Apple Computer Tech Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

About this article
Apple computer techs, professionals working as computer support specialists, earn median annual wages of near $48,000. Is this salary worth the education and training? Learn the truth about the job description, salary and career outlook and decide if becoming an Apple computer tech is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of an Apple Computer Tech Career

Apple computer techs are computer support specialists who work on Macintosh computers, but they may also be trained to provide support to customers using Windows-based systems. Reading the pros and cons of being an Apple computer tech may help you decide if this is the career you want.

Pros of Being an Apple Computer Tech
Fast-as-average job growth for computer support specialists (expected 17% growth between 2012 and 2022)*
Satisfaction of helping others*
Advancement possibilities*
Technical training or associate's degree may be sufficient for entry-level positions*

Cons of Being an Apple Computer Tech
Low-to-average salary (median annual salary of $48,000)*
May spend hours in front of a monitor*
May be required to work evenings, weekends and holidays*
Continued training may be required to keep up with technology*
Certification may be required to work on Apple products**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Apple.

Career Info

Job Description and Duties

Computer support specialists provide help and assistance to computer users in their homes, online or within an organization. They may be hired by a business to provide its employees with computer-related support, or they may work for a service center or own their own business. Apple computer techs provide a variety of services, including installing hardware and software, providing training to Macintosh users, managing software licensing and running diagnostic tests. As computer support specialists, they may also install and test software, design and install networks, maintain warranty records, diagnose and repair computers and hardware, maintain software licensing and perform general maintenance and computer upgrades.

Computer support specialists often work as technical support specialists or help-desk technicians. As technical support specialists, they perform regular checks to evaluate and test the network systems to make sure they're operating correctly. They also troubleshoot the Internet systems, the wide area networks (WANs) and the local area networks (LANs). Technical support specialists may provide service on the phone, through e-mail or in person. Help-desk technicians communicate with computer users to determine the problem, offer suggestions and often walk customers through the issues they're experiencing with the computer. As an Apple computer tech, you may work on both Windows and Macintosh platforms, as well as various Apple products, such as MacBooks and iPads.

Job Prospects and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer support specialists were predicted to see an employment growth of 17% between 2012 and 2022. The combination of organizations upgrading their computer systems and the increasing complexity of computer peripherals and software continues to keep these workers in demand. The BLS also stated that these workers earned a median annual wage of near $48,000 in 2014. Computer support specialists with strong technical backgrounds and bachelor's degrees may see the best employment opportunities.

Education and Training Requirements

Computer support specialists are typically required to complete formal training programs. Training programs include coursework, lectures and extensive lab time where students work on computers to obtain experience. Apple computer technician programs are very rare; however, there are training programs that offer courses related to Macintosh computers. In addition to teaching students about working on Apple computers, they also prepare the students to take Apple certifications. Candidates studying Apple computers learn about troubleshooting, service guidelines, take-apart procedures, network fundamentals, Apple OS, and diagnosing hardware and software issues. Students work on various Apple products, including MacBooks, MacBooks Pro, Mac mini systems and iMacs.

What Do Employers Look for?

Although candidates may receive on-the-job training, most employers prefer that their technicians have associate's or bachelor's degrees in computer science or computer-related fields. Work experience is also important because it means you'll require less training. If you're applying for a position as an Apple computer tech, your potential employer may require you to obtain certifications in Apple computers and products. Apple requires that technicians employed by an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) must have Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) certification. Because computer service techs spend most of their time talking with customers, either on the phone or in person, they should possess good listening skills, good communication skills and be able to work independently and analyze problems.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Although qualifications and requirements may not be the same in all Apple computer tech positions, here is a sample of some job postings open as of April 2012.

  • A Macintosh computer technician is needed to work in the information technology department of a New York college. The candidate will provide direct support for Windows- and Macintosh-based computers throughout the college. Applicants must have a 2-year computer-related degree and at least two years of experience. Applicants should also have communication, problem-solving and organizational skills, as well as a familiarity with music software, graphic design and computer networking.
  • A Tennessee university is seeking a Macintosh computer laboratory technician to work in the IT department of the college. Candidates should possess at least two years of experience working on and troubleshooting for Macintosh computers, computer systems and equipment. Job duties include troubleshooting hardware and software problems, providing support to Macintosh users, helping to resolve networking needs and conducting training sessions for Macintosh users in various skill levels. They'll also be responsible for installing, repairing and servicing Macintosh computers.
  • A computer hardware company is seeking an individual to fill a desktop support specialist position. Job duties include troubleshooting both PC and Apple MacBooks and iPads. Candidate must have at least three years of experience repairing PC and Apple computers and working with Windows XP, Windows 7, Mac OS X, hand-held RF scanners, printers, fax machines, POS systems and wireless devices. Apple/MAC certification is desired.

How to Stand Out

You may find that working as a computer support specialist or an Apple computer technician is not only a challenging career but a competitive one as well. While professional training and work experience can get you going in your career, other steps can be taken to give you an edge in the field, such as obtaining certification.

Get Certified

Even individuals not working for an AASP can obtain Apple certifications to demonstrate skill and knowledge of Apple products. Some of the topics included in the certification exam are Mac and Apple desktops, portable computer systems, and certain peripherals. AppleCare Technician Training, a training program through Apple Computers, prepares students to take Apple service certification exams. You can obtain several Apple certifications, including Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP), Apple Certified Associate - Mac Integration 10.7, Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) and Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC).

Other Career Paths

Computer and Information Systems Managers

If you know you want to work with computers in a career with good growth potential but are looking for a higher salary, you may consider becoming a computer and information systems manager. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers were predicted to experience an employment growth of 18% between 2010 and 2020. In 2011, these workers earned a median annual wage of around $118,000 - a wage substantially higher than what Apple computer techs earn. Computer and information systems managers, also called Information Technology (IT) managers, collaborate with a company to determine its IT needs and design and implement a system to meet those goals. A bachelor's degree is usually required for this career.

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers are the professionals who write codes and programs that make computers do almost anything we ask them to do. When engineers or software developers request a program with specific functions, the programmer turns this request into a viable program. The BLS predicted that computer programmers would experience an employment growth of 12% between 2010 and 2020. In 2011, computer programmers earned an annual median wage of more than $73,000. Although a bachelor's degree is usually required for this career, some candidates are hired with an associate's degree.

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • MSM in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
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Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Business Intelligence
  • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
  • BS - Game Design (Campus)

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Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

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The George Washington University

  • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership

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Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • MBA - Applied Computer Science
  • MSTIM - Computer Science

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Regent University

  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

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Colorado Christian University

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  • Computer Information Technology, B.S.
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Virginia College

  • Associate - Network System Administrator
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