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Computer Installer Career Overview

Computer installers require little amount of formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and certification options to see if this is the right career for you.

Computer installers work with computer hardware and software. They install and repair hardware systems and set up networks. Typically, computer installers have at least an associate's degree in computers or an educational certificate.

Essential Information

Computer installers help set up, configure, maintain and repair computer hardware systems. These professionals generally have some formal training in computer-related fields, and many hold additional professional certifications in specific technologies.

Required Education Certificate or associate's degree in computer or network-related field; bachelor's for systems administrators
Other Requirements Must have developed knowledge of electronics; specialized certifications may be preferred by employers
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 0% for electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment; 8% for network and computer systems administrators
Median Salary (2015)* $36,840 for computer, ATM and office machine repairers; $77,810 for network and computer systems administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Computer Installer Career Overview

Computer installers, also called computer repairers or computer service technicians, install, configure and troubleshoot computers and computer hardware and software. Their duties may include installing new hardware, connecting a computer to a network and setting up a complete system. They can perform hands-on work in both homes and businesses.

Computer installers should have good problem-solving skills and should enjoy working with their hands. Once they have experience working in this profession, computer repairers may advance to work on more sophisticated systems or may earn management positions.

Employment Outlook

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) didn't offer specific employment information on computer installers as of 2014, they did state that the jobs for electrical and electronics repairers working with commercial and industrial equipment were not expected to see any job growth from 2014-2024. However, network and computer systems administrators, who also install computer systems, were expected to experience faster employment growth, at a rate of 8% for the same decade, according to the BLS.

Salary

Wages of computer installers may vary by location and level of education. While the BLS reported a median annual wage of $36,840 for computer, ATM and office machine repairers in 2015, network and computer systems administrator saw a median annual wage of $77,810 that year.

Required Education

To become a computer repairer, an individual must usually complete at least an associate's degree program, although some may receive formal training through certificate programs. Some employers may provide on-the-job training. Computer repairers should be mechanically inclined and have knowledge of electronics.

The curriculum usually includes coursework, lab work and hands-on training. Topics of study may include microcomputer applications, electronics, computer forensics, wireless communications, C- programming, object-oriented programming and network security.

Certification

Computer installers or repairers can choose to obtain certification to demonstrate their competence in specific areas in computer technology. Many software and hardware vending companies offer certification when their products are being used.

The Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) offers many certifications for individuals specializing in electronics and computers. Computer installers and repairers can obtain the Computer Service Technician, Wireless Network Technician, Certified Network Computer Technician and the Certified Network Systems Technician certifications through the ETA.

Computer installers need a strong knowledge of electronics, computers and networks in order to be successful. They can obtain this knowledge from an undergraduate degree program or through other forms of formal training. Those who wish to further demonstrate their credibility can seek out optional certification through the ETA.


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