What Is a PC Maintenance Technician?
The main purpose of a PC maintenance technician is to maintain, repair, and troubleshoot computer hardware, software, networks, and auxiliary devices. They set up new power supplies, upgrade firmware, repair motherboards, install software and applications, troubleshoot operating systems, scan for viruses, and manage firewall protection. PC technicians log and report PC performance and document hardware failure, repair, installation, and removal. The technician will also aid in maintaining a record of all monitors, keyboards, hard drives, modems, and other auxiliary equipment. Equipment can include software diagnostic programs and hand tools for repairing computers and their parts. PC maintenance technicians are usually part of an IT department or work for an IT service company.
|Educational Requirements||Associate's or bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Troubleshooting, strong technical computer knowledge, communication skills, interpersonal skills|
|Median Salary (July 2019)*||$43,410|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||11% (for all computer support specialists)|
Sources: *Payscale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
PC maintenance technicians are typically required to hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, information technology, or a related field. An associate's degree in a technical computer field, along with related work experience, may also suffice. Many companies may prefer candidates who have certification. CompTIA A+ certification is widely accepted as the industry standard. Microsoft offers the Microsoft Certification Program with many certification options for technicians, and Apple offers the Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) and Apple Certified Mac Technician (ACMT).
PC technicians must have strong computer expertise. They should have technical knowledge of network protocols, operating systems, and standards. They should have the ability to remedy issues related to Windows, Microsoft office, Ethernet cabling, multimedia systems, and email applications, as well as the ability to read and understand technical manuals and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) guides. Troubleshooting is central to a PC maintenance technician's responsibilities. In addition to resolving hardware and software issues, they must also help employees recover lost data and address malware and viruses within individual workstations and the entire company network.
Technicians must also have excellent communication skills, as they will need to interact with a variety of people who don't all have the same level of technical knowledge. Having computer issues can be very stressful, and technicians should have the interpersonal skills to defuse this stress with a helpful demeanor.
Career Outlook and Salary
Payscale.com reports that the median salary for PC maintenance technicians in July 2019 was $43,410. The lowest 10% earned less than $31,000, and the highest 10% earned more than $59,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of all computer support specialists is estimated to grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average compared to all other occupations. The need for technical support services will continue to grow as more organizations update their computer equipment and software with further complex systems.
Below are a few careers related to that of a PC maintenance technician.