Office equipment repair technicians use their technical skills to troubleshoot and repair digital technology. Following are some resources to help you decide if this career is right for you.
Businesses around the world depend on electronic and digital devices to receive and process complex business data. Most offices have a printer, computer, fax machine and router or modem, at minimum, for efficient operation in today's information-rich society. Office equipment repair workers apply their knowledge of electronics, hardware, information processing and vendor-specific products to the repair of advanced office devices.
You have several options when selecting a career in office equipment repair. You can choose from jobs such as copier technician, computer support specialist, office machine repairer or telecommunications technician. In office equipment repair you can expect to work with computers, servers and mainframes, fax machines or all-in-one communications devices. In some positions, you will work with vendor-specific equipment, such as copiers and printers. You can find work at government agencies, private companies or office equipment manufacturers.
Office equipment repairers and copier technicians receive service calls and visit business sites to perform maintenance and repair work on large or small business machines. Some repairers, called bench workers, perform work at their employer's location if the employer accepts small or portable equipment for in-house repair. The work also involves the cleaning and replacement of machine parts when repair work would affect production or is cost prohibitive. Computer support specialists and repairers work on desktop computer and laptops, computer mainframes, servers and network equipment. Telecommunications technicians diagnose and repair analog and digital telephone equipment, such as switching hubs, routers and fiber-optic lines.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers earned a median salary of $37,280 as of May 2010 (www.bls.gov). Electrical and electronics repairers of commercial and industrial equipment earned $51,820, while computer support specialists earned $46,260 per year. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except those who installed lines, earned $54,710.
Many opportunities in office equipment repair require a high level of technical knowledge. In some situations, knowledge of specific vendor equipment is required. The education requirements vary, but most employers prefer applicants with certification or an associate's degree, at minimum.
You can select from several associate's degree programs, including electronics technology, computer support specialist or telecommunications technology. Degree programs offer courses in mathematics, microcomputers, networking and servers, installation and maintenance, circuitry and digital electronics. Some programs require the completion of a related internship prior to graduation.
You can obtain some entry-level positions with an appropriate certification. Certificates can also enhance opportunities for advancement. For example, the Electronics Technicians Association offers several basic certificate options, which vary based on your education level. If you choose to work with computers, you can pursue CompTIA's A+ certification, which validates your knowledge of computer support. Some equipment manufacturers offer their own certification programs. For example, Konica Minolta offers the Outward certification program, which provides the training necessary to work on this specific brand of products.