If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re interested in pursuing a career as a computer technician. And that’s great! The field is full of opportunities and offers a wide range of exciting challenges. But before you can start your journey down the path to becoming a computer technician, there are some important things you need to know. In this post, we’ll outline the basics of what you need to do to get started in this rewarding career field. So read on for everything you need to know about starting your journey towards becoming a computer technician!
1. What Is a Computer Technician?
A computer technician is a person who repairs, installs, configures, and performs routine maintenance on computers. A computer technician might be employed by retail businesses that sell computers or other technology products directly to consumers. He could also work for companies that provide local area network (LAN) installation and management services. Some computer technicians are self-employed and run their own computer repair companies.
Computer technicians also must know about the various types of computer hardware, software, operating systems, and networking. Some people become computer technicians after graduating high school or earning an associate’s degree in a related field. An increasing number of colleges are offering bachelor’s degrees in information technology that teach students how to maintain servers, install networking hardware and configure user accounts.
2. What Does a Computer Technician Do?
Computer technicians perform a wide variety of tasks to fix or maintain computer systems. The exact duties vary from one company to the next, but common job responsibilities include:
Troubleshooting and Repairing Computers
Many computer technicians spend a large amount of their time diagnosing problems, fixing minor issues, and preventing new problems from occurring. They must have excellent troubleshooting skills so they can quickly identify the source of an issue and repair it as quickly as possible.
Computer Technician Support
A good computer technician will also provide technical support to his coworkers and customers. You might be required to walk coworkers through a step-by-step process for installing new software or completing complicated tasks. Customer service skills are very important, as you’ll need the ability to talk someone through an issue over the phone, troubleshoot their computer problem, and explain how to prevent the same issue from happening in the future.
Configuring and Installing Computer Hardware
A computer technician will frequently need to travel to a customer’s location to install new hardware, such as network cards or wireless routers. You might also be required to configure software settings so that coworkers can connect with each other over a local area network (LAN).
If you’re running your own computer repair business, you’ll need to manage all aspects of the company, including marketing, hiring tech support staff, and scheduling work. Most large companies have IT managers who take care of these things on a more detailed level.
3. Computer Technician Education Requirements
A high school degree is typically required for most entry-level computer technician positions. However, you might not need a high school diploma if you’re running your own business or working as an independent contractor.
1. A postsecondary degree in information technology is not necessary to land a job as a computer technician, but it can be helpful if you want to advance within the field and work towards management positions. Some companies offer tuition reimbursement benefits to full-time employees who attend night classes, so you might be able to earn your degree without having to pay for school out of pocket.
2. A certificate in computer repair is also an option if you’re looking to learn more about how computers work and gain the necessary skills for repairing them. This is a good option for people who want to become computer technicians but didn’t major in information technology in college.
3. If you want to become a network administrator or IT manager, earning a bachelor’s degree will be necessary. This type of degree usually takes at least four years to complete, but it can provide the necessary skills and knowledge for managing a large department of computer technicians and researchers.
4. What Skills and Qualities Should a Computer Technician Have?
Some of the skills and qualities are needed to become a computer technician include:
Computer technicians must be able to identify the cause of a problem and fix it as quickly as possible. Patience is definitely a virtue since many computer problems can be solved with time and effort.
Computer Repair Knowledge
You’ll also need extensive knowledge about how computers work in order to accurately diagnose and troubleshoot issues. Computer technicians need to know what will work best with existing hardware, so they can recommend products or services to their customers.
Customer Service Skills
You’ll need excellent customer service skills in order to explain how computers work and what you’re doing while working on them. The ability to listen carefully and explain information clearly is also important when dealing with frustrated customers.
While not necessary, basic math skills are important if you want to advance within this field. Computer technicians will frequently need to calculate prices, warranties, and service fees while working with customers on the telephone.
5. Where Do Computer Technicians Usually Work?
Computer technicians can be employed just about anywhere. The following list outlines some of the most common places where you might find a computer technician:
Computer Repair Stores – These are the most common places to find computer technicians. In-person stores might hire experienced technicians, while online services might hire people who have just graduated from a training course.
Company Call Centers – If you’re interested in working for a major company that offers technical support to customers over the telephone, then working at a call center might be a great option for you. Helping customers to solve issues with their software or hardware is an important part of this job.
Customer Homes – Some computer technicians will go to the homes of their customers in order to fix computers that are broken or slow. This can be particularly helpful if someone has just started using a new type of device but doesn’t know how to use it properly.
Schools and Libraries – By working as a computer technician at schools or libraries, you’ll have the chance to do something good for your community while gaining valuable experience in information technology. Being able to provide children with up-to-date knowledge will also benefit them later on in life.
6. What Is the Salary Range for Computer Technicians?
The average salary for computer technicians will vary depending on the type of company that you work for, but the following list outlines some of the typical salaries that a computer technician with a few years of experience might earn:
Entry Level – If you’re just starting out in this career path and aren’t working at a major company, then your salary can be extremely variable. An inexperienced computer repair person may only earn around $15 per hour or less. However, if you show promise and have good people skills, then your employer might increase your wage over time.
