A computer repair technician installs, fixes and maintains computers. Although aspiring technicians might find work in this field with only a high school diploma, employers generally prefer candidates who have completed postsecondary training programs.
Individuals interested in earning a degree or certificate in computer repair may expect to learn about computer technology and other related subjects. Certificates generally take one year or less to complete and focus almost exclusively on computer repair topics, while two-year associate's programs include additional general education coursework. Some associate's programs also include field experiences.
Applicants to these programs are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Certificate in Computer Repair Technology
A certificate program in computer repair technology can provide students with a basic background in computers and operating systems, in addition to computer repair. Coursework for a certificate program in computer repair technology generally focuses on computer systems and network technologies, without the addition of general education courses. Specific topics of study might include:
- Basic electronics for computer repair
- Hardware troubleshooting
- Computer diagnostic software
- Network client operating systems
- Technical mathematics and/or technical writing
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Associate Degree in Computer Repair Technology
Aspiring computer repair technicians also might opt to complete an associate degree program in computer repair technology, computer maintenance technology or a related field. Associate degree programs in computer repair technology usually feature a core curriculum identical to that of a certificate program in computer repair. However, most also require completion of general education courses and, in some cases, a practicum or internship component.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
As of May 2015, the annual salary for computer, ATM and office machine repairers ranged from $22,230 to $59,580, with a median salary of $36,840, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reported that jobs for computer, ATM and office machine repairers were expected to grow at a slower-than-average rate of 2% from 2014 to 2024.
Certificate and associate's degree programs in computer repair technology both include training on how to repair computer systems, but associate's degree programs take longer because they also cover general education courses. Associate's degree programs may also require that internship experiences be completed before graduation.