuring high currents and voltages using the simulation program, Multisim.

Unit 7

Electronic Hardware


  • Learn about the connectors that join wire or cables to components.
  • Discover how to mount components to various types of circuit boards.
  • Find out how to select the proper soldering equipment and material for electronic component soldering jobs.
Switching Devices


  • Learn how switches are used to change from one voltage level to another and from one current level to another.
  • Discover how switches change the DC polarity of the delivered voltage and change the direction of direct current.
  • Understand how switches change from one delivered frequency to another.
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises on soldering, locating components in a schematic, making circuit measurements, using a multimeter to measure resistance, analyzing circuits, and much more.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Soldering Station
  • Soldering Tools: Probes, Heat Sink, Solder Wick, and Desoldering Pump
  • Diagonal Cutters
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Long Nose Pliers
  • Wire Strippers
  • Soldering Practice Kit

Unit 8

Experiments with Resonant Circuits


  • Perform experiments on the characteristics of series and parallel resonant circuits, their quality factor, applications on parallel resonant circuits, maximum power transfer and impedance matching, and much more.
Reactance and Impedance


  • Explore how resistors, capacitors, and inductors behave when connected to form basic circuits.
  • Learn how to calculate time relationships in circuits.
  • Determine the reactance of a capacitor or inductor.
Resonant Circuits


  • Learn how a resonant circuit is a special kind of reactive circuit in which the generator current and voltage are in phase.
  • Discover how resonant circuits are used in communications, telemetering, filters and oscillators, and many other applications.
Applications and Troubleshooting Resonant Circuits


  • Discover some of the applications of resonant circuits.
  • Learn to estimate voltages for troubleshooting both DC and AC circuits.
  • Understand how transmission lines are related to resonant circuits and waveguides.
  • Explore how transmission lines can be used as components or tuned circuits.
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises on assembling and demonstrating the operation of an FM wireless microphone, examining the modulation circuits in the microphone, and observing the action of the resonant circuit in the operation of the microphone.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid:

  • Component Parts Kit

Unit 9

Rectifiers and Power Supplies


  • Learn to identify the basic types of electronic rectifiers.
  • Discover how voltage dividers are used in power supplies.
  • Understand how to calculate the values of voltage divider components.
  • Study how voltage-regulating devices and circuits operate.
  • Learn how current and voltage are regulated in power supplies.


  • Understand the advantages of the various classes of transistor amplifier operations.
  • Learn the methods that are used for biasing amplifiers.
  • Discover how to perform simple troubleshooting operations on amplifiers.


  • Learn how oscillators can handle demands for low-frequency, intermediate-frequency, or high-frequency signals.
  • Study the principal differences between several types of oscillator circuits.
  • Calculate the resonant frequency of a basic oscillator circuit.
  • Explore the basic applications of oscillator circuits.
Optoelectronic and Fiber-Optic Components


  • Explore the high-technology branch of electronics called optoelectronics.
  • Study the applications of lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and light-activated diodes (LADs).
  • Learn the basic theory of applications such as compact disks and bar code readers.
  • Understand the theories of light and what part they play in optoelectronic applications.
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises on circuit boards and their characteristics, electronic power supply regulation, the assembly of an RC oscillator circuit, fiber-optic cable and its characteristics, and connecting a receiver circuit board to a transmitter board with fiber-optic cable.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid:

  • Fiber-Optics Parts Kit

Unit 10

Modulation and Detection Circuits


  • Learn the various forms of modulation and the degree of amplitude and frequency modulation.
  • Discover the frequencies that result from combining or mixing two signals.
  • Calculate the bandwidth of AM and FM signals.
Electronic Devices and Amplifiers


  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of amplification.
  • Study electronics diagrams that will prepare you to sketch, use, and interpret diagrams in your daily work.
Audio and R-F Circuits


  • Learn about telephone systems, hard-wired systems, and fiber-optic systems.
  • Explore the sound systems used in industrial plants.
  • Understand tone signaling.
Oscillators, Feedback, and Waveforms


  • Discover how an oscillator works.
  • Understand how to identify several basic oscillator circuits.
  • Learn how oscillators used in transmitters, receivers, mainframe computers, microprocessors, and signal generators.
Electronic Power-Supply Systems


