The field of computer, automated teller, and office repair is appealing to individuals who wish to work as independent contractors and vendors for major corporations. Technicians work primarily within office settings, diagnosing, monitoring, and repairing computer and equipment problems. As independent contractors, they typically work with little or no supervision. At the professional level, they may be assigned to a particular company or particular retail store.
Computer, automated teller, office machine repairers enjoy a great hourly wage. Unlike entry-level technicians who are not certified, licensed computer repairers and machine technicians may work solely as contract specialists. They typically have an advanced education in electronics. Through continuing education coursework and completing more specialized certification programs, technicians may earn as high as $28 per hour. Contract vendors can expect to earn higher wages.
The specific salary for computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers is determined by a number of factors. Technicians must have a working knowledge of electronics. They must have an associate’s degree in the field, perform on-the-job training, and they must be certified to work on and repair electronics and electrical equipment. They must also have a driver’s license to operate company vehicles.
Other factors come into play. Entry-level hourly rates are based upon experience and the industry in which technicians work. Technicians who work for the computer industry often earn higher wages than technicians who work for equipment repair companies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers is $18.18. The highest ten percent earn $28.41 per hour. Technicians who work in the computer services industry earn more than the average technician working for an equipment services company; they earn $19.87 per hour. Technicians who work for an electronics store earn an hourly rate of $15.67. Office supply store technicians earn an average rate of $17.40 per hour.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Job Outlook
Professional organizations require computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers to be certified in their field. Each program provides a different set of criteria. Technicians must have a working and continuing knowledge in electronics and equipment repair. In general, technicians troubleshoot mechanical and equipment problems. They maintain and repair equipment. They may be classified under various headings as field technicians, computer repairers (computer service technicians), office machine and cash servicers, office machine repairers, and automated teller machine servicers.
Field technicians diagnose equipment malfunctions. They schedule maintenance, fix connection problems, install software, provide customer support, and monitor the computer’s storage capacity. Office machine and cash register servicers troubleshoot copiers used in office settings and retail cash machines; they resolve electrical equipment issues and replace computer components. Technicians who install automated teller machines also provide troubleshooting and repair defective parts. Technicians also use tools to troubleshoot and repair equipment. Technician tools include software, hand tools, and rulers. They typically work inside business offices and retail stores. They travel to job sites. They may work overtime and on weekends.
The career outlook for recent graduates of technical and vocational programs is very promising considering more technicians are transitioning into self-employment.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
Recent graduates entering the field must have an associate’s degree from an accredited vocational school. Technicians must have a working knowledge of electronics and equipment repair. They also must be certified to repair equipment. They gain experience through on-the-job training and complete a certification program before applying to become a licensed technician. They are required to have a driver’s license.
Technicians must be certified in the field. They must be licensed vocational professionals. For most certification programs, they must sit for an examination and undergo a practicum. To become certified, technicians may pursue and complete the Associate Electronics Technician program offered by Electronics Technicians Association (ETA). Technicians have three choices: 1) Associate Electronics Technician (CETa); 2) Student Electronics Technician (SET); or 3) Apprentice (APP). After completing this two-year program, students receive a certificate as an Associate Certified Electronics Technician.
Students may also pursue the Student Electronics Technician Certificate. Enrollees may pursue this course of study in high school. The certificate is mainly for students who do not have experience. They learn about telecommunications principles, technical math, and other forms of equipment communications. They also must pass a practicum.
Vocational professionals may pursue the Motorola Electronics Certification. The ETA offers this program where students enroll in electronics coursework. They sit for the Associate Certified Electronics Technician exam. Students have the option of choosing one of three programs:
- Wireless Communications (WCM) Certification
- United States Motorola Service Station (USMSS) Certification
- Senior (CETsr) Certification
- Master (CETma) Certification
Technicians may also pursue a certification offered through The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). After completion of the program, students become a Certified Electronics Technician (CET). Students may choose any one of the following designations: 1) Associate Level Electronics CET; 2) Multimedia Systems Technician Journeyman Level (MST); or 3) Electronics Systems Associate (ESA).
Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers may pursue membership with the Electronic Technicians Association (ETA). The ETA is a membership organization that provides advocacy on behalf of equipment repair technicians and vocational professionals.
Members enjoy great benefits that include networking seminars, professional and vocational development, certification program options, discounted and partner subscriptions, and other field training. Members are typically professionals in the field of electronics, biomedicine, aviation, academia, and the telecommunications industry. Members receive career and job updates and discounts on exam registration fees.
Technicians may also pursue membership with the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). The ISCET provides its members with information about industry standards, compliance statistics, and training options. Members typically come from the electronics field, but they may also come from the education and publishing industries. Professionals may join the organization as one of many member categories. A member may join for one year for $70; or for two years for $125. Students may join for $35 provided they are electronics majors enrolled in electronics courses. Campus organizations may establish a chapter for $25.
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