Who makes more, the Apple Store Genius Bar or Best Buy's Geek Squad?

Comparing the purported average salaries for Apple and Best Buy front-line tech-support personnel.

As someone who regularly councils consumers to avoid overpriced after-market repair services for computer hardware, I was intrigued by a report from Glassdoor.com (a Web site where employees anonymously dish about their employers) that compares the purported average salaries for Apple and Best Buy front-line tech-support personnel.

Both the Geek Squad and Genius Bar offer carry-in service for your hardware, although the Genius Bar is more focused on in-warranty service for your Mac stuff, while the Geek Squad sells a variety of upgrades, security, installation, and maintenance services.

The Glassdoor.com data is based on submissions from people who claim to be employed by the respective companies, so it's far from scientific. That being said, the reported average hourly salary for a Genius Bar tech was $18.30, while the reported average hourly salary for a Geek Squad Agent was $11.58.

Anecdotally, the Genius Bar seems to have a better reputation than the Geek Squad, which has been busted stealing data from customers' computers (hence the nickname "Peek Squad"), but I'm sure plenty of people have both good stories and horror stories about both.

Is the Genius Bar attracting better people with better pay? What experiences with one or both services have you had?

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.


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