Computer Repair Tech: Educational Requirements for Becoming a Computer Technician
Computer repair techs, also called computer repair technicians, troubleshoot computer systems and install additional software. In addition to personal computers, technicians repair printers, disc drives, mainframes, servers, and other types of peripheral equipment.
Educational Requirements for Computer Repair Techs
Computer repair techs may begin their education by taking computer programming and graphic design courses in high school. Some vocational high schools may offer introductory classes in computer repair. Working with computer interfaces and applications during high school may help aspiring computer repair techs prepare for more advanced courses after graduating. There are no industry standard educational requirements for computer technicians, so postsecondary education may vary.
Postsecondary Education Options
High school graduates may consider 6-12 month certificate and 1-2 year associate's degree programs offered by junior colleges, technical institutes and vocational schools. These programs prepare students with classroom and practical coursework on installing, maintaining and repairing computers and peripheral systems. Students take introductory courses in digital logic and computer networks. Other topics covered may range from troubleshooting computer microprocessors to soldering electrical components on circuit boards.
Advanced courses in certificate and associate's degree programs generally cover computer diagnostic equipment used to diagnose technical issues. Associate's degree programs may extend these concepts to other systems that use computers or electronic devices, such as lighting systems or home entertainment systems.
Most computer repair tech programs prepare students to take the Computer Technology Industry Association's (CompTIA) A+ certification exam (www.comptia.org). CompTIA is a vendor-neutral organization that certifies computer techs in a number of areas like computer networks, servers and security applications. The A+ certification is the organization's basic, entry-level designation that provides proof of a professional's skills and abilities to install and maintain computer systems. Earning the credential involves completing two exams. CompTIA offers study materials for the exam on its website.
Career and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates slower-than-average employment growth for computer, office machine and ATM repairers in the coming 2010-2020 decade. These repairers earned $36,620 as a median annual wage in 2012.
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