Welcome to Our WirelessAdvisor Community!

You are viewing our forums as a GUEST. Please join us so you can post and view all the pictures.
Registration is easy, fast and FREE!

Cell Site Technicians

Discussion in 'Working or Investing in the Wireless Industry' started by Miguk82, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Miguk82

    Miguk82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Iraq
    Hello,

    I'm am currently serving in the Army as a RF/Microwave system installer, maintainer, and operator. I have worked with LOS, Tropo, and Satillites. I am tired of being away from my family for years at a time and am looking to start a career in the civilian world and have a few questions as I feel this job would be some what like my military one, any help would be appreciated.

    What kind of training is needed to work as a cell site tech? Is it a basic 9-5 kind of job? Is travel normal and or are you away from home often for long periods of time? What is a normal day in the life of a cell site tech? The most important question do you enjoy your job?

    If this is the wrong place to be posting this would anybody know how I could get in contact with someone who works in the field? Thanks in advance
     
  2. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,355
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    151
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    The 4145
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Big Brother
    You'd be a natural fit for the job, skill wise, what you're doing now is very similar. There isn't really any training you'd need prior to being hired other than a solid background in electronics/telecommunications. Some carriers will require a 4 year degree whereas others just want employees that can do the work without direct supervision.

    As a cell tech, you'll spend most of your time fixing equipment malfunctions, preventative maintenance and inventory. Expect to do a decent amount of night work, certain tasks can only be performed in a maintenance window that generally spans 2330 to 0500, plus or minus depending on the company. Outside of that, your other time will be worked during the day, most companies allow the technician to have some flexibility in terms of schedule, mostly as long as you work your eight hours a day, you'll be left alone. As far as travel, most carrier technicians have little to none. The cell techs that are traveling are ones that generally work for the large equipment companies on support contracts, techs that work for Lucent or Ericsson can expect to travel most based on the workload. If you work direct for a carrier, you'll generally be assigned a specific territory and won't leave it very often unless you're helping the tech next door.

    Being that most cell techs are based out of their homes, a typical day would consist of waking up, booting up the company laptop, getting something to drink or take a shower, log on and check your emails, respond to anything critical and check your tickets, get dressed, grab the laptop and head out to your first ticket/incident or if you don't have any, head out to do whatever preventative maintenance you're allowed during the day. If you don't have much to do you might head on over to the mall and perform a "coverage check." During the day, you'll continually check your emails in case a new ticket arrives or wait for a phone call from the Operations Center. After a few hours, you'll be done for the day, so you'll head home and be able to catch the afternoon episode of Maury.

    I should also add that most companies require that their technicians participate in a rotating on-call schedule for after hours emergencies. How often your on call will depend on how big your workgroup is, but instead of just your normal territory you'll also be responsible for several other surrounding areas.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #2 TelcomJunkie, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  3. Miguk82

    Miguk82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Iraq
    Awesome information and Thanks! I am working on my Associates now, but no electronics classes as of yet. Are there any certifications that I could work on? What are some good companies to work for? Thanks again
     
  4. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,355
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    151
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    The 4145
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Big Brother
    I'd definitely look into completing at least your GROL, while 3/4 of the knowledge you'll need for that test won't be used for anything else, if you don't end up in cellular, a lot of government radio jobs like that license. You can look into an ETA certification, but having the certs may or may not help you. Your biggest seller, provided they don't want a four year degree, will be your hands on experience, your ability to learn quickly and a willingness to work in a 24/7/365 profit driven environment.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,074
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    1
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Undisclosed
    Wireless Provider(s):
    GSM / WCDMA /LTE
    I also did the same job as you in the Air Force (Mobile SATCOM, aka "The Mob" :D) When I got out in 1999 I got a job immediately as a Transmission Network Engineer. But it was different times then, everything was booming, now it's settled down a bit, altho backhaul is a hot topic again nowadays so it's a good field to be in once again.

    I'm working in Europe, but sent my resume a few times in the last few years to jobs State-side, but alot got automatically rejected when I filled in their quick questionaire that I don't have a 4 year degree. I thought it was kind of silly to overlook my 15+ years work experience, but OK whatever :rolleyes:

    Anyway, look into transmission/backhaul, microwave or fiber, it's basically the same, just different L1.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. spleck

    spleck Tool
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Messages:
    805
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    18
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Middle GA
    My Phone:
    iPhone 5 VZW
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Ahhh, the "coverage check". My buddy's an RF Engineer and that seems to be a major portion of his job!
     
  7. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,355
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    151
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    The 4145
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Big Brother
    It does end up being a decent portion of an RF engineers job for a cellular company, sometimes seriously and sometimes just to kill time. I can say that I have been assigned the task of thoroughly checking the coverage inside malls where we had signed up onto a carrier neutral DAS system that was installed in the mall. It probably took ten hours a mall to complete, as they wanted me to check every dressing room area, employee lounge, back hallway and of course every inch of the sales floor. In one mall alone I logged over twenty miles of walking!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. Miguk82

    Miguk82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Iraq
    TJ what would be the best way to get in contact with a carrier and ask them what they look for when hiring techs? Any recommendations on some good college programs I should look into? Sorry for the 20 questions, just trying to get all my ducks in a row so I can hang up this Army hat. Thanks again for all the help everyone :)
     
  9. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,355
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    151
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    The 4145
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Big Brother
    All you can really do is continually watch their job websites, each carrier has their own hiring site where you'd have to apply for any openings. You can also look at major equipment manufactuers, like Lucent or Ericsson as they have their own support technicians.

    As for college, any degree is a plus, but something in electronics or telecommunications would be best. It wouldn't hurt you at all to have an four year electrical engineering degree.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. Miguk82

    Miguk82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Iraq
    I going to start knocking out some certs until my contract with the man is over. I was looking at the eta-i.org website and thinking about starting with thr C.E.T cert and follow up with the sub certs offered. I've taken the practice exam and got a 72% so I'm sure I have a ways to go. Any thoughts on the cert above? Thanks again everyone
     

Share This Page

Copyright 1997-2020 Wireless Advisor™, LLC. All rights reserved. All registered and unregistered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
WirelessAdvisor.com is not associated by ownership or membership with any cellular, PCS or wireless service provider companies and is not meant to be an endorsement of any company or service. Some links on these pages may be paid advertising or paid affiliate programs.

Positive SSL
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice