Average wages for a installer

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danwolf101

danwolf101

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Dec 9, 2005
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What is the average salary for an installer.I hear bad things about installers getting screwed or not getting payed for work???
 
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chadzx11

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 28, 2006
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memphis
Due to hack installers and wetback-type business practices (where companies move in and cut each other's throats), installer pay has come down in the 10 years I've been doing this. I started in 1997 at $75/$25, with primestar supplying everything except truck and tools. In 2006, I make $75/$25, but I have to supply everything, and it is all more expensive than it was back then, gas by nearly 3x.

We get nonpayed quite a bit, especially on BS service calls (those would be the ones that are customer caused or non D*/E* equipment related), and we aren't allowed to charge those customers.
 
lurch

lurch

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 1, 2003
102
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Buffalo,New york
Yep 50K for me too.Thats alot of money for someone with no college or trade.Just SBCA training and a couple of years as a satellite hobbyist.At least in this part of the country!Plus tips!!!!
 
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RandallA

RandallA

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Dec 13, 2004
10,556
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50K? Are you guys doing a lot of overtime? I know you have to work weekends. Like you said, that's good money for someone with no college or trade.
 
lurch

lurch

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Dec 1, 2003
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Buffalo,New york
I work about 30 hrs per week on average,ive been doing it for 6yrs now so I'm pretty fast.Can do up to 4 installs between 2 and 4 boxes apeice a day.The newer guys with company vehicles are struggling to get buy.
 
HCI

HCI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 19, 2005
2,580
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land of the ice and snow
RandallA said:
50K? Are you guys doing a lot of overtime? I know you have to work weekends. Like you said, that's good money for someone with no college or trade.

I do 3 jobs per day. Somedays are 3 installs some are 2 installs and 1 service call and sometimes 1 install and 2 service calls but always atleast 1 install. Most of the time its 2 installs and 1 service call. I use to be a subcontractor and almost starved when gas prices first started going up. Now I have ALL of my equipment supplied, van, tools, gas, anything I need "my company is great to me and the rest of the techs". All of my installs are Hughesnet which pay $60 per install and $35 per service call on the Residential side. The Enterprise side depending on what I do and how long it takes pay is between $200 to $250 for installs and $150 for service calls. I get $20 per pole I sale, $20 per wall fish, $20 per wireless router I sale "which is 1 out of 4" $20 for a non pen mount, and $50 If I sale an account. Occasionally I will do a Directv or Dish.

The thing that sucks is sometimes I will have to drive 3 hours just to get to my first job. Like today I left my office @ 8:30 and got to my first job @ 11:15. I done 3 installs "with 2 poles" that were about 45 mins apart and finished @ 6:15 and just got home. I did make $220.

I work Monday thru Saturday. Sundays I will never work for anyone, thats BS.
 
D

dnsguy

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 7, 2006
102
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washington state
at dns northwest you start at 14 an hour with stackranking incentive you get about 250 more every two weeks if you're a good tech. plus a 10 percent raise a year to fss3. they are coming out with fss4 also that will be another raise. fsm's get screwed though with a 10 percent off their hourly and then get salary
 
uboatcmdr

uboatcmdr

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 4, 2005
297
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Alabama
I averaged between $45-$55K while I was doing installs for a HSP (Bruister). Now that HSP is planning to cut pay drasticly. Whereas the piece rate POV (personally owned wehicle) techs were getting $60 per base install, $25 each additional outlet, $40 for an upgrade and $25 for a service call they will soon be getting hourly rates, just like the hourly COV (company owned vehicle) techs (they will get an addition $0.44 per mile to cover the cost of their vehicle, maintenance, fuel and commercial insurance. Under the piece rate if a tech did 3- 3 outlet installs and 1 service call in a day he/she would have made $355. Now at the hourly pay rate (about $12.50 per hour) the same tech doing the same work within an 8 hour day would make $100 plus the $0.44 per mile. Even if the tech had to drive 200 miles in that day he would only get an extra $88 making his total for the day $188. That's a difference of $167 and the bad thing is the tech would not be driving any 200 miles that day (unless he had to go to the office for equipment or to attend a staff meeting).
 
