When you choose a career path in engineering, you may want to narrow it down to one interest: networks.
In this guide, you will learn the differences between telecommunication engineering and network engineering, the difficulty of their academic programs, and the earning potential and job prospects of each.
Understanding these key aspects of each discipline can help you determine choices suit you best.
Telecommunication engineering and network engineering are very similar disciplines, with some key differences.
Most importantly, network engineers focus on computer networks while most telecommunication engineers focus on mobile networks.
Telecommunication engineers design, build, implement, and manage telecommunication networks or systems.
They may also troubleshoot and fix any problems that arise in these networks.
Network engineers work on managing the connectivity of computer networks or systems.
They plan, design, implement, and maintain computer works that may support telecommunication.
As such, network engineering does include telecommunication engineering.
On average, a telecommunication engineer has a higher salary than a network engineer.
Although a network engineer may have higher, overall encompassing knowledge, a telecommunication engineer plays a more specialized role.
Further, you may find more competition in network engineering while less people concentrate on telecommunication.
The average salary for a telecommunication engineer in the United States is $97, 295 per year.
Conversely, the average salary for a network engineer is $86,703.
Of course, keep in mind that these salaries can vary depending on your location, expertise, and experience.
Other factors, such as the number of jobs you can qualify for, the ease of finding a job, and the difficulty level of academic programs and careers also play a role.
Follow along with the handy table below to learn more about each profession:
|Telecommunication Engineer||Network Engineer|
|Average pay||$97, 295||$86, 703 per year|
|Ease of finding a job||Easy||Hard|
|Types of jobs you can qualify for||Telecommunication Engineer |
Telecommunication Equipment Technician
Telecommunication Equipment Installer
Telecommunication Line Installer
Telecommunication Network Designer
Telecommunication Project Manager
|Network Specialist |
Network Solutions Architect
|Difficulty of the major||Hard||Hard|
|Key things to note||Lucrative career from entry level |
Can increase salary and job prospects with higher academic degrees or further certifications
Can increase salary and job prospects by further certifications in the telecommunication domain
Telecommunication engineering and network engineering are both challenging academic programs.
However, many students find telecommunication engineering more difficult because of the extensive amount of math.
In telecommunication engineering, you must learn calculus, mathematical analysis, circuit theory, electromagnetism, mathematical logic, amongst other complex math courses.
In network engineering, there is less math to master.
You may need to complete courses on graph theory, statistics, probability, linear algebra, and vector calculus.
As a result, many prefer network engineering over telecommunication engineering.
That said, it’s harder to find a job as a network engineer. You may choose to pursue higher education after graduating with a bachelor’s degree to increase your marketability.
Therefore, you may need to stay in school longer than four years to enter the job market if you choose network engineering.
You may be a particularly excellent telecommunication engineer if you have:
- A keen eye for detail
- An interest in math
- Critical thinking skills
- An analytical mind
- Excellent communication skills
On the other hand, network engineering may be an ideal path if you have:
- Excellent communication skills
- Great customer service
- Problem solving skills
- An analytical mind
- A good memory
- Ability to pick up a large amount of knowledge and apply it to specific situations
There are excellent opportunities for both telecommunication engineering jobs and networking engineering jobs.
A few of the most popular websites to find engineering jobs include:
- Zip Recruiter
- Engineer Jobs
Learn more: Where Can Telecommunication Engineer Work?
If you are interested in freelancing as a telecommunication engineer or a network engineer, you may enjoy TaskRabbit.
It is a freelance marketplace where you can find jobs, including engineering jobs, from people and companies who need immediate help.
Working for companies such as TaskRabbit gives you the freedom to set your own schedule and rates for your engineering work.
Any engineering field requires intelligence and skills that take time to master.
You need to put your knowledge to work to solve a problem or meet a business need.
You must quickly determine what is going on by looking at networks, their coding or programming, or their features.
Network engineers have a broader knowledge, while telecommunication engineers have a specific expertise.
In this way, it is difficult to tell who is more intelligent.
You can become a telecommunication engineer and a network engineer because these disciplines enhance each other very well.
Simply add telecommunications onto your specialization as a network engineer or vice versa.
Network engineering requires all sorts of classes.
Therefore, adding a few telecommunication engineering classes will not prolong your program by a large degree.
However, some universities offer programs that join the two at a bachelor’s level or a master’s level.
Read more: Can A Biomedical Engineer Become a Doctor?
When you are deciding between telecommunication and network engineering, the decision may come down to job prospects immediately after a bachelor’s degree, salary, and the amount of math involved in each.
If you are looking for the least math, network engineering may be perfect for you. If you like math, desire a high salary, and wish to have an easier time finding a job after graduating, telecommunication engineering may be more ideal.