Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on TestOut PC Pro
Posted on
January 14, 2022

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.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.

Someday, perhaps sooner than we realize, computers may become so smart that they rise up against their human masters and turn us into carbon-based batteries, or attempt to wipe us out and seize control of the planet. It’s happened before, if only in the movies. And yet, despite our persistent fears, computers (for now) can only function with both human support and maintenance.

It’s not for nothing that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be more than 72,000 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: $58,940
Median Annual Salary: $73,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 7.7 percent
Satisfied: 76.9 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 15.4 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, slightly more than 10 percent of PC Pro holders who responded to the survey are women. (Roughly 82 percent are men, and the remaining 7.4 percent prefer not to disclose any information about their gender.) About 70 percent of those who responded to the survey are younger than 45, either between the ages of 25 and 34 (15.8 percent of those surveyed) or between the ages of 35 and 44 (53.5 percent). Everyone else is between the ages of 45 and 54 — 30.8 percent of those surveyed.

Almost exactly 75 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 (23.1 percent of those surveyed), bachelor’s degree (15.4 percent), or master’s degree (46.2 percent). The outliers are the roughly 15 percent of survey respondents who either exited the realm of formal education after completing high school (7.6 percent) or are currently taking classes at some level (7.7 percent).

A solid 81.5 percent of PC Pro holders who participated in the survey have full-time jobs, with 11.1 employed part-time, and 7.4 out of the workforce. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (45.8 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours (15.4 percent). The rest (14.4 percent of those surveyed) are at work for more than 50 hours per week.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it has become increasingly common in the IT industry to work from home, even among certified IT professionals whose jobs are typically more workplace-bound: An intriguing 15 percent of PC Pro holders who responded to the survey currently work from home either more than 40 hours per week (8.1 percent) or for the standard 40 hours per week (7.3 percent). The rest, however, are still spending most of their schedule in a traditional office setting, working from home fewer then 10 hours per week (84.6 percent of respondents).

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 (66.7 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either manager (22 percent), specialists (7.6 percent of respondents), or senior specialists (3.7 percent).

A little more than half of the PC Pro holders who responded to the survey — 55.5 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 (10.7 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (41 percent), between 9 and 10 years (22.3 percent), or more than 10 years (7.4 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: 33.6 percent
Several times a week: 33.1 percent
Several times a month: 22 percent
Occasionally: 7.6 percent
Rarely: 3.7 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly Agree: 33.4 percent
Agree: 55.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 7.8 percent
Disagree: 3.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly Agree: 48.4 percent
Agree: 47.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: [No responses]
Disagree: 3.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly Agree: 29.8 percent
Agree: 51.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 11.3 percent
Disagree: 7.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]







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