Crossbones

Crossbones

Member
Jun 10, 2006
10
0
Alabama
I am a POV for Bruister and after deducting for my cell, gas, maintenance, and taxes...I "AVERAGE" about $750 per week.
 
Van

Van

SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,326
10
Virginia Beach
As an ex E tech I made 50k last year and was slated to make 65k this year if not 80k if there were to be another bad hurricane season south this year. Actual E employee inhouse tech.

28k
32k
37k
43k
47k
51k
projected 65k before parting ways.
 
uboatcmdr

uboatcmdr

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 4, 2005
297
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Alabama
Crossbones said:
I am a POV for Bruister and after deducting for my cell, gas, maintenance, and taxes...I "AVERAGE" about $750 per week.

That's what you make now as a piece rate POV tech, but just wait until the pay change comes into effect and you are getting paid hourly with mileage suppliment of $0.44 per mile. That $750 per week after expenses will be more like $450. The old days of working 30-35 hours and making $1000 a week or more will soon be history, a "good old days" story for you to tell the $10 per hour FNG's as your standing around waiting for the staff meetings to start.
Last year when we first caught word of the company bringing in COV's some of our guys tried to get the CWA (Communications Workers of America) union voted in. Before we ever got a chance to vote, many of the organizers, myself included, got unjustly fired. After our firings the union effort in our office died, but from what I understand the unionizing efforts are being reborn due in part to the new pay plan. If some of the techs in your office haven't already done so you might want to contact the CWA local in your area (the CWA is the union that represents Bellsouth and Bruister's Gadsden office as well) and get the ball rolling before things get any worse.


Don't wait for the feces to impact the rotory cooling device, call the CWA today.
http://www.cwa-union.org/
 
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HCI

HCI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 19, 2005
2,580
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land of the ice and snow
No disrespect to anyone but I would never work under union policy's. If a company was trying to screw me like you described B&A doing I would just have to leave the company. If they think they are going to undermind me and screw me over they can hire the $10 dollar and hour bum who will last 2 months.

Unions remind me too much of the communist beliefs that everyone gets an equal share. I am also not big on the I've been here longer than you so I should make more than you people. If a guy who comes in and knows more than me and is better than me, absolutely he should get paid more than I do, he is more valuable to the company. Just because you have been in the business since the stone age does not mean you are good at what you do. If you want to set around and collect dust find a table.
 
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stevo/65

stevo/65

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 19, 2005
317
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Texas
The Tate said:
No disrespect to anyone but I would never work under union policy's. If a company was trying to screw me like you described B&A doing I would just have to leave the company. If they think they are going to undermind me and screw me over they can hire the $10 dollar and hour bum who will last 2 months.

Unions remind me too much of the communist beliefs that everyone gets an equal share. I am also not big on the I've been here longer than you so I should make more than you people. If a guy who comes in and knows more than me and is better than me, absolutely he should get paid more than I do, he is more valuable to the company. Just because you have been in the business since the stone age does not mean you are good at what you do. If you want to set around and collect dust find a table.

That is your opinion and yes this is a free country still.
But to me communism is not having that right.
If a company wants you to work at what you consider not worth getting involed is
again your opinion... but unions will be a topic you and i will disagree on.
you may think of it as communism..but what these companies are doing now
to their techs "forcing them to work slave wages or you can walk" is communism.
I personally walked... but like you said i have plenty of experience to have more options and contacts to keep me busy in this buisness without dealing with
HSP/DNS slave wages.
 
HCI

HCI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 19, 2005
2,580
1
land of the ice and snow
stevo/65 said:
That is your opinion and yes this is a free country still.
But to me communism is not having that right.
If a company wants you to work at what you consider not worth getting involed is
again your opinion... but unions will be a topic you and i will disagree on.
you may think of it as communism..but what these companies are doing now
to their techs "forcing them to work slave wages or you can walk" is communism.
I personally walked... but like you said i have plenty of experience to have more options and contacts to keep me busy in this buisness without dealing with
HSP/DNS slave wages.

