What is a Computer Technician
As a computer technician, your primary responsibility is to help individuals ensure that their computers and computer networks are running smoothly. Suppose an individual is having an issue with their computer or network. In that case, that is where a computer technician will come in and troubleshoot the problem. As a technician, you will identify problems promptly by listening to your client’s concerns about their system’s performance and running diagnostics on software. Several solutions can be offered, including installing updated software or hardware, repairing existing equipment, scanning for malicious programs, or replacing computer components.
As a result of service contracts, manufacturers often employ computer technicians to fulfill their obligations. The technician may install computer equipment upon delivery to the client’s business or follow up with subsequent visits for preventative maintenance. It is typical for an organization to have at least one technician always available if any part of the system malfunctions. To determine the extent and nature of the problem, these professionals use specialized equipment to perform diagnostic tests.
Repairs include replacing hardware components, swapping peripherals, and rewiring internal components. They are usually equipped to handle a wide variety of tasks. When a technician cannot fix a machine on-site, he or she may take it back to his or her employer’s office for further analysis or more complex repairs.
Requirements to Become a Computer Technician
If you plan to become a computer technician, there will be some “must-know” information and “must-have” certifications and degrees before you can land your first job. Look at this the following:
- An undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field is required.
- The preferred accreditations are CompTIA A+, Linux+, and Cisco Certified Network Associate.
- An understanding of Microsoft Windows, Apple’s Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.
- Extensive experience with network management, servers, and system maintenance.
- Understanding of servers, printers, routers, and laptops.
- Ability to troubleshoot and diagnose problems.
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are excellent.
- Ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally.
- Knowing how to keep up with the latest innovations in hardware and software
We have listed common requirements; however, it is important to research what company you hope to work with to understand their full prerequisites. Some employers require skills and knowledge that other employers may not. Staying informed can help set you up for success right off the bat.
Additional Certifications for Employment
Certification as a computer technician can enhance your employment prospects. The Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) and CompTIA are two of the most prominent organizations which offer certifications. To obtain the ETA’s Computer Service Technician (CST) designation, you must pass the Associate Electronics Technician exam. In this exam, you’ll be evaluated on your proficiency in 16 areas of PC maintenance, including assembling and disassembling computers, memory and storage, motherboards, processors, and peripherals.
As well as covering networking and security, CompTIA A+ certifications are also for computer repair technicians, but they are more comprehensive than CST certifications. A+ certification requires passing CompTIA’s essentials and practical exams. A+ certification is a requirement for employment at several major computer companies.
Is a Computer Technician a Good Career Choice?
In general, if you enjoy working with computers, becoming a computer technician is a worthwhile career choice. However, since computer technicians do not get paid highly, you might want to gain experience and hone your skills to advance. The article will discuss career advancement paths you can take after becoming a computer technician in the future!
The career options for computer technicians are also flexible. All kinds of organizations use computer technology and need employees to maintain their infrastructures. Educational institutions, nonprofits, and public offices need computer technicians.
Although computer technicians are often considered entry-level IT employees, U.S. News and World Reports point out that their value to employers is significant. They assist in developing and maintaining company network technology, debugging issues, resolving server and computer problems, and identifying virus infections. Computer technicians are also less expensive than IT specialists and directors. The result is that businesses rely on them to perform as many tasks as possible (instead of paying higher-paid IT professionals) to lower costs and increase profits.
Training and support of employees using technology in major client-facing business activities, such as sales and service, are provided by techs. Many software certifications are available to computer technicians, which increase their skills, make them more valuable, increase their promotion opportunities, and raise their salaries.
What Skills Will You Learn?
Within the first couple of years after getting a technician job, while you are in the process of getting a degree to become a computer technician, you will gain a variety of skills in the meantime. These skills will help you succeed in your job and climb the technician ladder. A few examples of these skills would include preventative computer maintenance, installing and upgrading software and hardware, computer repair, networking, and implementing computer security measures.
