Computer Electronics Technician Careers: Salary & Job Description

About this article
The median salary for a computer electronics technician is around $36,000. Is it worth the training requirements? See real job postings and get the truth about the outlook for this occupation to find out if a career as a computer electronics technician is for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career as a Computer Electronics Technician

Computer electronics technicians repair, maintain and install electronic equipment, including servers, mainframes, personal computers, printers and other secondary computer equipment. Read about the pros and cons to see if a career as a computer electronics technician is right for you.

PROS of a Computer Electronics Career
Usually work in bright areas*
Most work is accomplished in a clean environment*
Work surroundings are usually well ventilated and air-conditioned*
Overtime pay (9% of technicians work more than 50 hours per week)*

CONS of a Computer Electronics Career
Slower than average employment growth (4% from 2012-2022)*
May have to work weekends, evenings and holidays*
Job involves some heavy lifting*
Potential danger from electronic devices*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

You'd use various types of tools to repair equipment and perform diagnostic tests. When looking for malfunctions, you might use multimeters, signal generators and oscilloscopes. For diagnostics, you'd probably use computer software. When repairing equipment, you might use hand tools such as screwdrivers, pliers and soldering irons. Since many of these repairs could be considered emergencies, you might have to work on an on-call basis. Computers are very sensitive, so most areas that you'd be working in wouldn't have extreme temperatures or humidity, but you may have to lift equipment and sometimes work in uncomfortable positions.

Career Prospects and Salary

According to the BLS, employment for computer repairers is expected to grow 4% between 2012 and 2022. Your prospects will be the best if you have formal training, certification, experience and a good understanding of electronics,. The slow job growth for computer technicians is attributed to the availability of more reliable computer equipment that will need fewer repairs.

The BLS reported that those working in the electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance earned a mean salary of about $38,000 in 2014.

What Are the Requirements?

Electronics knowledge is necessary for this occupation. You might find that employers look for certified employees or those who have on-the-job training or training from a college, a vocational school or the military. You might also find that your employer will send you to schhol to keep up with changes in technology. Having good communication skills is also a plus. According to the BLS, you should also have manual dexterity, as well as analytical, troubleshooting and information technology skills.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Because of declining employment, you'll have the best chance at jobs if you have formal training, strong electronics knowledge and extensive repair experience. The BLS noted in 2012 that employers preferred certified applicants. To give you an idea of what employers are seeking, take a look at the following excerpts from job listings posted in March 2012.

  • A technology company in Kentucky advertised for a full-time computer technician with at least two years of experience. Applicants should have had knowledge of computer hardware, software, networking and all versions of Microsoft Windows.
  • A company in Illinois was looking for a full-time computer technician with an associate's degree in a computer field or equal technical experience. Job requirements included knowledge of viruses and security, experience with Windows operating systems and familiarity with peripheral equipment.
  • An apparel company in Georgia advertised for a full-time computer technician to configure, maintain, test and repair computer-related equipment. Applicants should have had an associate's degree in computer science, two years of experience, or a combination of experience and education.
  • An intermediate school district in Pennsylvania was looking for a computer technician to maintain their help desk and to travel to various sites by company vehicle. An associate's degree or equal experience was required.
  • A company in Texas advertised for a computer electronics technician/ lab supply manager who could set up equipment and computer systems, image programmable parts, execute basic product validation testing and operate lab equipment.

How to Stand Out

To demonstrate your level of competence, you might appeal to prospective employers by earning various certifications after your formal training, In order to earn certifications, you'll have to meet some prerequisites and pass written or online exams. Certifications may be earned through the Electronics Technicians Association International (ETA) or the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians. Gaining a wide range of work experiences might also be to your benefit.

Other Career Paths

If you're looking for a better paying job that has similar training requirements, you might consider installing and repairing other types of technology, such as telecommunications equipment and electrical systems.

Electrician

You may need to complete more training to become an electrician, but the job outlook and median salary of electricians are higher than that of computer electronics technicians. According to the BLS, most electricians complete a 4-year apprenticeship program, but some electricians may complete training programs at technical schools. Additionally, you may need to obtain a state license. Jobs for electricians were expected to grow faster than average, with a 23% increase from 2010-2010. Electricians earned a median salary of $49,000 in 2011.

Telecommunications Equipment Installer and Repairer

This position would require you to install and repair telecommunications equipment, such as television antennas, satellites, phone systems and computer hardware. Telecommunications involves the transmission of information through technology such as telephone systems, cable or satellite television, computer networks and the Internet. In 2012, the BLS reported that jobs in this field were expected to grow 15% from 2010-2020, and the median salary for workers in this field was $54,000 in 2011.

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Purdue University Global

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Regent University

  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Information Technology

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Full Sail University

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  • B.S. - Mobile Development

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Penn Foster High School

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • MBA - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • MSTIM - Engineering Magagement

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CDI College

  • Diploma in Programmer Analyst / Internet Solutions Developer LEA.9C (Programmeur-Analyste Orient Internet LEA.9C)

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Herzing University

  • B.S. - Software Development: Computer Programming Concentration
  • B.S. - Software Development With No Declared Minor or Concentration
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