For anyone who is interested in installing, testing or maintaining a fiber optic network the correct way, proper fiber optic training is a necessity. But first you must decide exactly what field of fiber optics you want to be in.
If you want to work in the engineering field of fiber optics, you will want to start with university level classes in physics and then take classes in electronics and fiber optics so you can learn the technology. For designing networks, you will need cable design training in electronics and communications systems.
Your training should involve lots of hands-on exercises so you can gain practical knowledge. If you just want to design, install and maintain networks for LANs, Cable TV systems and utilities, take fiber optics training classes that focus on these areas. Along with this, you should learn all you can about cables and connectors.
Types of Training Available
Two popular types of fiber optic training available today are online training and on-the-job training. Both can be beneficial in different ways, and you can even use both methods to develop fiber optic skills.
Online fiber optic training describes the connection and termination components of different types of optical fiber cable. This training also teaches the fundamentals of designing fiber optical cabling systems and the functions of optical receivers and transmitters. Valuable work hours will be saved for the employer if an employee trains online first.
While taking online training from an instructor, you can often learn at your own pace with flexible hours.
Many companies offer on-the-job training to high school graduates with a strong background in physics and mathematics. Employees that qualify can gain experience in fiber optics while also learning the company’s methods and procedures. When their training period is over, both the company and employee enjoy mutual benefits. The company gains an experienced, trained fiber optics specialist. The employee gains paid training and a steady career in fiber optics.
Other options available for fiber optic training are seminars, self-study programs, and technical schools. Self-study programs involve reading a book or watching a video, and are good for someone who wants to learn on their own or who has a tight schedule. To learn the right techniques, the books and videos should include assignments, explanatory text, and hands-on exercises. By taking a course at a technical school, you will have access to hands-on training and also have an instructor available for any questions you might have. If you decide to attend a seminar, make sure it focuses on the aspect of fiber optics you are interested in.
Fiber Optics Jobs Available
With the proper training in fiber optics, there are several types of careers available. These include a telecommunications cabling technician, fiber optic installer, and a fiber optic assembler.
Fiber optic technicians maintain fiber optic cable systems in both digital and voice transmissions. The technicians install the cables, locate and repair defects, and perform many other tasks for maintaining cables.
A fiber optic installer's job is to install connectors on various types of fiber optic cables by using different forms of epoxies. The installer also performs mechanical and fusion splicing.
The fiber optic assembler sits mostly at a table and must have really good eyesight. The assembler gets up occasionally to cut and measure the fibers, get connectors, and test the cables.
You can find out more about fiber optic training online through organizations such as The Fiber Optic Association (FOA) (http://www.thefoa.org/). This organization provides a list of FOA approved training schools and fiber optics tutorials at its website and other great resources.
As more and more companies in fields such as telecommunication, medical, manufacturing, and research use fiber optics, job availability for people with fiber optic training will definitely increase.