An Outside-Plant Engineer (OSP) plays a prominent role within the Telecom Industry. The primary responsibility of an OSP Engineer revolves around the construction and maintenance of plant infrastructure, design, and engineering as well as a providing a route analysis of underground & aerial fiber optic installations. These engineers are the backbone of telecom and service provider companies since they are the primary designers of the entire Fiber network.
The Outside-Plant Engineer provides immediate assistance to clients when issues arise. For example, if a climatic problem exists, they ensure that all of the new installations are in place and that system productivity is not affected.
The OSP Engineer’s job is to observe and maintain existing and ongoing projects. The engineer ensures that everyone in their charge follows all network quality requirements. The ability to multitask and work in coordination with the team provides an added advantage.
The following list defines some roles that play a prominent part of this job profile:
- Adheres to the industry standard regarding construction and maintenance of the entire OSP structure
- Assumes full responsibility for the safety and security of the existing OSP facility
- Determines the scope, budget, and schedules for existing and new OSP projects
- Submits weekly project status reports to the reporting managers
- Delivers project installations within the stipulated time
- Follows engineering standards and work as per market engineering specifications
- Develops aerial and underground fiber route maps and executes tasks such as route analysis
- Assumes charge of fiber optic verification and all cable route mapping activities
- Maintains records of all fiber cable splicing and topography
- Develops mitigation and restoration procedures for emergency conditions
- Possesses proper knowledge of CAD and other software applications used to create engineering designs
- Inspects OSP networks
- Grants the proper permissions to execute OSP projects
- Guides junior employees to achieve projects goals.
The OSP candidate must have a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering or any field related to it. They can pursue electrical and/or electronics engineering, electrical and/or electronics communications engineering or telecommunications engineering. These courses will provide extensive knowledge on various subjects such as fiber optic cable splicing, CAD, networking and other related fields.
Unlike other job profiles, OSP certification courses are unique in the field. Many online courses are available for the interested candidate.
Some of the courses a candidate can take are as follows:
- BICSI OSP Designer Certification
- Fiber-to-the-x Outside Plant Design Certification
- Certified Outside Plant Fiber Optic Specialist
OSP Engineer Salary
According to Indeed.com, an Outside Plant Engineer earns $27.24 per hour in the USA. Certification generally requires 36 months of study and experience. Employee tenures last from one to three years. The average salary, as per Payscale, for this position, runs $71,216 per year.
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