Students in an associate's degree program learn to troubleshoot malfunctioning computers, identify whether problems are hardware or software-related and make necessary replacements, installations or adjustments. Schools usually require a GED or high school diploma, however some schools accept applicants who are able to pass college preparedness tests.
Graduates of these 2-year programs should be prepared to seek positions as computer service technicians with computer equipment wholesalers, appliance stores and office supply stores. Optional certification is available through professional organizations, software companies and hardware manufacturers.
Associate's Degree in PC Maintenance and Repair
Program content may address desktop computers, laptop computers, monitors and printers. Associate's degree programs often include general education courses. Core coursework cover topics related to electronic device hardware and circuitry in addition to software functioning. The following courses are likely to be part of the program:
- Electricity fundamentals
- Basic electronic circuits
- Integrated circuits and digital logic
- Computer electronics and hardware
- PC operating systems and software applications
- Hardware maintenance and upgrade procedures
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projected a 1% decline in employment for computer, office machine and ATM repairers for the years of 2018 and 2028. The need to replace workers who retire or transfer to other careers will account for most job openings. According to the BLS, these workers made a median annual salary of $38,480 in May 2018.
Continuing Education Information
People who earn a computer technician associate's degree can obtain certification through the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). Associate Level Electronics CET certification is available to technicians who pass a relevant exam with at least a 75% score. Technicians who pass the associate's exam and the journeyman exam for computers are awarded the designation Journeyman Level CET.
Associate's degree programs in PC maintenance and repair are two-year programs that provide students with foundational knowledge in computer repair. Graduates of these programs can pursue certification through several different professional organizations.