A fiber splicer installs, repairs, and maintains fiber optic wires that are used in high-speed communications. A professional uses a number of specialized tools and techniques to cut, connect, and test wires. He or she usually receives specialized training on how to diagnose problems with cables and make delicate repairs. An expert fiber splicer might work in a consumer electronics manufacturing plant as an assembler and installer, or a communications company, such as a cable television and Internet provider, as a fiber optic technician.
Optical fibers are minuscule wires made of glass or plastic that are capable of transmitting massive amounts of information through pulsations of light. The process of splicing fibers together involves carefully cutting and exposing bare fibers, then joining the ends using specialized crimping tools, glues, and precision arc welders. Bundles of fibers are usually wrapped together into a cable and insulated with a moisture-proof sheath. Professional fiber splicers frequently attach adapters on the ends of finished cables so they may be plugged into computers or other electronic devices.
Professionals who work in manufacturing plants prepare, cut, and splice fiber optic cables for use in consumer electronics, computers, and other commercial devices. Fiber splicers might arrange fragile wires, weld or glue pieces together, and aid in their installation and assembly into various products, such as wireless adapters and sensors. They also prefabricate couplers and joiners, and insulate cables for use in large-scale communications.
A fiber optic technician at a communications company may specialize in splicing and installing cables inside homes and businesses or maintaining outdoor and underground lines. A fiber splicer must be able to accurately measure lines, cleave them at the appropriate place, identify individual fibers based on their color and arrangement within a cable, and splice them with auxiliary fibers that attach to computers, wireless routers, and cable outlets.
To find work as a fiber splicer, an individual must typically hold a high school diploma and complete a thorough, on-the-job training as an apprentice or assistant. Depending on the employer and the nature of the job, a new fiber splicer usually spends one to five years working under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals. Some prospective workers choose to take courses at vocational schools or community colleges to learn more about the job and increase their chances of finding employment. In addition, there are many professional organizations, such as the Fiber Optic Association in the United States, that offer certification courses and exams to help technicians improve their credentials.