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Phone Repair Employment Options Compared

Thinking about a career in cell phone repair? Wondering how much cell phone repair technicians make? Curious about the differences between phone repair jobs and starting your own business? We’re here to help with a comparison of phone repair employment options.

Cell phone repair technician (repair shops and retail stores)

Cell phone repair shops and retail stores hire technicians to fix mobile devices. The average salary for cell phone repair technicians is $29,187, or $11.31 per hour. Add in bonuses and commission, and the pay range is between $18,919 and $38,650.

You can expect to get paid more in some locations. For example, the average cell phone repair tech salary in San Francisco is $40,551. Apple repair technicians, known as Apple Geniuses, are also paid more: an average of $46,740 ($20 per hour). More experienced techs, known as Lead Mac Geniuses, average $55,626 per year.

When you work for a repair shop or retail store, you can expect set hours and you won’t need to worry about things like marketing or business operations – that will be the responsibility of the owner or manager. A typical day consists of making repairs, customer service, and perhaps phone sales and buybacks. In most cases, you’ll work from a brick-and-mortar location.

Check national chains like Apple and CPR Cell Phone Repair for employment opportunities. You can also apply with independent local dealers and repair shops.

Mobile cell phone repair contractor

Companies like iCracked and Puls work with independent contractors to provide mobile phone repair. You’ll be running your own business, but you’ll have the support of a larger company that helps you find customers (though you can find customers on your own as well).

iCracked technicians, known as iTechs, make around $40 per hour. Puls technicians make around $40 for each half-hour repair, and top techs average $875 per week, which amounts to $45,500 per year. These figures aren’t guaranteed, however, and the amount of money you can make as a mobile cell phone repair contractor depends on local market demand, competition, how quickly you can make repairs and how hard you’re willing to work.

Note that iCracked technicians must take an online repair course that reportedly costs $1,500 and takes 5 to 10 hours to complete. Inventory is sold to techs on consignment. Puls does not have a course or upfront fees; but since you’re running your own business, you’ll still have startup costs like your repair vehicle, tools and parts. In addition, you’ll likely need to invest in marketing.

A typical day will involve checking for scheduled appointments, driving to customer locations and repairing their devices. Since you’re a contractor, you’ll need to manage business operations, overhead,  marketing and everything else that comes with owning a business.

Independent phone repair business

You can start your own phone repair business, either as a part-time gig or a full-time career. When you start your own business, you get to decide whether you’ll be a mobile operation, have a brick-and-mortar location, if you will hire employees or contractors and what your rates will be. A good portion of your business may involve flipping phones – when you buy broken phones from customers, then resell them for a profit.

You’ll be responsible for every aspect of operating a successful business: scheduling, marketing, managing employees, purchasing inventory and more. It’s a good idea to develop a strong business plan before you go this route. The Small Business Administration offers free startup resources, including Small Business Development Centers that will help you plan your business.

It’s difficult to project how much you can make as an independent phone repair business. Profitability depends on market demand and your ability to successfully manage costs and market your business, among other factors.

Cell phone repair is a $4 billion industry, and there are 8,551 cell phone repair business in the U.S. Do the math, and that averages to $467,000 in revenues per business. However, revenues aren’t the same as profits, and it’s likely that a few national chains have far more market share than any independent business.

Still, if you operate your business well, you can expect to make more than a mobile contractor since you won’t need to share profits with a third-party company. If you hire employees and accept online mail-in repairs, you have the potential to grow your business exponentially.

Phone repair franchise

Another path to business ownership is to purchase a phone repair franchise. Startup costs are steep, but you’ll have the support of an established national chain that can help you become successful.

Examples include uBreakiFix, which requires a startup investment between $60,000 and $225,000, CPR Cell Phone Repair ($56,000 to $171,000) and Dr. Phone Fix ($102,000 to $215,000).

Like independent businesses, profitability depends on many factors and is not guaranteed. Dr. Phone Fix publishes example sales figures and costs to lend an idea of what’s possible. When you account for overhead, the stores listed ultimately profit around $80,000 to $190,000 annually.

Related Help

> Where and how to learn phone repair

> How to enter the cell phone repair business

> Is cell phone repair still a good business?

> Can you start a business flipping phones?

> How to make any iPhone repair

> Find the value of almost any phone

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