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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
It's been a good couple of decades since computer networks and computer workstations began to be ubiquitous in modern workplaces, but we still don't have a better solution for setting up and maintaining that infrastructure than the company helpdesk person (or persons). That's why there are still numerous employment opportunities for skilled computer technicians.
If you'd like to pick up that skill set in a hurry, then TestOut's PC Pro credential — No. 73 on this year's Salary Survey 75 list — is one only a handful of truly solid options. It may not get you a corner office, but knowing how to deploy, 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: $51,760
Median Annual Salary: $48,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 12.6 percent
Satisfied: 43.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 31.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 12.4 percent
There are PC Pro holders who live and work outside the United States, but we didn't hear from enough of them to provide non-U.S. salary data. Among U.S. credential holders who responded to the Salary Survey, a comparatively jaw-dropping 25 percent are women. If more women are stepping up to get entry-level IT credentials, then it could be the case that more women (and girls) are turning to IT generally, a development that many industry observers have been hopefully watching for.
PC Pro holders are generally younger than many of the groups we write about for these Deep Focus articles — 12.7 percent of respondents are between the ages of 19 and 24, 18.8 percent are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 31.3 are between the ages of 35 and 44. The rest are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (25 percent of respondents) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (12.2 percent).
PC Pro holders are either not particularly interested in a traditional four-year university degree, or may not have gotten there yet. The highest level of formal education completed for about 44 percent of those surveyed is either a bachelor's degree (37.5 percent) or master's degree (6.2 percent). Everyone else, however, has yet to go that far. The highest educational attainment for the rest of the PC Pro holders who participated in the survey is either an associate's degree (18.8 percent), post-high school technical training (25 percent), or a high school diploma (6.4 percent), with a further 6.1 percent who are currently students.
Full-time employment among PC Pro holders is solid at 84.2 percent. Comparable chunks of respondents are either unemployed (5.3 percent), have part-time jobs (5.7 percent), or are currently in school (4.8 percent). Among those who have full-time jobs, most either put in a standard 40-hour work week (64.7 percent), work between 41 and 50 hours per week (29.4), or carry a moderately lighter load with between 31 and 39 hours at the office each week (5.9 percent).
In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of PC Pro holders to respond to the survey are rank-and-file employees (45 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (35 percent of those surveyed), senior specialists (15.5 percent), or senior managers (4.5 percent).
The largest single group of PC Pro holders we heard from 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 2 years (40.4 percent). The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between 3 and 5 years (34.6 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (10 percent), or more than a decade (15 percent).
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: 60 percent
Several times a week: 30.4 percent
Several times a month: 5 percent
Occasionally: 4.6 percent
Rarely: [No responses]
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 20.4 percent
Agree: 34,6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 35 percent
Disagree: 5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 20 percent
Agree: 45.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.7 percent
Disagree: 5.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.5 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 24.6 percent
Agree: 45.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 20.1 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 9.9 percent
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