Preventative Computer Maintenance
There is a mountain of reasons why a computer may break or malfunction. Understanding these factors can help you identify preventative solutions to avoid any real issues from arising. This is a part of a computer technician’s job and a skill they often learn while in school, getting their degree.
Computer repair classes provide you with an understanding of what can damage your computer and how to prevent this damage from occurring. While troubleshooting is an important computer repair skill, you will also learn how to test the computer’s efficiency and determine potential problems.
Your skills will also include how to recover data after loss or damage. Data can be destroyed by human error or by natural occurrences such as floods or lightning. You will need to create backups to minimize the impact of data loss.
Installation, Upgrade, and Repair
Computer repair courses will teach you how to upgrade desktop and laptop software, hardware, and operating systems to ensure your computer system’s health. Additionally, you may have to build a computer from scratch using the components provided. These components include operating systems, software, and hardware components like memory, processors, hard drives, multimedia drives, and peripherals.
The study of computer electronics focuses on designing and operating digital circuits. You may study logic gates, Boolean algebra, and other topics relevant to circuit operations. Often, computer repair degree programs combine this class with one that covers general concepts related to electricity, such as direct and alternating current, inductance, and capacitance.
Networking and Network Management
Typically, computer repair courses provide instructions on connecting computers to a network and installing, configuring, managing, and troubleshooting networking equipment and cabling. In some courses, the focus is on a broad background in networking, whereas in others, the focus is on specific vendors.
As part of this training, computer repair technicians will learn how to install and maintain a computer network with the help of laboratory work and instructions, as well as data transmission, networking hardware, and network security protocols.
A computer repair course can also provide you with the skills necessary to secure computer systems and networks. You will also learn how to install anti-virus programs and security software to protect computers from viruses and hackers. In addition to setting up and using antivirus software and firewalls, you will also learn how to update the operating system and software. Both the fundamentals of computer security and best practices will be covered.
The majority of computer repair programs offer computer programming courses. In addition to designing, coding, and testing programs, students may be taught how to anticipate, identify, and eliminate bugs. The courses may use one or more common programming languages, including Visual Basic.NET and C++, among others.
Qualities Of a Computer Technician
In order to succeed as a computer technician, you must be equipped with excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills, a wide range of technical knowledge, and the ability to manage multiple tasks. To be considered a top-notch computer technician, one must optimize systems’ efficiency, improve network security, provide timely technical support, and introduce cutting-edge technology to a company if necessary.
It is equally important to be self-disciplined, have good time-management skills, and be passionate about your career choice. These qualities help because many computer problems occur outside of regular business hours, such as late at night or on the weekends. In the event of an IT issue occurring within the organization, the company’s IT support technicians must be able to always respond quickly and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
Computer Technician Work Environment
Some computer technicians are permanent employees of an organization, while others are employed by companies that send their technicians to various locations as necessary. Computer technicians typically work indoors in an office setting. Computer technicians can work regular daytime hours as well as evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays based on the job.
The use of computer technology aids at least some parts of a business’s operations. The technician is called in as soon as problems occur to restore function. The demand for computer technicians is high; a recent report on the recruitment website ZipRecruiter indicates that the average salary of a computer technician is $17 per hour, or $35,892 per year, as of June 2021.
It is estimated that about 11% of job openings will be filled by computer and information technology roles between 2019 and 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, the number of computer-related occupations is predicted to grow as companies use new technologies.
Career Options in Computer Repair
Customer Support Specialist: Computer support specialists answer users’ questions about computer malfunctions over the telephone or via email. These computer repair professionals help users determine the cause of errors and fix them, whether they are next door or across the globe. In some cases, computer support specialists assist employees in a business, while in others, they assist customers. In addition to running diagnostics and monitoring computer systems, computer support specialists may help computer users troubleshoot their software and communicate with them.
Computer Repair & Maintenance Specialist: If you like the hands-on aspect of computer maintenance, an entry-level career as a computer repair technician might be right for you. It is likely that they will be responsible for repairing hardware components and troubleshooting computer systems. The following job responsibilities might be expected of someone who wishes to pursue a career as a computer repair technician. Installing computer systems and software, maintaining computer hardware, testing systems, and upgrading them are just some of these tasks.