Again let me emphasise I am not trying to start an argument here with anyone.:)
What I am trying to say is how many "RICH" people do you see that work in a union?
Another problem I have is one of the guys I use to work with also worked for a factory and was part of the union. He was helping his brother move one day and threw his back out. The union's insurance did not want to pay for him to go to the doctor because they claimed he was working for money without their concent. If anyone workers for a company and the company is not paying them what they are worth the company is scum and the worker should not be there. The above website quotes "Having a union and the right to bargain collectively with your employer is not some old-fashioned idea that’s time has come and gone. Top executives of every major corporation negotiate their own compensation, retirement and severance packages with the companies for which they work." Anyone can do this on their own. If you feel you are worth a raise you should have the confidence to go to your employer and ask them yourself and be willing to walk. There is always another job somewere if you have the drive to find it. If he employer does not want to hear you out you should not be working for them in the first place. I hear people all the time "my boss sucks" why not do something about it. Change jobs, start a business, this is America and even though somepeople think this country stinks it is still the best in the world.
 
uboatcmdr

uboatcmdr

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 4, 2005
297
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Alabama
The Tate said:
Again let me emphasise I am not trying to start an argument here with anyone.:)
What I am trying to say is how many "RICH" people do you see that work in a union?
Another problem I have is one of the guys I use to work with also worked for a factory and was part of the union. He was helping his brother move one day and threw his back out. The union's insurance did not want to pay for him to go to the doctor because they claimed he was working for money without their concent. If anyone workers for a company and the company is not paying them what they are worth the company is scum and the worker should not be there. The above website quotes "Having a union and the right to bargain collectively with your employer is not some old-fashioned idea that’s time has come and gone. Top executives of every major corporation negotiate their own compensation, retirement and severance packages with the companies for which they work." Anyone can do this on their own. If you feel you are worth a raise you should have the confidence to go to your employer and ask them yourself and be willing to walk. There is always another job somewere if you have the drive to find it. If he employer does not want to hear you out you should not be working for them in the first place. I hear people all the time "my boss sucks" why not do something about it. Change jobs, start a business, this is America and even though somepeople think this country stinks it is still the best in the world.

There is a big difference between a union of unskilled factory workers and a professional trades union (the satellite installers would be considered a skilled trade, not a factory worker). They may both be "unions" but they don't even operate the same.
 
Crossbones

Crossbones

Member
Jun 10, 2006
10
0
Alabama
uboatcmdr, Until Monday morning, I was a tech at the Gadsden office. You wouldn't believe the problems going on there.
 
B

B&Aemployee

Member
Aug 4, 2005
7
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GA
uboatcmdr, I've been with the company as a POV for over two years now, and agree with you on most points. I've read all of your posts, including the ones from last year regarding the COVs.

I make excellent money, last year I was the third highest grossing tech from my office out of around 40 guys. I'm well respected, and get what I want because I fight like hell with management to get it. Hell, I've been training an FNG every week for the past 5-6 weeks, so they must think I'm pretty good.

But yeah, the company as a whole as going into the sh*tter, and fast. The turnover rate for techs company wide was 72% a few months ago, which was one of the reasons why the COVs got a nice pay raise in April. But they're STILL having constant problems with very low productivity out of the COVs. At our staff meeting Tuesday, our office manager told everybody that if weren't for us POVs, Bruister wouldn't be in business anymore. Which is true, because our completion rate is on average 15-25% higher than the COVs.

I don't know if your source of information regarding POV pay changes is correct, but you can be rest assured that Bruister will be forced out of business if they do implement hourly rates for POVs. Not only will they lose our high productivity rates, but also our high completion rates as well. Without high completion, DirecTV will eventually drop Bruister like a bad habit.
 
uboatcmdr

uboatcmdr

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 4, 2005
297
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Alabama
B&Aemployee said:
uboatcmdr, I've been with the company as a POV for over two years now, and agree with you on most points. I've read all of your posts, including the ones from last year regarding the COVs.

