Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 04, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Become a Cellular Technician in the US

According to the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of American adults owed a cellphone as of 2013. Bear in mind this doesn’t include today’s techy savvy kids! Cellular technicians, also known as telephone technicians, ensure these people remain connected after their phones malfunction.

Are you interested in joining this profession? If you do, you must possess excellent technical skills, a background in telecommunications or electronics and the ability to stay ahead in an industry that is constantly advancing.

What Do Cellular Technicians Do?

Cellular technicians work with both analog and digital phone systems. Although specific duties could vary from job to job, here is a list of their typical duties:

  • Installing systems in new cellular gadgets
  • Diagnosing wiring problems and fixing them
  • Repairing switching equipment
  • Testing and installing voice and internet protocols
  • Replacing worn out parts in cellular gadgets
  • Keeping records of repairs, maintenance and installations
  • Demonstrating how to go about using newly acquired gadgets to users
  • Advising clients on how to maintain phones.

Working Environment

Cellular technicians work from their workshops for about 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. During busy periods, they may work during the weekends.

While at work, cellular technicians use specialized equipment along with modern computer systems. The job can be eye straining, since they often use magnifying lenses to view tiny components that are installed on cellular motherboards.

Salary

The average annual salary for cellular technicians is:

Job

Average Annual Salary

Cellular technician

$46,000

Source: Indeed

Entry Requirements

You can get hired as a cellular technician with a high school diploma or GED. You will then undergo extensive on-the-job training to improve your competence.

Ideally, you should pursue an associate degree in telecommunications or electronics before looking for a job. This will make it much easier for you to stand apart from other job seekers and get noticed by employers.

The following institutions also offer communication technician apprenticeships, which can get you started:

  • San Diego Technical Training Center, San Diego
  • Cal Apprenticeship, California
  • Ogden-Weber Tech College, Utah

Important Skills and Abilities

The following competencies are integral to the competence of cellular technicians:

  • An excellent eyesight and a normal colour vision
  • Strong technical and practical skills
  • A detailed understanding of telephone systems
  • Good troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
  • The ability to work effectively as an individual or with other technicians
  • The ability to explain technical telecommunication issues to users in a way that is easy to understand
  • Good eye-hand coordination
  • Good customer-service skills

Career Development

With experience and more qualifications, you can become a supervisor or a senior technician. To get to this level, you must be prepared to pursue the following advanced qualifications and professional credentials.

Cellular technicians also have the potential to become engineers who can design new phones for manufacturers. As such, you can become an industrial designer by completing a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.

Finally, you should attend product exhibitions organized by different manufactures to stay abreast of the newest phones in the market.

Job Opportunities

Many qualified cellular technicians set up their own repair shops in neighborhoods and urban areas. If you don’t prefer this option, you can be hired by:

  • Repair chains
  • Phone manufacturers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10 percent job growth for installation, maintenance and repair occupations between 2012 and 2022. Although this is 1 percent short of the average growth, don’t expect to sit for too long without a job. The trick is in starting your own repair shop as you look for a job opening in a phone manufacturing company or other well-established electronic repair firm.

So if you are interesting in mobile phones and have are good with electronics then perhaps this is the right career for you.

 

Image: iStock

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