The cell phone repair business is booming in today's world of digital connectivity, making cell phone repair a prime opportunity for anyone who wants to leverage their technical skills to earn a potentially-lucrative income. Whether you want to start your own cell phone repair business or simply learn how to repair cell phones so you can market your services to would-be employers, the following serves as your guide for entering the cell phone repair business.
Learn to repair cell phones
The first step to entering the business is learning to repair cell phones. There are four different ways to learn how to repair phones: offline courses, online courses, self-teaching books, and the online self-taught approach. Each method has its own pros and cons, detailed below.
Offline cell phone repair courses
Offline cell phone repair courses are popular options, primarily because they offer real hands-on repair experience and direct interaction with instructors. Offline repair courses are also focused and fast, covering the most important repairs and administered over a specific period of days. The MD Wireless course, for example, was attended by Flipsy's Ryan Gilliam, who says he learned everything he needed to know about cell phone repair over the three-day course.
Another benefit to offline cell phone repair courses is third-party validation, which often comes in the form of a certificate that proves your expertise. It's one thing to say you're a professional cell phone repair tech, it's another to have someone else verify it. Having such certification can bolster your reputation and help you land more, better, and higher-paying work.
Such supreme focus could be limiting, however; even though most courses offer robust training, anything not covered must be self-taught or learned via a different program. Offline cell phone repair courses additionally require you to attend class at a specified location and work around the class schedule, not the other way around. Finally, the in-person nature of offline cell phone repair courses, while educationally sound, mean they're often the most expensive ways to learn to repair cell phones. However, if you consider tuition an investment in your future, the expense is easily justifiable.
• Personal instructor interaction
• Hands-on experience
• Fast and focus
• Third-party expert validation
• Not always available locally
• Must attend on-site
• Must work around class schedule
• Limited by curriculum (though it can be robust)
Offline cell phone repair courses:
|Wireless Repair Training Center||5 days||$1,499.00|
|Wild PCS||3 to 5 days||$1,200 to $1,500|
|Fix Phone Training||5 days||$1,300.00|
|Florida Cell Phone Repair Training Center||4 days or 1 weekend||$695 to $1,200.00|
|MD Wireless||3 days||$750.00||PCS Cellular Repair Center||3 to 5 days||$1,200 to $1,500||CellBotics||1 or 5 day options||$200 or $1300||JWC World||5 days||$1,500.00||Cellular Plaza||5 days or 2 weekends||$1,500.00||Prizm Institute||Own Pace||$125|
As you can see, offline cell phone repair courses vary in investment and duration, as well as location. Follow the links to learn more about each course so you can pick which represents the best opportunity for your unique situation.
Online cell phone repair courses
Online cell phone repair training is more convenient and cost-effective than online courses; however, it leaves the real hands-on experience is up to you. Some programs offer instructor access, others simply provide educational tools for self-study. It's important to carefully evaluate online cell phone repair courses to determine the quality of each program and what you get in return for your fee.
• Can provide training
• Training program quality varies widely
• No hands-on experience
• Limited or no instructor access
Online cell phone repair courses:
|Cell Phone Repair School||$999.00|
In addition iCracked offers training for its iTechs, who pay $1,499 for a complete "business in a box."
Again, it's important to fully evaluate any online cell phone repair courses you're considering before you invest time and money in them. Do your due diligence, and if something doesn't seem quite right it probably isn't. Work only with reputable online cell phone training schools to earn a valuable repair education.
Cell phone repair books
Books and training guides represent cell phone repair training alternatives for self-motivators who can learn on their own. Though cell phone repair books can provide exceptional instruction, there is no hands-on experience (outside of your own), there are no instructors, and there are no certificates to earn.
• Learn at your own pace
• Can be good instruction
• No hands-on experience
• No instructors
• No certificates
Cell phone repair books:
• The Unauthorized Guide to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Repair
• The PC and Gadget Help Desk
• Business Plan for a Cell Phone Repair Service
• Marketing and Growth Strategies for a Mobile Cell Phone Repair Service
The best part about cell phone repair books is that if they're good, they can serve as references for years to come; if they're bad, you've invested very little money and can justify throwing them away (or selling your used books).
Online self-taught cell phone repair
Finally, you can teach yourself to repair cell phones online by studying free tutorials and guides such as those found on iFixit, which does not have its own training program but does offer hundreds of step-by-step cell phone repair guides - many of which have videos and images. Online self-taught cell phone repair is the cheapest method, but it can also be the most time-consuming since you have to filter out erroneous information and engage in a certain level of trial and error before you gain expert status.
One self-taught professional technician cautions that you should read entire instructions first, because some guides make errors in earlier steps not realized until later steps, so you can save time and hassle by understanding a given repair completely before you attempt it.
• No limitations to learning
• Access to forums and communities to get help (though it's not always correct or easy to find)
• Erroneous information
• No access to instructors
• No certificates
Online self-taught cell phone repair resources:
• Repairs Universe
It's a good idea to search for a specific repair to identify cell phone repair guide and tutorial resources not listed here. Always take information on the web with a grain of salt, and compare guides and tutorials before you begin any given repair to see if they agree on the process. Doing so will help you understand the repair better and will also help fill in any blanks.
The business of cell phone repair
Once you know how to repair cell phones, you can either go into business for yourself or you can work for a company that repairs cell phones. By choosing the former, you assume greater responsibilities but you also have greater earning potential - you're only limited by the work you (and your employees) can do, provided you can find the work to begin with. In the latter, you only have to worry about doing the repairs but your income potential is lower - cell phone repair technicians average salary is $37,000 per year.
If you want to go into business for yourself, you can either open a brick-and-mortar shop or you can be a mobile cell phone repair technician and meet your clients at their locations. Going mobile is a great way to start out because it minimizes your overhead and lessens your overall risk. In fact, iCracked demands its technicians follow the mobile model - but it also provides leads for its technicians, which minimizes the need for additional marketing.
Marketing your business
When it comes to marketing, you can try a combination of digital marketing, print marketing, traditional advertising, word-of-mouth, lead generation, and outdoor marketing to drum up business. Professional networking and public relations can also help. It's a good idea to read books on marketing and take marketing courses so you can more effectively market your cell phone repair business.
Cell phone repair business income
Determining how much you can make repairing cell phones depends on several factors, including how effective your marketing is, your costs-of-operation, what you charge, and, ultimately, how much business you can do. Some technicians repair 5 phones per week; others repair 30 phones per week.
One of the most popular cell phones today is the iPhone 5, and one of the most common cell phone repairs is cracked screen replacement. An iPhone 5 LCD and digitizer display can be purchased for under $60 (and potentially less if you can find a wholesale seller who outfits repair technicians). Many online repair shops charge between $99 and $130 for the repair, which can take around an hour or less, so to remain competitive let's say you charge $110 for the repair and pocket $50.
If you make 5 repairs per week, you'll earn $1,000 per month. If you make 15 repairs per week, however, you'll earn $3,000 per month - right around the average of an employed cell phone technician. If you make 30 repairs per week, you'll earn $6,000 per month.
Of course, you're not always going to get the same repairs nor will each repair take the same amount of time. Moreover, many parts cost much less than replacement screens and many repairs only take a few minutes to complete. One model some repair technicians have adopted is to charge a flat repair fee plus the price of parts - for example, $75 plus parts. This model helps ensure they're well-compensated for their work but don't overcharge customers for repairs, since the ultimate price is dependent on the part and not the labor involved.
If you want to enter the cell phone repair business, success will be dependent on your education: learn how to repair cell phones first, then learn how to market your business. Those skills combined will help lay the foundation for long-term success.