PC maintenance technicians need some formal education and possibly a bachelor's degree. This training could pay off in the long run; a faster than average employment growth was expected for the field over the coming years, and the pay can be quite lucrative.
PC maintenance technology professionals are also known as PC maintenance technicians or simply as computer technicians. They assist in the operation, modification, and maintenance of an organization's computer systems. The education needed to become a PC maintenance technician varies, but the job usually requires at least some postsecondary computer studies.
|Required Education||Varies from some college computer classes up to a bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||12% for all computer support specialists|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$67,260 per year for all computer network support specialists; $52,430 per year for all computer user support specialists*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer salary information for workers with the exact title of PC maintenance technician; however, it does report salary information for computer support specialists. Professionals in these two positions perform similar duties and should be considered comparable.
According to the BLS, as of May 2015, computer network support specialists earned an average hourly wage of $32.33, which equates to an average annual salary of $67,260. The lowest paid 10% of professionals earned $36,350 or less per year. The highest paid 10% of workers earned a total salary of $106,310 or more per year (www.bls.gov). Meanwhile, computer user support specialists earned an average hourly wage of $25.21 in that same year, resulting in an annual salary of $52,430. Most user support specialists earned between $28,990 and $81,260 in 2015, per the BLS.
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PC maintenance technicians install, upgrade, configure, and maintain the hardware and software components of their employer's computer systems. They also provide assistance to users, diagnosing and solving any problems related to the use of computer programs or hardware, like printers or scanners. Depending on their employer's needs, a computer technician may install and uninstall software, find and fix bugs in software, or make direct, physical changes to computer systems, including configuring networking and server hardware. In addition to excellent technical skills, PC maintenance technicians must have outstanding communications skills as well, since they will often train non-technical professionals in the use of new computer equipment and software programs.
The BLS estimated that as of 2014, there were 766,900 professionals employed as computer support specialists. This total was expected to grow by a faster-than-average rate of 12% from 2014 to 2024 due to the rapid evolution of new technologies and obsolescence of older equipment (www.bls.gov). Job growth may be tempered by the outsourcing of telephone-based and remote support positions, but in-house and hands-on PC maintenance professionals will not be affected to the same extent. Job opportunities will be best for those professionals who hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.
PC maintenance technicians are still highly sought after. Some formal computer repair education is necessary, and technicians with a 4-year degree are expected to be the most in-demand. Depending on whether technicians specialize in computer user or network support, they could earn annual salaries of around $50,000 a year or more.