  • Learn some of the basic components and circuits that are used to produce DC power from available AC input sources.
  • Find out how half-wave and full-wave rectifier circuits operate.
  • Calculate the percent of voltage regulation in a power supply.
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises in using simulation software to analyze circuits and building a working AM radio circuit.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid:

  • Solder Evaluation Kit

Unit 11

Telecommunications Technology, Part 1


  • Describe how an FM receiver operates and how special circuits are used as mixers, limiters, and discriminators
  • Describe how communications receivers differ from broadcast receivers
  • Describe the protocols that govern wired and wireless communications, modulation schemes used for wireless transmission, and the various transmission standards
  • Describe the topology, protocols, devices, and interconnection of local area networks (LAN)
Additional Unit Material

Textbook: Electronic Communications: A Systems Approach

Unit 12

Telecommunications Technology, Part 2


  • Identify basic telecommunication concepts, relationships, and calculations
  • Determine how amplitude and angle modulation are used to transmit information through a telecommunication network
  • Identify the elements of communications circuits
  • Determine how AM and FM transmitters operate
  • Determine how AM receivers operate
Practical Exercise

Apply your skills and complete practical exercises in working with the modular components used in telephone applications, using a modular crimping tool, preparing a telephone cable for installation of modular plugs, installing modular plugs on the ends of a telephone cable, and using the lug crimping tool.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid: Telephone Connector Crimper Tool

Unit 13

Telecommunications Technology, Part 3


  • Describe the physical and electrical characteristics of standard transmission lines
  • Explain how electrical signals are sent from one point to another by means of electromagnetic waves
  • Explain the fundamentals of antennas, including the physical and electrical characteristics of common antenna types and arrays
  • Explain the characteristics of different waveguides and the operation of radar systems
  • Describe a fiber-optic communications system, its components, and its operation
Telephone Technology

The largest and most complex communication network in the world, the telephone system, is also one of the most reliable. It utilizes almost every communication technique ever created. This unit will provide you with a basic overview of the devices commonly used in conjunction with the telephone system. You’ll also study some of the communication techniques and interconnection schemes that have developed in the evolution of telephone communications.


  • Name and describe the function of the components of conventional and electronic telephones and facsimile machines
  • Explain modem modulation techniques
  • Name and describe the components and signals of the local loop
  • Describe the switching mechanism and the switching hierarchy of the telephone system
  • Identify the three basic forms of multiplexing used in telephony
  • Describe the cellular telephone system and pagers

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Telecommunications Technician course sample lesson, click here.

Telecommunications Technician Program Details

Penn Foster Career School can help you understand the topics important for a wide range of telecommunications careers, such as electronic and AC circuits, fiber optics, amplitude and frequency modulation, digital communications, and computer applications in telecommunications.

State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

online telecommunications technician courses

Here are a few qualities that skilled telecommunications technicians have in common:

  • Cooperative: You are pleasant, receptive, and work well with others.
  • Honest: Engineering requires integrity and a good sense of ethics.
  • Detail-oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Persistent: Your job requires focus and determination in the face of obstacles.

I would highly recommend this school. The tuition is very low, and there are no specific deadlines for your assignments. The school allows you to work at your own pace, and transferring credits from other schools is simple.

- Bradley S., Penn Foster Graduate

I have had great feedback from my employer after my training from Penn Foster. I have also had other job offers. The knowledge that you learn is priceless. Penn Foster is an excellent school.

- Kenny B., Penn Foster graduate

Penn Foster is a great school with amazing people who always help and work with you through ANY situation. I experienced a fire in my home, and Penn Foster was there for me to cope through the situation. Thank you, and I will be doing another program soon.

- Claudia D., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Learning aids
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Telecommunications Technician Career Diploma academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What can I expect to learn in the Telecommunications Technician Program? What types of career options are there for telecommunications technicians?

The Penn Foster Career School Telecommunications Career Diploma Program can help students prepare to pursue a career as a telecommunications technician for telephone companies, electronic equipment manufacturers, and repair shops. Topics include, but are not limited to, amplitude and frequency modulations, digital communications, computer applications in telecommunications, electronic and AC circuits, and fiber optics.

What equipment is required/provided for the Telecommunication Technician Career Diploma Program?

Most of the equipment required, such as a telephone connector crimping tool and precision pliers, is provided by Penn Foster Career School and included in the cost of the program.

Are there any useful guides/cheat sheets for the electronics programs?

There are practice kits and practical exercises provided. Parts kits may include different types of wires and various parts for practice.

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