Program of Study

A+/CISCO (CCENT)/Network & Preparation
36-week program/1080 hours

Summary (Networking)

Computer/Network Support Specialists

2017 Median Pay  $81,100 per year
$38.99 per hour
Entry-Level Education  Some college, no degree
Number of Jobs, 2016  391,000
Job Outlook, 2016-26  9%
Employment Change, 2016-26  27,000

What Computer Support Specialists Do:

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called technical support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called help-desk technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Technical support specialists typically do the following:
  •     Test and evaluate existing network systems
  •     Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  •     Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Technical support specialists, also called computer network support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the daily upkeep of their organization’s networks by finding solutions to problems as they occur. Solving an IT problem in a timely manner is important because organizations depend on their computer systems. Technical support specialists may provide assistance to the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks. For more information, see the profile on network and computer systems administrators.

Help-desk technicians typically do the following:
  •     Pay attention to customers when they describe their computer problems
  •     Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  •     Walk customers through the problem-solving steps
  •     Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  •     Train users to use new computer hardware or software, including printing, installation, word processing, and email
  •     Give information to others in the organization about what gives customers the most trouble and other concerns customers have

Help-desk technicians, also called computer user support specialists, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. Sometimes they make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies and for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use complex programs. Others work in call centers answering simpler questions from consumers. Some technicians work for organizations and help non-IT workers with their computer problems.

Job Outlook

Employment of computer support specialists is expected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026.  More support services will be needed as organizations upgrade their computer equipment and software. Computer support staff will be needed to respond to the installation and repair requirements of increasingly complex computer equipment and software.

Employment growth should also be strong in healthcare industries. This field is expected to greatly increase its use of information technology (IT), and support services will be crucial to keep everything running properly.

Some lower level tech support jobs, commonly found in call centers, may be sent to countries that have lower wage rates. However, a recent trend to move jobs to lower cost regions of the United States may offset some loss of jobs to other countries.


The median annual wage of computer support specialists was $62,340 in 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than the amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,960, and the top 10 percent earned more than $105,230.  Employees in California earn more.


Computer Repair combine with above Desktop Support  Specialist

2017 Median Pay  $50,210 per year
$17.14 per hour
Entry-Level Education  Postsecondary non-degree award
Number of Jobs, 2017  636,600
Job Outlook, 2016-2026  11%
Employment Change, 2016-26  708,700

What Computer Repairers Do:

Computer repairers install, fix, and maintain many of the machines that businesses, households, and other consumers use.

Computer repairers typically do the following:

  •     Travel to customers’ locations in response to service requests
  •     Communicate with customers to determine the source of a problem
  •     Do administrative tasks, such as completing work order forms
  •     Use a variety of tools, such as a multimeter, to help diagnose the problem
  •     Install large equipment, such as mainframe computers
  •     Explain the basic functions of machines and equipment to customers
  •     Replace malfunctioning machine parts, such as video cards in desktop computers
  •     Provide preventative maintenance, such as cleaning the internal parts of machines
  •     Test newly installed systems to make sure they work properly

In most cases, machines do not break down entirely. Often just one broken part can keep a machine from working properly. Repairers often fix machines by replacing these parts and other defective equipment because it is often less expensive than replacing the entire machine.

computer repairers often must replace desktop parts, such as a motherboard, because of hardware failure.

Some repairers have assigned areas where they do preventive maintenance on a regular basis.

Computer repairers service and repair computer parts, network connections, and computer equipment, such as an external hard drive or computer monitor. Computer repairers must be familiar with various operating systems and commonly used software packages. Some work from repair shops, while others travel to customers’ locations.

Job Outlook

Employment of computer support specialist is expected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Computer repairers will see a continued demand for their services as computer parts need replacing or organizations need hardware upgrades. As companies modernize and use new technology in their day-to-day operations, computer repairers will continue to see employment opportunities.


The median annual wage of computer support specialist was $50,210 in 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. 

Training program offered with description and training included at CAJ:

This course provides information and practical hands-on experience for two different industry certifications:  Cisco Networking Basic and Computer Repair A++.  Job placement assistance is available to all graduates of this program.

  • Classes meet Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Participate in hands-on classroom demonstrations of skills and knowledge
  • Graduates receive a Certificate of Completion and Skills Sheet with all certifications attained while in the class.
  • All teachers are credentialed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
  • The teachers providing vocational training have work experience in related business and/or industry.

A + and your career

Every business uses computers and skilled technicians are a necessity. A++ opens the door to an exciting career in computer technology at an affordable price. A++ certification is the perfect launch pad into other more challenging careers in information technology.

The A++ exams test the following areas of knowledge:

  • Installation, configuration and upgrading
  • Diagnosis and troubleshooting
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Motherboard, processors and memory
  • Printers
  • Basic Networking – Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista
  • OS Fundamentals
  • Network fundamentals
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Motherboard, processors and memory
  • Printers
  • Basic Networking – Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista
  • OS Fundamentals
  • Network fundamentals

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Comp TIA A + Certification


The Comp TIA A+ certification is the industry standard for validating vendor-neutral skills expected of an entry-level computer technician. Those holding the A+ certification have a broad base of knowledge and competency in core hardware and operating system technologies including installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance and basic networking.
Items covered: Low voltage wiring, user interface, control processors, computer networking, audio/video, home security, surveillance, telecommunications, homelighting, thermostat control, water systems, home access and other automated home features.

CAJ Gainful Employment Data (2016-17):

• Graduation Rate for Completers:  86%
• Placement Rate for Completers:  74%

Required Orientation & Assessment

  • Every Wednesday 8:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.
  • Please bring your government issued picture ID (i.e. Driver’s License, DMV ID card, etc).