As demand levels in the Fibre industry continue to increase, we thought it was time to shed some light on another one of the most in demand roles.
In this blog, we’re going to look at the role of Fibre Supervisor. On some adverts, you may see this called Fibre Field Supervisor or Cabling & Fibre Supervisor. It’s a field-based role and is a key part of any fibre installation programme.
For more information on the ins and outs of this job, read on!
What does a Fibre Supervisor do?
You might have guessed from the name, but we’ll tell you anyway! The main element of your job will be to supervise the installation of fibre networks. This might be on a single site, or multiple ones – either way, you’ll be overseeing the performance of the various teams involved.
This is a high contact role. As well as liaising with the teams you’re supervising, you’ll also work closely with the Fibre Manager or Fibre Project Manager, taking on board the targets they set and ensuring they’re met. If those targets aren’t being met, you’ll report this back to the Site or Construction Manager.
Here are some of the general daily duties of a Fibre Supervisor.
•Producing daily and weekly reports that analyse current performance against project delivery milestones, and reporting these to the Site/Construction Manager
•Carrying out daily risk assessments of the site
•Ensuring safety and quality standards are being met
•Ensuring builds are following the plan
•Interacting with client representatives
•Resolving technical issues
•Getting budget sign-offs from Fibre Managers
What is a typical salary for a Fibre Supervisor?
The UK average for Fibre Supervisor salaries is currently £39,600 but can range from anywhere between £32,000 and £48,000 per year. You’ll find most roles advertised at £35,000-£45,000, either side of the UK average. This can vary by location.
What skills do I need to become a Fibre Supervisor?
This is a role where the ability to lead and organise people – while working under pressure – is absolutely key.
There’s lots of different things to juggle, so you must know how to manage your time as well the time of those who you’re supervising. If you’ve picked up project management skills from previous roles, this will stand you in great stead for a being a Fibre Supervisor. IT skills are also really useful – even something as basic as Excel can help you plan and organise tasks and timelines.
From a leadership perspective, remember you’ll be managing a diverse range of people. That’s why soft skills, which in some industries might be seen as “nice-to-haves”, are “must-haves” here. Examples include communication, empathy and diplomacy.
Finally, attention to detail is something every employer will be looking for. Are you the type of person who enjoys being analytical? Are you good at making sure nothing slips through the cracks? Whether it’s analysing build drawings or knowing what safety legislations need to be met – this will all fall in your remit as a Fibre Supervisor.
What experience and knowledge do I need as a Fibre Supervisor?
Any prior experience you have in Fibre will help get your CV to the top of the pile. Things to showcase include your knowledge of fibre blowing, splicing, aerial cabling and Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) ducting.
If you don’t have direct experience in Fibre, but have worked in a parallel industry like Telecoms – perhaps for companies such as Virgin or BT – you’ll still be highly desirable. There are also other industries you can switch from, such as Utilities and Construction, so feel free to highlight those transferable skills!
Here’s a good example for those of you in Construction. Many people in this industry have solid knowledge of Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations. In recent years, this has become just as important in the Fibre and Telecoms industries, so it’s definitely something to emphasise on your CV.
We mentioned leadership earlier, and anyone who can show they’ve led teams or crews within the industry is a strong candidate. An example would be if you’ve previously been a Lead Ganger or a Fibre Team Leader. At the same time, companies are happy to give opportunities to people that know the Fibre industry but haven’t yet been a Supervisor.
Perhaps you’re working as a Fibre Engineer right now. Why not apply for that next step up? Keep in mind that while your Fibre experience is worth talking about, you now need to show you can lead entire projects. Reread the previous section on key skills and emphasise as many of these as you can.
Finally, some Build Partners we work with also run trainee programmes. In this case, you’d join them as a trainee Fibre Supervisor, with classroom and on-the-job training eventually helping you become a fully-fledged Fibre Supervisor!
What qualifications do I need to be a Fibre Supervisor?
One of the most useful certifications – also known as tickets – for you to have is The New Roads and Street Works Act Accreditation (NRSWA). This is known as “streetworks training” and shows you’re qualified to carry out work that includes breaking up streets, or tunnelling under streets. If you don’t currently have this, you might be interested to learn that some of our Build Partners offer this training!
Some candidates who’ve worked for companies like BT find that they’re unable to take their NRSWA tickets with them. Don’t let this put you off applying for roles where this ticket is desired. In most cases, you’ll still get a job offer and simply be sent on a test to get the certification again.
Another one to look at is a PIA accreditation. There are different versions of this, which show that you’re cleared to safely work with and install PIA ducts and pole infrastructure.
Finally, having a full UK Driving Licence isn’t essential, but will be helpful for those sites which are in more remote locations.
How can I progress as a a Fibre Supervisor?
A quick Google search will show you how much the demand for superfast broadband has increased in recent years. The impact of COVID-19 and the increase in remote working has made the rollout of FTTP and FTTH even more important. Clearly, the growth opportunities are there for anybody ambitious who wants to progress.
To give you an example, the CityFibre Network Build project is slated to run until at least 2025. That’s just a minimum time period – there’ll also be opportunities to maintain and update the network far beyond that. All opportunities are permanent and come with training that’s paid for by CityFibre, so professional development is guaranteed.
We’ll give you a practical example of how training can boost your career in this industry. Many businesses end up training their Supervisors to become Project Managers specifically for Fibre installations. This tends to be more lucrative than being a Project Manager in other industries – with salaries of up to £65,000, as opposed to the UK average for Project Managers which is £47,500.
There are other options which will open up for you too, especially as you pick up more fibre build experience within Telecoms. You could become a Planner – this is where you help set up the actual projects and schedules that you’ll have been working to in your role as a Supervisor. Currently, the average salary for this role is £47,000 and above, so it’s a good step up.
You could also become a Delivery Manager, where you’ll take full ownership for multiple Fibre projects, often within specific geographic regions. While the average salary for this role is £49,400, you’ll also find quite a few opportunities paying up to £65,000.
The key takeaway
If this blog has persuaded you that becoming a Fibre Supervisor is the right move, then congratulations! It’s not just an exciting job in itself, but it can lead to even better opportunities going forward.
The future is definitely fibre!