Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairer

Office machine, automated teller and computer specialists maintain equipment and computers used in homes and businesses. Some of these specialists travel to homes and offices to repair equipment. These traveling specialists, commonly referred to as field technicians are usually scheduled to routinely perform prescheduled maintenance. Bench technicians are employed by service centers and repair stores. At small businesses, repair professionals perform repairs and administer customer service.

Computer repair specialists, commonly referred to as computer service technicians or data processing machine specialists, maintain computers, mainframes, and supplementary equipment such as printers. These specialists install computer hardware and other computer equipment and make repairs.

Cash register and office machine repair specialists perform repairs on cash registers, copy machines, fax machines, mail preparation devices, and newer office equipment operated by computers.

Office equipment repair specialists conduct repairs at their clients' offices, but if the equipment is small enough to be moved, they'll often take it directly to a computer repair shop to be fixed.

Automated teller machine repair specialists fix and install parts in automated teller machines (ATMs). ATM machines is where cash is withdrawn. Some ATMs sell other products such as stamps and phone cards.

A common ATM malfunction can include a damaged card reader, which prevents computers from reading a customer's card. This problem is diagnosed by a computer and then a technician is notified to fix the problem. ATM technicians usually remove damaged parts, install new parts, and take the damaged parts to a shop to be fixed. Technicians also perform preventative maintenance on ATM machines.

When large machines are installed in new locations, including ATMs and mainframe computers, technicians must connect the machines to computers lines and set up the software designed to operate the machines. When a person withdraws money from an ATM, information is relayed over the computer lines to a bank. All important machine processes can be monitored remotely to ensure proper function.

Computer, ATM, and office equipment technicians utilize an assortment of diagnostic and repair tools to complete their work. Technicians use oscilloscopes, signal generators, software, and multimeters to diagnose signal, computer and electrical problems. To fix equipment, technicians use a variety of tools including wrenches, screwdrivers, and soldering irons.

Work Environment
Most technicians perform repairs in clean, brightly lit environments. Likewise, machines are usually housed in ventilated, climate controlled buildings. Technicians often perform onsite repairs, so they travel frequently. Technicians repairing ATM machines sometimes work in cramped spaces.

Since office equipment and ATMs are vital for business operations, a technician's services are usually available 24 hours a day. Technicians often work nights, weekends, and holidays, but those with seniority can choose their shifts. Those repairing cash registers or non vital office equipment usually work 40 hour weeks. Over 12 percent of technicians work 50 or more hours a week.

Technicians lift heavy loads and often work in awkward positions. They must take precautions against electrocution and wear the proper protective clothing such as safety glasses.

Training and Education
While a four-year college degree isn't necessary, a two-year associates degree in electronics from a community college or a certification from a technical school or equipment manufacturer is the best way to prepare for career as a computer, automated teller, or office machine repairer. Many employers will offer on-the-job training, but new employees are generally expected to have a basic understanding of electronics and equipment repair.

Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers can expect to make about $15 to $20 an hour. The lowest 10% of repairers make less $12 a hour and the top 10% of earners make over $30 a hour. How much computer and office machine repairers make is determined by level of experience, specialty, industry and employer. Hourly earnings by industry are shown below.

Industry/sector Hourly Pay
Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers $21.23
Computer systems design and related services $20.52
Office supplies, stationery, and gift stores $18.32
Electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance $16.93
Electronics and appliance stores $16.23
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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