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Fiber Optic Technician

Competency-Based Apprenticeship
Sponsoring Company:
Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program
O*Net Code
Rapids Code
Req. Hours
Jul 16, 2021
Jul 16, 2021

Competency-Based Skills

7 skill sets | 32 total skills
Safety Skills
OSHA 10 (Telecom)
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
CPR/First Aid/BBP
Radio Frequency (RF) awareness
Jobsite Safety Analysis (JSA)
Scope of Work (SOW)
Handling chemicals
Disposal of materials
Cable Preparation
Attaching pulling eye and rope to a cable
Pulling cable
Preparing cable for splicing or termination
Splicing Operation
Mechanical splicing
Fusion splicing
Connector Handling
Identifying connectors
Preparing cables for termination
Installing connectors
Inspecting connectors
Shelter/Building Protocol
Shelter/Building Assessment
Exposure hazards for: Power / RF/EME / Eye Wash / Batteries / Client log in procedures
Fiber Testing
Microscope inspection
Visual tracing and fault location
Care of equipment Cleaning and assessment of fiber
Insertion loss testing
OTDR testing
Operate Hand and Power Tools
Connector tools
Tools applicable to the SOW

Technical Instruction

Fiber Optic Fundamentals (Jargon) - 10 req. hrs
Recommended as the first course delivered. Commonly used terms and definition related to Fiber Optic cable are explained. Various measurements are performed using Metric System. Introduction to Metric System will be provided. Overview of Fiber Optic Communications Systems is covered at this stage. Basic block diagrams of Fiber Optic Communication system are introduced. Generic understanding on how communications systems use light to transfer information is covered in through this topic.
Fiber Optic Communication Basics (Theory) - 10 req. hrs
In this section of RTI, various components and their functions in a typical datalink are explained. Various sources of light, such as LED, Laster (FP, DFB, VCSEL) are introduced. Various detectors (photodiode, APD; Si, Ge, InGaAs) are explained at the application level. Performance parameters such as transmission data rate of a datalink are introduced. Various types of optical fiber such as Step index MM, graded index MM, SM, specialty fibers are explained. Basic specifications that affect transmission (E.g. Attenuation, dispersion) are explained in detail. Choosing the appropriate fiber for the system is important; various selection criteria and field-practices are explained.
Types & Properties of Fiber Optic Cable - 10 req. hrs
Different types of Fiber Optic cables need to be understood thoroughly for the technician before working (splicing etc.) on them. Different types of cables are used for different applications. Some examples include Tight buffer (simplex, zip cord, distribution, breakout), Loose tube (loose tube, ribbon), Specialty (OPGW, underwater). Choosing the proper cable for different application (Water blocking, pulling strength, armoring, etc.) is important. Various specifications for different applications are explained in this portion of the course.
Termination and Splicing - 20 req. hrs
Theory of cable termination and splicing is important for the apprentices before they work on hands-on projects. Various applications and appropriate uses of cable termination are explained in this section. Termination and Splicing skill is very crucial for Fiber Optic Technician and it can be mastered through many practice sessions. However, the importance of Splicing, Performance Measures, and Quality Checks of Splicing need to be studied with the help of example diagrams and picture. This portion of the RTI explains relevant performance measures such as Loss, Reflectance, and Strength. Various splicing processes such as Mechanical, Fusion and Mass (Ribbon) Fusion and the differences amongst them are explained. Different hardware components used in the Termination process are introduced. Their engineering specifications are studied through example datasheets. Various connector types (ST, SC, LC, MTP, legacy connectors, etc.) are introduced through diagrams and engineering datasheets. Their specifications are studied to understand relevant performance measures. Steps involved in the termination processes are explained through relevant pictures. Various types of adhesive used during the termination process (epoxy, anaerobic, Hot Melt) are introduced. The section ends by explaining the importance Prepolished splice and Prefab systems.
Hardware Testing - 15 req. hrs
Theories involved in the testing of various stages of Fiber Termination, Splicing and Installation need to be studied. Importance of microscope inspection and visual tracing is explained. Identifying fault location is crucial in the troubleshooting process. Various Loss and Link budgets are explained with the help of simple examples.  Theories and importance of Optical Power Testing and Insertion Loss Testing are explained. The section ends with the introduction of OTDR testing and Long haul SM testing for CD (Chromatic Dispersion) and PMD (Polarization Mode Dispersion).
Fiber Optic Network Design and Installation - 20 req. hrs
The apprentice needs to understand various requirements of an ideal and efficient communication systems. They need to be capable of evaluating communications system requirements even though their job would be limited to a small portion of Fiber Cable installation project. This section introduces ideal design and installation criteria. Understanding of Loss and Power Budget is explained in this section. Through various practical examples, the technician will understand the importance of designing the proper cable plant layout and choosing the right components. Examples of ideal documentation are studied. Installation planning process is explained at the system level.
Introduction to Standards / Codes - 10 req. hrs
During this portion the apprentice is introduced to some of the critical standards for the industry. The Fiber Optic Association (FOA) outlines some very important standards, which have been widely accepted by the telecom industry. The apprentice will initially start getting familiar with “Guidelines for Standards” document, and watch videos (available at the FOA web site) providing an overview of current FOA Standards. FOA Standards based on “Testing”, are to be covered at length: Testing Loss of Installed Fiber Optic Cable, Measuring Optical power, OTDR Testing for Fiber Plant, and Mode Conditioning for Testing Multimode Fiber. These standards and relevant documents are reviewed with the apprentice so that they have an understanding of how to use them as reference point during on-the-job training.
OSHA 10 - 10 req. hrs
This is a version of the OSHA 10-hour course that is provided by a trainer that has been authorized to perform instruction from OSHA. This 10-hour course is specifically targeted to the Telecommunications Industry and has emphasis placed upon fall hazards.
Hazard Assessment and Communication - 30 req. hrs
An introduction to the various structures that work will be performed on. Based upon the SOW and the type of structure it is being applied to the hazards may change and this requires the ability to understand that there is a hazard and it must be communicated to the rest of the team.
RF Assessment & Exposure - 15 req. hrs
PPE is not enough. It is important for there to be an understanding of the hazard associated with RF through the proper assessment of the hazard. This also involves the ability to work as part of a team to communicate the hazard and means of abatement or use of PPE for protection.
First Aid/CPR - 10 req. hrs
These courses follow the agendas established by Red Cross/American Heart Association.

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