Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on TestOut PC Pro
Posted on
January 15, 2021

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.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 prepares learners to embark on a career as a computer support specialist.

Advancements in software and a sustained increase in overall familiarity — even people who don't own a computer probably use one at work or school — make us feel like we're all a little smarter about how computers work. There's still a point, on the other hand, beyond which most of us are helpless to do more to fix a problem than call for tech support.

It's not for nothing that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be more than 67,000 new jobs for computer support specialists over the next 10 years. Those jobs often go to individuals whose hardware and software support skills have been verified by a certification like TestOut's PC Pro (No. 75 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list).

PC Pro is both its own certification and provides training for CompTIA's similar A+ credential, so you can wind up with two certs, essentially, for the price of one. Here's what the salary picture looks like for the PC Pro holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $61,400
Median Annual Salary: $62,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 28.6 percent
Satisfied: 50 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 14.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

Though there are non-U.S. credential holders, TestOut certifications are most widely deployed in the United States, so the PC Pro survey data discussed here doesn't take other countries into account.

Somewhat surprisingly, more than 17 percent of PC Pro holders who responded to the survey are women. About 44 percent of those who responded to the survey are younger than 45, either between the ages of 25 and 34 (22.1 percent of those surveyed) or between the ages of 35 and 44 (21.5 percent). The rest are almost all between the ages of 45 and 54 (50 percent of those surveyed), with a handful of folks approaching retirement between the ages 55 and 64 (6.4 percent).

More than 70 percent of PC Pro holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most PC Pro holders is either an associate's degree (35.7 percent of those surveyed), bachelor's degree (21.4 percent), or master's degree (15 percent). The outliers are the 14.3 percent of survey respondents who rounded out their formal education years by completing some level of post-high school technical training and the 13.6 percent who are currently taking classes.

A solid 66.7 percent of PC Pro holders who participated in the survey have full-time jobs, with 23.8 employed part-time, and 9.5 percent currently in school. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (57.2 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours (22.1 percent). The rest (20.7 percent of those surveyed) are at work between 31 and 39 hours per week.

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had gradually become somewhat common in the IT industry to work from home. Now everyone is doing it, even among certified IT professionals whose jobs are typically more workplace-bound: A surprising 43.5 percent of PC Pro holders who responded to the survey currently work from home either more than 40 hours per week (14.3 percent) or for the standard 40 hours per week (29.2 percent). The rest are still spending most of their schedule in a traditional office setting, working from home either fewer then 10 hours per week (42.9 percent of respondents) or for between 10 and 20 hours per week (13.6 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of PC Pro holders we heard from are employed at the rank-and-file employee level (60.7 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (35 percent of respondents) or managers (4.3 percent).

Close to two-thirds of the PC Pro holders who responded to the survey — 60.9 percent of them — 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. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between 3 and 5 years (30.4 percent of respondents) or more than 10 years (8.7 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: 30.4 percent
Several times a week: 34.8 percent
Several times a month: 8.7 percent
Occasionally: 13.5 percent
Rarely: 12.6 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly Agree: 30.4 percent
Agree: 43.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 26.1 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly Agree: 43 percent
Agree: 44 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 13 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly Agree: 26.1 percent
Agree: 52.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 21.7 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]






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