I make excellent money, last year I was the third highest grossing tech from my office out of around 40 guys. I'm well respected, and get what I want because I fight like hell with management to get it. Hell, I've been training an FNG every week for the past 5-6 weeks, so they must think I'm pretty good.

But yeah, the company as a whole as going into the sh*tter, and fast. The turnover rate for techs company wide was 72% a few months ago, which was one of the reasons why the COVs got a nice pay raise in April. But they're STILL having constant problems with very low productivity out of the COVs. At our staff meeting Tuesday, our office manager told everybody that if weren't for us POVs, Bruister wouldn't be in business anymore. Which is true, because our completion rate is on average 15-25% higher than the COVs.

I don't know if your source of information regarding POV pay changes is correct, but you can be rest assured that Bruister will be forced out of business if they do implement hourly rates for POVs. Not only will they lose our high productivity rates, but also our high completion rates as well. Without high completion, DirecTV will eventually drop Bruister like a bad habit.

Trust me the changes are coming, just as the COV's did. I got the info over on the Cablbar (www.cabl.com, click on the "pony up to the bar" icon, cablbar is a site for and by people in the industry, not a customer based site like Satguys). Head over there and check out some of the exchanges that have been taking place between a Bruister exec (SatSouth) and some installers. SatSouth is trying to justify the upcoming pay changes by saying it is unfair that there are two different pay schedules (one for POV and another for COV). I asked him some direct questions regarding the subject, one being if it is unfair now to have two pay schedules whay wasn't it unfair when they instituted them a year ago? And another question was why is it more fair to convert the POV's to the much lower hourly rates (with a mileage suppliment) than to pay the COV's piece rates and charge them a fee to use the company trucks? Of course I couldn't get a straight answer to either question. If you read the things that SatSouth is posting it is obvious that he is Herb's deligate for trying to beat down any unionizing efforts and not a man of his own opinion. Barnburner (another Bruister exec who used that handle here on Satguys last year) also made a brief appearance on the cablbar (he made one post week before last and it disappeared within a hour, but not before I could quote it and respond to what he said.
You are right, if Bruister continues to hire burger flippers from Micky D's not only will you not be able to get a decent burger, the customers will not be able to get a decent install. That is why there needs to be a trade union in place for the professional installers. I know a lot of people view unions based on what they know of factory unions like the UAW where people make $30 for bolting fenders on cars or standing in one spot all day plulling a handle or pushing a button. But with a trade union, the union makes sure it's members are trained and certified in the profession (an example would be the plumbers, carpenters, millwrights, pipefitters and electricians unions all of which have apprenticeship programs to train the workers). Look at companies like Bellsouth whose workers are represented by the CWA. They get their training through the union and the turnover rate of the workers is very, very low.
 
Crossbones

Crossbones

Member
Jun 10, 2006
10
0
Alabama
As for the Gadsden (union) office, there are serious problems. The fired the manager 6 months ago and have not hired one yet. Well, actually they did hire an ex "cable guy" for the job but on his second day he went to lunch and never came back. The head CSR quit two months ago and they hired a girl that used to be a cashier at Wal-Mart. She lasted only a few days. The assistant manager is on a power kick and the district manager really does not want to leave the office (he is there about four days every week). Techs are quitting or getting fired almost daily and no new techs are being hired. Sub contractors are getting all movers connections and a great many installs while everyone else COVs and POVs are doing upgrades and service calls. The word UNION is not allowed to be said. Over half the techs were written up two weeks ago for nonresponder rates. I was one of them. A tech asked for a union rep before we signed the write-up but he could not be found. To make a long story short...The bad management in the Gadsden office can make your job very hard if you do not play their game. I do not see that office being open much longer. It almost looks like they want it to close.
I am not bitter or disgruntled. I just had all I could stand. I know a lot about the politics and problems in the Gadsden office but I choose not to make them public here because "management" could make it harder on some of the guys that are still there.
 
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