Career Definition for a Computer Installation Technician
Computer installation technicians design and create computer networks for clients of varying sizes, ranging from small independent businesses to large corporations. Once the network for the office has been created, computer installation technicians install all needed computer hardware and software and make sure the computers can communicate with each other on the office's network.
|Education||Associate degree can gain employment, but companies typically hire those with a bachelor's|
|Job Skills||Problem solving, manual dexterity, excellent communication, hardware installation|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$77,810 for network and computer systems administrators|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||8% for network and computer systems administrators|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While some companies hire computer installation technicians who have only a 2-year associate degree in a field related to computer science, most employers hire applicants who have a 4-year bachelor's degree. Students interested in becoming computer installation technicians should take courses like computer science, network administration, mathematics, and software design. Many workers also have certification in specialized areas of computer installation.
Computer installation technicians need to have strong problem solving skills and should have a high level of manual dexterity. Additionally, they must be good communicators and need to be able to complete the physical tasks associated with installing computer hardware.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), jobs in computer installation technology are expected to grow as fast as the national average between 2014 and 2024. Job applicants with bachelor's degrees should be able to find jobs relatively easily. The median salary for network and computer systems administrators such as computer installation technicians was published as $77,810 in May 2015, depending on employer, location, and experience.
Below are some other options in the field of computer support:
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Computer Support Specialist
Those who want a career maintaining computer systems and helping users with technical issues should consider becoming a computer support specialist. These computer professionals troubleshoot networks and computer equipment, install software, set up printers and other equipment, repair devices and provide computer instruction to users. An associate degree or courses in computer technology may be all that is required to gain employment. However, larger, more technologically complex organizations look for workers who hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. The BLS predicts that the employment of computer support personnel will grow by 12% during the 2014-2024 decade, resulting in the creation of 88,800 new jobs. In 2015, these specialists earned a median wage of $51,470, as reported by the BLS.
Computer Systems Analysts
If designing and studying the information technology system of an organization sounds interesting, then becoming a computer systems analyst may be the right career move. Systems analysts consult with management to determine what technology is needed and then design a system to meet those needs. They also analyze costs, manage installation, perform functionality tests and create manuals and other instructional guides. To enter this profession, earning a bachelor's degree in a computer related field is the best option, but other majors such as business may be sufficient. More technically advanced companies could require a master's degree. BLS data from May of 2015 show the median salary of systems analysts at $85,800. The BLS also expects much faster than average job growth of 21% from 2014-2024.