Desktop technicians are IT professionals charged with monitoring, upgrading and repairing computer systems and peripherals. They shouldn’t be confused with help-desk technician, who fields calls from consumers in regards to computer issues. Desktop technicians commonly need an associate’s degree, but many employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science or a similar field. Senior desktop techs earn more than do their entry-level counterparts.
As of 2011, computer support specialists averaged $51,820 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure accounts for a variety of support roles in the IT industry. A survey by Robert Half Technology, a national recruiter for IT professionals, offers a clearer picture of what a desktop technician can earn -- finding the salary range at $31,250 to $46,000 a year.
As with any job, experience tends to improve earnings, and a desktop technician is no exception. At the senior level, techs have at least 4 or more years of experience, and some companies require a minimum of an associate degree to earn this position. Salaries range anywhere from almost $42,000 to $71,411 a year, according to a 2013 survey by Modis, another national IT recruiter. However, the average salary was closer to $54,831 a year.
While experience probably has the most impact on salaries, the size of the company can also affect your paycheck. For example, a senior PC technician earns approximately $52,000 a year at a small company. At a midsize company, this same tech could earn almost $54,000 a year, while a large company is likely to pay him closer to $58,000 a year based on 2013 information.
Certain skills are considered more desirable, and an employer will pay more for a PC technician with these skills. For example, techs with virtualization skills tend to earn 10 percent more than their unskilled colleagues, notes Robert Half Technology. Techs with Cisco network administration skills earn roughly 9 percent more a year, while those with Linux or Unix administration skills earn 8 percent more than average. Even Windows skills can bring a 4 to 6 percent increase in pay.
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