PC Support Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Responsible for repairing and maintaining the personal computers (PCs) of individuals and small businesses, PC support technicians are employed in a variety of circumstances, such as family owned repair shops or large customer service centers in department stores. Experience and demonstrated knowledge in computer repair are vital components for a career as a PC support technician; however, some individuals also possess specialty education and certification.
A PC support technician, also known as help-desk technician or technical support specialist, assists customers and clients with issues arising from everyday computer use. Tasks involving PC support technicians can be performed either remotely or on-site.
PC support technicians have a wide array of job responsibilities, such as upgrading components of aging systems and removing viruses. Employees of larger organizations may also be responsible for networking features, like servers and routers. While the tasks of PC support technicians are generally similar, some individuals work on specialty systems developed for specific purposes. A PC support technician working for software or hardware developers also assists customers with issues on specific products.
With additional experience and education, some PC support technicians may advance into executive or managerial roles. Individuals in upper level positions are responsible for managing PC support employees and administering company policy. Computer systems managers often create guidelines for repairing common customer complaints or handling technical issues within a specific company.
Experience and knowledge with personal computers are the most important elements for entering a career as a PC support technician. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that employers prefer candidates with some collegiate experience, though a degree is not a requirement (www.bls.gov). A number of positions for PC support technicians require a bachelor's degree in information systems or computer science. Master's degrees in business or information technology may be required for managerial or advanced leadership positions.
Some technology companies, such as CISCO and Microsoft, offer certification in server maintenance and office technology. To earn a technology-based certificate, students participate in classroom instruction focusing on solution development, infrastructure architecture and network administration.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Computer support specialists, including help desk technicians and technical support specialists, are expected to have faster-than-average growth of 17% over the 2012-2022 period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). The mean annual pay for these specialists was $47,660 in May 2013. Most computer support specialists who focus on user support earned annual wages from $27,780 to $78,410 at that same time.
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