Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on TestOut PC Pro

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

TestOut's PC Pro certification is a great way to build a foundation for a career in IT.Computers are everywhere. In 2018, just about everyone uses a computer in some form or fashion to do their job. While most workers use computers, however, it’s far from the case that most workers know what to do when a computer malfunctions. Until computers become self-repairing, most of us will probably rely on a PC tech to keep things rolling along smoothly.

That’s why opportunity still abounds for anyone who has the training and skills that come with a certification like TestOut’s PC Pro, No. 75 on this year’s Salary Survey 75 list.  It may not get you CEO-level compensation, but knowing how to build, upgrade, and especially repair desktop and laptop computers is still a valuable and highly employable skill.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like PC Pro holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $52,740
Median Annual Salary: $43,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 14.3 percent
Very Satisfied: 15 percent
Satisfied: 29.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 27.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

There are PC Pro holders who don’t live and work in the United States, but we didn’t hear from enough of them to provide non-U.S. salary data. Among U.S. credential holders, a strong 15 percent are women. Hardware and software diagnostic and repair skills are a great foundation for a tech career, so that’s a potentially promising indication that more women are pursuing IT as a career choice.

PC Pro holders are generally younger than many of the groups we write about for these Deep Focus articles — notable 7.1 percent of respondents are 18 or younger, while 12.1 percent are between the ages of 19 and 24, and 42.9 percent are between the ages of 25 and 34. The geezers of the group are those between the ages of 35 and 44 (16.4 percent of those surveyed) and those between the ages of 45 and 54 (21.4 percent).

PC Pro holders are either not particularly interested in a traditional four-year university degree, or may not have gotten there yet. Roughly 1 in 5 (21.4 percent) have gone far enough up the educational ladder to hold a bachelor’s degree. Beyond that, the highest level of education attained by most respondents is either an associate’s (two-year) degree (50 percent of those surveyed) or technical training with no college degree (15.7 percent). The remaining 12.9 percent of respondents are currently in school.

Full-time employment among PC Pro holders is strong at 77.8 percent. Comparable chunks of respondents are either unemployed (5.5 percent) or have part-time jobs (5 percent), while the rest are students. Among those who have jobs, most either put in a standard 40-hour work week (43.6 percent of those surveyed) or are slightly overworked with a weekly schedule of between 41 and 50 hours (35 percent), with the rest (21 percent) at work between 31 and 39 hours per week.

The workplace roles filled by most PC Pro holders tend to be at the bottom of the standard company org chart. A solid 50 percent of those surveyed are rank-and-file employees, with 22.2 percent rating as specialists, while 6.1 percent are senior specialists, and a notable 22 percent are either managers (19.8 percent) or senior managers (1.9 percent).

A large majority of PC Pro holders are IT newcomers, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and two years (72,3 percent of those surveyed). Among the rest, 22.2 percent have been in the game for between 3 and 5 years, while 5.5 percent have been at it for between 6 and 8 years.

Finally, here’s the view of PC Pro holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 50 percent
Several times a week: 24.4 percent
Several times a month: 13.9 percent
Occasionally: 8.9 percent
Rarely: 2.8 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 27.8 percent
Agree: 50 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.2 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 5 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 33.3 percent
Agree: 55.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 6.7 percent
Disagree: 4.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 28.3 percent
Agree: 55.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 7.2 percent
Disagree: 5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.9 percent

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Cody Clark

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cody Clark is the managing editor of Certification Magazine.

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