One-Person Owned Business – If you decide to open up your own business as a one-person shop, then you’ll need to charge more for your services in order to stay afloat. A salary range of $25,000 to $50,000 per year is not uncommon for a computer technician who works on his or her own.
Medium-Sized Company – If you work at a larger company that offers IT services, then your salary will typically be higher than the average. The median pay for this type of job is around $30 per hour.
Large Company – Working at a large multinational corporation can often lead to an even higher income level. Large companies are often willing to hire experienced computer technicians or those with extensive education in order to reduce costs and ensure top-notch service. Salaries at these types of places might start as high as $35 per hour and go up from there.
7. What Should I Major in if I Want to Become a Computer Technician?
While it’s not required for this career path, earning a college degree can be extremely beneficial. There are several fields that you might consider majoring in when attending school:
If you’re interested in working with technicians and other employees within your organization, then learning how to install and manage computer networks is important. You may also want to learn more about things like WiFi and routers so that you can properly service clients at their homes or businesses.
At the most basic level, information technology involves using computers and other devices to receive information from one place and redistribute it in another. You’ll need extensive knowledge of computers in order to provide good customer service, so this is a great starting point.
If you’re looking for the best possible training that money can buy, then there are few college courses that are better than those offered in computer science. The job market for computer repair technicians is extremely competitive, so it’s important to have as much experience and education as you can get.
8. What Types of Hours Do Computer Technicians Usually Work?
Working in this field can be undesirable for people who cannot stand to work odd hours or on weekends. The following list outlines the type of shifts that computer technicians might typically work:
Since you’re just starting out your career, the chances are that you’ll have to take whatever shift is available. This means that you could potentially find yourself working nights and weekends while trying to get your foot in the door.
If you impress your superiors, then they may allow you to pick and choose which shifts you want to work each week. You may also receive additional compensation such as bonuses or overtime if you frequently show up early or stay late when necessary.
Most experienced computer technicians will not enjoy working unpredictable hours. However, companies that hire these types of people expect them to be available whenever there’s a serious technology issue or emergency.
9. How Long Does it Take to Become a Computer Technician?
The time it takes to become a computer technician will depend on the level of training and education that you want. If you don’t have any formal schooling or certifications, then you can expect this process to be extremely lengthy. It might take around three years before you are prepared for your first job in the field.
With certification, many technicians are able to shorten the amount of time it takes to become qualified. A good certification program may only require six months of study and practice followed by an exam with a certified instructor or representative from the company that issues it.
10. Is There Any Age Limit for Becoming a Computer Technician?
Individuals of all ages can become computer technicians. However, companies that hire new employees may want to see proof of your educational experience in the field before they hire you. This can be difficult if you are under 18 years old without any previous work experience.
You must be at least 18 years of age before you can pursue this career path. Most companies will not hire people who are younger than this because they may not have the skills or experience necessary to be successful.
11. Top Recruiting Companies for a Computer Technician
Some of the top recruiting companies for a computer technician include:
Dell- Dell hires professionals who have a four-year college degree and at least two years of related work experience. You must also be willing to relocate anywhere in the United States without notice.
Comcast- Comcast is only interested in applicants with previous customer service experience. They do not list any educational requirements on their website, but you should expect this company to require some form of IT training or education.
Sears Holdings Corporation- Sears has partnered with Pinnacle Career Institute for all current openings as well as ones that may arise in the future. This school provides both classroom instruction and online support so you can take classes around your schedule. Applicants must be 18 years old, pass a background check, and attend an interview before they can receive consideration for employment.
AT&T- AT&T wants to hire candidates who possess the ability to deal with customers in a courteous and professional manner. A high school diploma or general education degree is necessary for this company, but previous work experience in IT might be beneficial as well.
12. Best Colleges to Study Computer Technician
Some of the best colleges to study computer technician include:
University of Maryland- College Park – This school offers an onsite computer network support system for both students and staff. Students can study topics like digital forensics, cyber security, operating systems, networking devices, and more.
Bridge water State University- Bridge water offers a degree in Technical Communications that includes lessons in web design, technical writing, desktop publishing, project management skills, and the ability to work with technology teams.
University of Florida- This university provides courses in IT management that are designed to provide students with the chance to manage large projects while they learn about subjects like e-commerce standards and solutions. The program is available online or on-campus, depending on your schedule.
University of Denver- This school offers courses in technical writing, in addition to management courses that cover topics in leadership, group dynamics, and time management. The program is available online only.
The computer technician career path is one that can be challenging and rewarding. The opportunity to help people with their technology, teach them how it works, and fix the problems they are having offers a lot of personal satisfaction. If you’re interested in this field but don’t know where to start or what qualifications you need, we recommend taking some time to research your options before making any decisions. There are many different routes to take when living out your tech-savvy dreams, so make sure you do your homework first!