Satellite Communications Engineer

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Satellite Communications Engineer Job Description, Skills and Salary

A satellite communications engineer is one of the most sought after engineers within the aerospace industry. Tasked with everything from designing satellite equipment to writing programs that control it remotely from the earth, the tasks performed by a satellite communications engineer are absolutely essential within all aspects of aerospace engineering. This makes it a highly desirable position but one that presents a number of different challenges for anyone looking to follow that career path.

In this, you will learn what a satellite communications engineer is and what they do, what skills are required to become a satellite communications engineers, what the necessary qualifications and certifications are, the typical salary for professionals in that roles, and how you can actually go about finding a career as a satellite communications engineer.

What is a Satellite Communications Engineer? 

In the simplest terms possible, satellite communications engineers design programs that help to direct orbiting satellites and make sure that they continue to function properly. This will involve everything from the development of command systems that remotely control satellites from the ground while they're in orbit, developing software for specific missions, monitor any potential problems with a satellite, test the various systems, and collect all necessary data. Satellite communications engineers are typically employed by aerospace companies and defense contractors.

How to Become a Satellite Communications Engineer? 

Satellite Communications Engineer Duties

The daily tasks of a satellite communications engineer will often vary depending on the situation regarding the position of the satellite. If the satellite has yet to launch then the duties of a satellite communications engineer will be very different from their duties when the satellite is in orbit. However, there are some duties that are necessary no matter where the satellite is, such as being able to write programs that keep the various systems of the satellite functioning and to add new capabilities to the satellite if required. You are also required to provide consistent status updates on the capabilities and status of the satellite while also diagnosing and troubleshoot any potential issues and design methods to deal with any issues that do develop.

How to Become a Satellite Communications Engineer? 

Satellite Communications Engineer Skills 

In order to succeed as a satellite communications engineer, you need to be extremely detail-oriented and analytical. When working with satellites, even the slightest mistake or deviation can cause some incredibly serious issues and employers need to be confident that they can rely on the skills of their engineers. At we help to make sure that carefully vetted engineers are matched with employers based on their experience and skills to ensure that professionals always find the roles most suited to them. It is also essential that satellite communications engineers have an understanding of spacecraft subsystems, satellite communication systems, spacecraft operations, and ground control systems. 

Satellite Communications Engineer Certifications 

The vast majority of employers require any candidate for a satellite communications role to have a bachelor's degree in electrical, mechanical, or aerospace engineering. There may not be a specific program for a satellite engineer so engineering degrees within those fields will often be what employers are looking for. Many will also request a master's degree in the same fields to ensure that they are hiring candidates with the most well-developed skill set. There are also professional associations such as the IEEE that can provide networking opportunities. The vast majority of employers will also greatly prefer candidates who have at least some kind of experience working in satellite engineering or with satellite engineering operations.

Satellite Communications Engineer Salary

Due to the high level of skills, qualifications, and experience that is required by the vast majority of employers when hiring a satellite communications engineer, the salary for this role can often be extremely competitive, with the median annual salary for a satellite communications engineer being somewhere in the region of $115,220. This is also a position that has a decent level of growth potential with a predicted 6% in employment for aerospace engineers. This means that there are more opportunities available as satellite communications engineers available for the right candidates than ever before and that number is likely to increase even further.

As with any industry that requires a high level of technical skill, knowledge, and qualifications, the aerospace industry is one that can be extremely competitive. It is very much possible to find a career as a satellite communications engineer and to progress within that role very successfully. However, that's only something that's possible if you're willing to put the time and effort into training and developing the necessary skills and qualifications that you need.

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