Career as a Telecoms technician

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John Finch is a mobile phone technician in Leeds. He is part of the mobile phone revolution and with new models continually appearing on the market, he has to keep his skills and knowledge up to date.

What does your job involve?

I repair mobile phones at a service centre in Leeds. Customers bring phones into the centre for service or repair and I check the phones and deal with them on site if possible. I strip the phones, examine them for physical damage and check whether a warranty is involved.

What sort of problems do customers have?

Customers may have problems as a result of misuse, such as water getting in or dropping the phone, or may include battery port or fuse malfunction, or a switch not working properly. Sometimes it is just a software problem. After repair we also have to carry out a software upgrade on every phone to ensure that the latest developments are incorporated.

Do you just repair Nokia phones?

Yes, normally.We are a registered centre and have all the know-how, spares and equipment for that type of phone. However, if a customer comes in with another phone we would try to help if we were not too busy.

Why did you choose this career as a Telecoms technician

I entered this work because I enjoy working with electronics and like fault finding and repairing things.

Do you have a typical day?

We are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday, to book in mobile phones for repair over the service counter. I handle the repairs and complete the administration details for repair onto a database. We then contact the customer when the phone is ready. We normally turn the phone round within 24 hours unless the fault is serious, when we have to send it away.

What equipment do you use?

I use radio frequency test machines, torque drivers, which are really pre-set screwdrivers, and many specialist tools and soldering equipment. I also have access to a database for specification and diagram information and a private website with serial numbers and details of all our phones. I can also use a blacklist test to detect whether a phone has been stolen.

What was your route to becoming a Telecoms technician?

I did my NVQs at college whilst trying to find an employer to take me on as an apprentice. I was attending evening classes doing a computer repair and maintenance course, when I saw an advert for the position.

What training have you received?

When I first started I went to Nokia headquarters for a two-day training course, and I receive training from them on a monthly basis to keep up to date with their products. I also receive monthly ISO 9001:2000 training.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the satisfaction of repairing a phone after it has come in faulty.

Are there any disadvantages?

There are no disadvantages really, and I do enjoy my work. I suppose having to deal with upset customers may be a disadvantage.

What skills and qualities do you need as a Telecoms technician?

You need good communication skills, to be able to take the initiative, a sound knowledge of electronics, good dexterity and integrity.

John's route to his career as a Telecoms technician

  • GCSEs.
  • RSA Level 2 in Word Processing.
  • NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration.
  • NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service.

John's Telecoms technician tips

  • Go to college or university to gain higher qualifications, as they do come in handy when trying for skilled jobs.
  • Use your initiative and communicate well with your colleagues.
  • Be a good listener and take on board as much information as you can.

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Salary of a telecoms technician

  • The starting salary for a telecommunications technician is around £12,000.
  • With some experience, a technician may be able to earn £15,000 a year.
  • Experienced technicians earn up to £30,000.

Career as a Telecoms technician

  • Entrants can either train with an employer on an Apprenticeship scheme, or take a full-time or part-time course, and then apply to an employer for a trainee technician post.
  • For an Apprenticeship or a related course entry requirements vary, but applicants usually need four GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), including maths, English and science or technology, or equivalent qualifications. A telecommunications technician Apprenticeship usually lasts four years and consists of practical training on the job combined with day or block release at college

Modified: 16 June 2013

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