ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has approved the Small Cell Technician as a nationally recognized occupation through the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA)’s Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). The occupation, TIRAP’s 12th to receive official recognition as a registered apprenticeship, is fundamental for the expansion of modern wireless infrastructure nationwide and the advancement of 5G technology.
Small cells are typically placed on telephone poles and other existing structures, and their installation requires a different set of skills than macro tower installation. WIA consulted with subject matter experts from a wide range of carriers, operators, and contractors to build consensus standards for the Small Cell Technician occupation.
“TIRAP continues to look to current and future workforce demand in developing solutions for the wireless industry,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “Apprenticeships for Small Cell Technicians will help bring new people into the industry as well as to upskill the existing workforce.”
Brad Baumann, vice chair of the TIRAP Advisory Board and vice president of Wireless Solutions for Gabe’s Construction, said, “Standardizing skills and competencies for Small Cell Technicians is a big step forward for TIRAP and for wireless and utility construction.”
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) represents the businesses that build, develop, own, and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure. WIA advocates for the widespread, responsible deployment of wireless infrastructure to enable mobile broadband for communities everywhere.
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) is the National Sponsor of the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), a DOL-registered apprenticeship program. Since 2017, WIA has administered National Standards of Apprenticeship for DOL-approved occupations established under the program. Graduates receive national, industry-recognized credentials that certify occupation proficiency and expand opportunities for career advancement. WIA supports participating employers in promoting consistency and uniformity in training across occupations to improve the safety and quality of the wireless workforce.
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