Engineering Career Resources

Communications Engineer Job Description

Communications Engineer Job Description

Communications engineers work within the broader field of electronic engineering and apply their knowledge of engineering principles to design solutions and advise management and other personnel on technical issues. They typically study, develop, design and maintain electronic systems and components for scientific, military, industrial or commercial use.

Their duties can include project management and planning, making sure that projects are completed within deadlines and that they do not exceed budget, and that solutions they design meet the standards of quality and all the relevant safety regulations.


Communications engineers must have a high level of technical knowledge and good problem solving skills, as well as the ability to analyse complex systems and stay focused and organized when working on tight deadlines. They must be able to pick up new skills quickly because the technologies they use are constantly changing, and they must be able to work well in a team. Project management and leadership skills will become valuable after a few years working in the field.


Communications engineers typically enter the field with a degree in one of the following disciplines: communications engineering, computer science, information technology, telecommunications, electronic engineering, physics, or mathematics. To obtain the status of chartered engineer (CEng), they must have an MEng degree accredited by a relevant professional body, or an accredited BEng degree (Hons) with further education leading to master's level. Once they have obtained chartered status, engineers can apply for the status of European Engineer (Eur Ing), which allows them to pursue career opportunities across Europe. Obtaining a PhD can open doors to entry at senior level, but is not a requirement for most jobs. All engineers with professional status can pursue management and senior level jobs if they have sufficient experience.

Candidates with an HND can only work at technician level, but can work toward obtaining the status of incorporated engineer (IEng) with further learning to degree level or by obtaining more relevant professional experience.


Communications engineers can be employed in a diverse range of industries, including telecommunications, networking and computing technologies, radio and television. Their work can be technical in nature, or they can perform managerial tasks, depending on their area of specialty and choice of career path. A number of jobs in the field include both aspects, the technical work and organizational duties.

Engineers can work on designing electronic components with application in such fields as instruments and controls, aerospace, propulsion control, acoustics, or telecommunications. They will typically analyze system requirements, determine feasibility, evaluate and test operational systems, draft proposals, recommend system improvements and modifications, and develop procedures for testing electronic components, products and systems.

Communications engineers will usually be involved in site surveys, analysing data, testing prototypes and theoretical designs, and negotiation with vendors and clients. They will often travel to attend seminars and conferences to network and exchange information with experts in related disciplines. Their responsibilities usually also include resource management, preparing reports for clients and management, attending briefings to discuss new projects, setting budgets, and managing staff.