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PC Technicians install, repair, and upgrade personal computers, work stations, and peripheral devices such as printers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer support specialists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. About 75,000 openings for computer support specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Entry Level PC Technicians earn $15 per hour on average, experienced PC Technician's earn $30 per hour on average.
Many people work as PC Technicians without any formal training or certification, however certification provides proof of your competence, gives your customers and employers a higher level of confidence in you, and increases your job opportunities and earnings.
The most recognized certification for PC Technicians is the CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) A+ certification. CompTIA has over 22,000 member companies, including Apple, Cisco, Dell, Novel, Oracle, and Microsoft. To become A+ certified, you must pass two exams: the A+ Core Hardware exam and the A+ Operating System exam. The exams test your ability and knowledge to perform as an entry-level PC Technician.
Another highly recognized certification is the MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician) which focuses more on install, repair, and upgrading PC running the Microsoft Windows Operating System, although it also requires general knowledge like ascertaining the cause of a PC to fail to boot.
Several professional organizations exist to keep PC technicians keep informed on new technologies, provide educational opportunities such as seminars and online courses and provide access to other professionals in the technology field to share information and ideas.
HDI (Help Desk Institute) is a large association for the PC service and support industry. As a member, you get access to the largest repository of industry resources including eZines, SupportWorld magazine, white papers, quarterly Focus Books, and members-only webinars. You also get answers and tools to solve common support center issues.
ASP (Association of Support Professionals) is a large association which focuses more on managers, analysts, and other professionals who run tech support organizations in software and technology companies. As a member, you get access to their reports and surveys, and a monthly e-mail newsletter which keeps members informed of ASP activities, and it's also a forum for dialogue between the ASP and its members.
Working as a PC Technician requires a continuing effort to keep up with the rapidly advancing computer technology. As the number and importance of PCs continues to grow, so will the need for qualified PC Technicians. Employment for PC Technicians will continue to grow and salaries for certified PC Technicians will continue to rise.
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