Pros and Cons of Becoming an ATM Technician
ATM technicians install new machines and ensure that ATM units work properly by performing repairs and maintenance tasks, which can sometimes be around-the-clock. Read the pros and cons to decide if this is the right career for you.
|Pros of Becoming an ATM Technician|
|Little educational requirements (vocational training in electronics)*|
|May be promoted to manage other ATM technicians*|
|Opportunity to work anywhere ATMs need repaired (indoors and outdoors)*|
|Can be self-employed*|
|Cons of Becoming an ATM Technician|
|Limited job growth due to increased use of remote diagnostics (4% for all computer, ATM and office machine repair technicians from 2012-2022)*|
|Below national average wages ($38,000 annual salary for all computer, ATM and office machine repair technicians)*|
|Repairs may be required outside of normal business hours, which requires flexibility and possible overtime*|
|Travel required to each ATM's location*|
|Requires some physical tasks, such as bending and lifting*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Essential Career Info
When a customer reports a technical problem with an ATM, the technician may troubleshoot the problem over the phone, using remote diagnostic software, or by traveling to the machine's location to do repairs. Troubleshooting requires the use of hand tools, such as voltmeters, as well as an understanding of various diagnostic testing codes. Problems can occur any time a day and may require the technician to work overtime or outside of normal business hours. In addition to doing repairs, the technician may also install new machines or replace outdated ones, which can require some lifting and bending.
Machine maintenance is another large part of job duties and can involve loading supplies, delivering deposits to financial institutions and delivering cash for the machine. Handling cash requires technicians to follow specific procedures to ensure safety and security. The technician may also be responsible for paperwork to keep track of time worked, inventory, service reports, installation reports and expense reports.
Career Prospects and Salary Information
The BLS categorizes ATM technicians in the computer, automated teller and office machine repairers field, and it projects slower-than-average growth from 2012-2022. While growth for all installation and repair occupations is 10%, computer, office machine and ATM technicians are only projected to have a 4% increase in employment, due to increased productivity from using remote diagnostic software to troubleshoot some problems without traveling to the machine's location. The BLS notes that job prospects are best for those with certification, work experience, formal education and ATM network security experience.
ATM technicians, pooled with computer and office machine technicians, earn an annual mean wage of $38,000, according to the BLS's national estimates from May 2014. The lowest-paid technicians earned $22,000 or less, while the top-paid employees earned $58,000 or more. Machinery manufacturing industries and technical and trade schools pay the highest wages in the field.
Career Skills and Requirements
ATM technicians usually need a high school diploma at minimum, and employers generally prefer those with training in electronics from a vocational program. An associate degree in electronics may be needed for some jobs. These programs may include courses in electronics theory, electronic components, computer systems, microprocessors and programming. While companies may provide on-the-job training for ATM repair, certification in a specific brand of ATM may be required. There are training courses available for common models, such as NCR and Diebold, which may include hands-on training.
Expertise in troubleshooting, computer networking and desktop applications, such as Microsoft Office, is also important. Since you'll be responding to customer requests and interacting with them throughout your daily job tasks, you'll need to have excellent customer service and communication skills for this career. Analytical and problem-solving skills are necessary to determine what is wrong with a malfunctioning ATM and how to solve the problem.
Job Postings from Real Employers
Employers seeking ATM technicians generally prefer candidates with banking and ATM experience, as well as the ability to troubleshoot technical issues. Due to travel requirements, applicants may need reliable transportation with a valid driver's license to be hired. Check out some real ATM technician job postings that were available in April 2012.
- A banking solutions company in Ohio is looking for an ATM service tech to maintain the machines, replenish supplies and deliver cash. Employment requirements include a high school diploma, dependable transportation and the ability to carry firearms. While the company offers on-the-job training, candidates with banking experience, repair experience and computer knowledge are preferred.
- An Alabama bank equipment company advertised for an ATM technician to install equipment and resolve technical problems reported by customers. The candidate needs to have computer skills, understand networking and be able to use Microsoft Office. The company prefers those with the CompTIA A+ certification and ATM experience.
- A technology solutions company in Arizona is seeking an ATM field service technician with work experience and an associate degree in electronics. The candidate needs excellent problem-solving skills and communication skills, as well as the ability to use PC applications, such as Word and Excel. The company prefers those experienced with NCR, Diebold and Wincor ATMs.
- A North Carolina banking service provider is looking for an ATM technician to troubleshoot problems over the phone and do repairs in person. Requirements include reliable transportation with a driver's license, the ability to work a flexible schedule and the physical strength to lift 50 pounds. The candidate needs to have NCR certification and previous ATM experience.
How to Maximize Your Skills
Get Certified in Electronics
The Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) offers a basic electronics certification called the Associate Electronics Technician (CETa), which is suitable for those who haven't yet completed formal education programs in electronics. Some example topics include electronic components, cabling, wiring, tools, equipment testing, audio and video systems, computer electronics and telecommunications. After earning the CETa, you can later pursue specialized certifications from the ETA, including those in communications and information technology. Certifications are available for various levels that correspond to professional experience and formal training.
Get CompTIA A+ Certified
Since ATM technicians need general knowledge of how computers and networks work, you may want to earn CompTIA A+ certification. Requiring the completion of 2 exams, the certification covers computer components, troubleshooting and repair theory, operating systems, security, professional behavior and networking. While the first exam covers general knowledge of these concepts, the second involves scenarios in which you solve problems through practical application. The certification's content can help you hone your overall troubleshooting and repair skills.
Other Careers in Electronics
Home Entertainment Equipment Installer and Repairer
If you want a career that lets you repair electronics, but offers better employment prospects and a wider variety of job tasks, consider becoming a home entertainment equipment installer and repairer. This career involves installing and configuring equipment at customers' homes, as well as doing repairs inside or outside a repair shop. Some equipment you might install or repair includes televisions, speaker systems, DVD players and stereos. While you may receive on-the-job training, companies may prefer candidates with electronics repair certifications or degrees. According to the BLS, this field expects about as fast as average growth at 14%. The mean annual salary is a bit lower than an ATM technician's at $36,000 in May 2011.
If you would rather work with telecommunications equipment, such as phone jacks, switchboards, modems and satellites, a telecommunications technician career might be a good choice for you. Telecommunication technicians install, set up, maintain, repair and test various types of equipment, as well as help customers learn how to use them. They usually have an associate degree related to computers or electronics, but some employers may require a bachelor's degree, electronics certification and advanced training. The BLS projects a 15% growth in this field, which is better than the job outlook for ATM technicians. The mean annual wage from May 2011 is also higher at $53,000.