So You Want To Be A Satellite Installer

by Anthony Albright - Date: 2007-01-04 - Word Count: 645 Share This!

Maybe you've installed your own satellite or watched while someone else installed one. It could be that you've seen some help wanted ads, and thought, "I could do that". The ad might have even mentioned how much you can make installing satellite systems. Let me help you in making an informed decision.

Let's say you have seen a help wanted ad for satellite installers. It might have read something like this;

Satellite Installer Wanted
Make $600-$1200 installing satellite systems. GREAT opportunity!!! Experience and SBCA Certification a plus, but will train. Work as an independent contractor,. Paid per job. Valid driver's license, hand tools, drills and ladder a must. Truck or van required. Call (000)000-0000

The money doesn't sound too bad. You would be willing to learn. It would be nice to be an independent contractor, be your own boss. You even have some of the tools, ladder, truck, so you call. You make an appointment for an interview.

Your interviewer will probably be with the owner, manager or installation manager. Keep in mind that this person's income depends on getting the installations completed. If you have a decent appearance, valid drivers license and are handy with tools, you have a good chance of getting hired. Now let's look and the money. Let's say they pay $50.00 for each completed installation and $10 for each additional receiver. A little quick math tells you that 20 installs + 20 additional receiver and you are already at $1200. You start off by riding with someone else who has experience and after a few days, they'll put you on your own. Once on your own you will probably only have maybe 2 a day to start, just until you pick up speed.

Keep in mind, to start out, you will need to invest in some things. You will need a ladder, ladder rack, meters, crimpers, strippers, cutters, a cell phone, computer, internet access, general liability insurance and supplies. Maybe your potential "boss" will loan you some of this to get you started, but at some point, you will need to make the investment.

Now let's look at the ongoing costs. The largest expense will be your mileage. At my busiest time, I was putting over a thousand miles per week on my truck. The mileage is more than just the cost of gas even though that's a whopper. You also have the maintenance, tires, shocks, oil changes and tune ups. Each mile that you put on your vehicle will bring down the value of the vehicle. Take a look on to see what mileage will do to the value of your vehicle. What the government allows you to deduct as a mileage rate is pretty good estimate for what your costs will be.

Other costs that you will need to consider are cell phone, internet access, general liability insurance and supplies. Last but not least we can't forget about taxes. When you are self employed, you need to pay both the employee and the employers side. Yes you will have a lot of deductions you can take, but the government gives you those deductions because it actually costs you that to do business.

Now we haven't even considered the risks you will be taking. You won't have unemployment or workers compensation to fall back on if something happens. If you want health, disability, life, or dental insurance you will need to pay for it yourself. If you want a vacation, you will need to save your money so you can pay your bills when you're not working.

At this rate, you would be lucky to even be earning minimum wage. It would actually be better to get $10/hr as an employee. Where all the tools, truck, insurance are supplied. I'll get more into details on expenses in a future article. This is just the first in a series. I'll put them all on my website as I write them.

Related Tags: satellite, directv, dishnetwork, technician, installer

I have been working in the satellite field for over 12 years. I have worked on:
Dish Network
C-band (full view)
Ku-band TVRO and 2 way
Microwave TV and data
UHF/VHF antenna
alarm systems
home theater
flat screen
projection systems
audio/video distribution
IR and RF control systems

Some of the companies I have worked with are:
Quantum AT&T security
Southern Star Satellite
Rocking R
Dish Network
Heartland Wireless TV
Diversified Cable
Harrisonville Telephone Co
Wireless Mikes
Circuit City
Best Buy
CC Bell Electronics
Installs Inc
Installation Pro
Thompson CE
All Channel Satellite
All Star Satellite
TWA Dome (now Ed Jones Dome)
Famous Barr
Home Cable Concepts
Custom Home Electronics

I was in the Navy for 10 years as a Cryptologic Technician. I first attended Basic Electricity and Electronics, Great Lakes Ill

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