Building PCs for a living?

Hey guys, I want to start by pointing out that I'm 19 years old, unfortunately I never finished high school, and I'm currently working on getting my GED. I've been working minimum wage for almost a year now, and like most people in my situation, I would rather not be making Tacos at Taco Bell for the rest of my life. I would really like to do something with computers, for I find myself with a strange obsession and passion for building computers. My current computer has become my money dump, and I think itd be really cool to build computers for a living or something of the such. I'm not the most experienced builder, but there's an extremely invigorating sensation for me when I watch a final build come to life. I almost wish I could just build my own computers, but obviously Im not exactly going to shell out 1-2k$ just for the satisfaction of building some high-end PC. I guess I'm asking for advice maybe? Is there a certain direction I could go to pursue such a career? I think it'd be awesome to maybe run my own business building high-end workstations and gaming computers, but would such a business even be viable? Are there already big businesses looking for people like me? Just looking for advice, still learning the ropes of "the real world."

8 Answers

  • Dave
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    You;re not going to make any money building and selling PC's. The market is saturated with that service already, and also offers services you will not be able to compete with (as in 24/7 phone support etc).

    You're going to want to get into IT or IT Consulting. That's the path I took over 20 years ago.

    Get a job at a call center doing tech support for any technical job you can find. Learn how to talk to customers, learn how to deal with angry people. You can also make decent money doing this (in my area, phone tech support positions start around $15-17/hr).

    While you're doing this, learn everything you can about how to build, upgrade and maintain a PC. Learn all the different antivirus and antimalware tools you can find. Figure out which ones work and which don't (Malwarebytes is your saviour).

    Learn Windows inside and out. Both desktop and server. Build a second PC at home and put a copy of windows server on it, and start learning. Don't bother with any certifications, unless you absolutely do not know anything about windows. They aren't worth the paper they are printed on. A++ etc is garbage.

    Once you are comfortable there, start looking for a job as an Tier 1 IT helpdesk. Look at the local colleges. Local businesses. These jobs are everywhere, and will continue to give you a leg up in your training and learning.

    Now start posting ads on Craigslist or any other free advertising in your area. Offer your services for virus removal and repairs for a cheap price (PER HOUR). Start small, undercut anyone else (like $20/hr). Build up a clientele. Do this for a few years, and eventually (if you're any good at customer service and know your stuff) you'll eventually be able to start your own business. Get an LLC license from your state, and get a good CPA. Learn how to do your own books.

    I took that path over 20 years ago. I now charge $150/hr from home, remotely administering multiple businesses around the US. Wouldn't change a thing.

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    I specialize in making websites. I can also do other stuff with computers.

    I think you should start by getting your A+ certification after you get your GED. Before getting your A+, I think you should mess around with a lower end computer, so you can learn as much as you can about it.

    I am also thinking about building computers, for myself, but, for me that can wait.

    Computer technicians can work in a computer shop. You would be investing money to purchase hardware, so you can build computers, for people, sell it, and fix it, and upgrade it, or downgrade it, etc.

    Purchasing hardware to build high end computers might bankrupt you, so you should think about it carefully. The computers that computer technicians build are like the computers that you would see at Best Buy, or the source etc.

    Yes, you could invest in hardware, so you can build high end computers, and gaming computers, but not everyone might want it. A lot of people prefer not spending too much, for a computer. Because they don't need a computer that someone like me would benefit from having, and using.

    I can use lower end, and higher end computers.

    I think you would have to learn a lot more about computers. I don't think you should get your hopes up about a business hiring you.

    I am considering investing 5k - 10k, for hardware, so I can build a high end computer.

    I might actually invest more money. I am still thinking about what I need, and I think you should think about what you need as well.

    I am in an interesting position unlike many people. If I build a high end computer then I probably won't keep it where other people can see it. I am considering keeping it somewhere isolated. Because there are mentally ill people who might try to steal it, or kill someone who has it.

  • 6 months ago

    Ok, so I'm in a similar boat as you where I enjoy building and repairing computers, servers and all kinds of gadgets. The thing is, having a business that does that kind of work requires an enormous amount of dedication and passion to keep it afloat, during the good and the bad. You'd also need a massive amount of discipline to keep everything in check and to ensure you are actually making money at the end of the month.

    Before looking into opening your own business, you would need to understand the corporate world. Yes, you can learn on the fly but the financial expense will be very high plus you'd need to advertise and convince the end-user /consumer that they should choose you over a well-known, already established company.

    So, here's what you should do to start off. Find a computer repair shop or a re-seller, maybe even a distributor and apply for a position there as a techie. There, depending on the company, they may train you and you will get the experience you'd need to ensure that every piece of work you do will be done to perfection and on time.

    I build and repair servers, PC's and laptops. It's not always the greatest thing to do especially when you hit a snag but when you finally overcome the snag, the satisfaction of the success makes every gripe worthwhile.

    I'm not sure what computer companies you have in your area, or how much experience you currently have.

    Before I started my business, I would go around to all the tech companies and train their staff whilst at the same time, do what I am passionate about. I learnt a lot along the way too due to the exposure I got to tech I could not buy for myself.

    It's a long process but you have to start somewhere. Also, high performance PC's are not such a huge demand. Servers are in more demand than high performance PC’s so you may find it underwhelming at first


    Start small and work your way to the top. Don’t set your expectations too high. I also love high end systems but I found repairs and upgrades were more satisfying than just building a super rig that I’ll never see again.

    Hope this helps and you achieve your passion.

    Source(s): 15 years in the IT Industry
  • Murzy
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    the money would not be in building them but in repairing them and virus removal.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Yes, possible but the best way to do that is own a store that sells computers and computer parts. For that you need capital and yes, making tacos and other odd jobs might get you there eventually if you don't spend all your earnings on your own computer.

    • jj
      Lv 5
      6 months agoReport

      Dell, HP, Acer, et al don't have the overhead of a brick and mortar store. He could never compete.

  • 6 months ago

    Contact Xi Computers San Clemente CA. Been in business for over 25 years, making fastest custom machines on planet.

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Definitely not the most lucrative choice. You could get a job and probably survive. Opening up a shop would probably be the way to go if you wanted to make a career out of it, and that would be a lot of work, long hours. I would say it is viable in the right location though.

    Edit: Some one else said the money is in repair, which is true, but also warranties. Components aren't usually marked up much since people can buy them online, and the cost to build is usually not very high.

  • 6 months ago

    Most people do not purchase custom computers.

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