Average Computer Support Specialist Salary
The average salary of a computer support specialist in the United States is $63,926 per year or $30.73 per hour. The bottom 10% make about $44,000 a year, and the top 10% make $91,000 a year. Washington, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania are the states where computer support specialists earn the most.
Average Computer Repair & Maintenance Specialist Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for computer repair specialists in America is $73,042 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent of computer repair specialists earn over $108,000 annually, while the bottom ten percent earn less than $49,000 annually.
Related Career Fields
After gaining the skills to become a computer technician, you will have the opportunity to explore various other career paths. Although there are countless careers, we have chosen 5 popular choices to provide you with a bit more detail about, Network Support Specialist, Computer Programmer, Information Systems Technician, and System Administrator.
Network Support Specialist
A Network Support Specialist’s responsibility is to analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet networks or segments of those networks. As a part of their responsibilities, Network Support Specialists perform network maintenance to ensure that networks operate as intended while causing as little interruption as possible.
In a typical Network Support Specialist job, you will perform tasks such as testing network equipment to fix issues, monitoring network performance, and installing and maintaining network equipment. In addition, you will install network systems. In order for an organization’s network systems to run smoothly and efficiently, a Network Support Specialist will have to work with the local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and internet systems.
Network Support Specialist Salary
In today’s world, IT professionals like Network Support Specialists are in high demand and extremely well-paid. Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT careers are expected to grow at 12% over the next decade, which is significantly greater than the national average for all occupations. Network Support Specialists earn an average hourly wage of $32.46, which is also above the national average. There is also a range of pay ranges for Network Support Specialists, with a median annual salary of $67,510, and a top 10% of these professionals earning a salary that exceeds $100,000 each year.
An expert in computer programming writes logical sequences of instructions, known as ‘code’, to control a computer. A software developer and an engineer usually work together to create a program using programming languages like C++ and Java. As well as writing and troubleshooting innovative programs and applications, they fix code errors and update and maintain existing software and programs. They are also expected to have a solid understanding of mathematics, electronics, and computer science to create and use code libraries.
Computer Programmer Salary
It is estimated that the average salary for a computer programmer in the United States is $69,428, but the salary range typically ranges from $59,650 to $77,977. A person’s salary range can vary widely based on important factors, such as educational background, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years they have worked in their field.
Information Systems Technician
Assembling data sets and other details needed to build databases are among the responsibilities of information systems technicians, which operate and maintain information systems, facilitating system utilization. This includes data management, procedures, job setup instructions, and performing program librarian duties. Integrated information system databases are designed and maintained by information system technicians. Besides maintaining Internet and Intranet websites, information systems technicians also use software and equipment to create digital multimedia and presentations.
Technology specialists in the information systems field install and maintain computer environments, data networks, and telecommunication infrastructures across multiple platforms. In a multi-system environment, information systems technicians schedule information gathering for content. They operate, program, and configure various electronics, hardware, and software. Typically, IT technicians investigate, troubleshoot, and resolve end-user problems. They plan, develop, test, and implement new and revised software and hardware solutions for companies.
Information systems technicians work together with other staff to inventory, maintain, and manage computer and communication systems. Information systems technicians can also modify and install equipment by providing communication and connectivity to organizational departments.
Information Systems Salary
There is an average income of $46,346 per year for information systems technicians in the United States or $22.28 per hour. The lower end of the spectrum, the bottom 10%, makes approximately $28,000 per year, while the upper end makes $74,000 per year. The most lucrative cities for information systems technicians are New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Virginia.
When a company’s network users encounter technical problems, the systems administrator will be their first point of contact. It is important for computer system administrators to make sure that the Internet connection in their office is working and that the mail server is running and that the emails are processed so that all employees within the organization or company are receiving and sending emails regularly.
To define and resolve problems, system administrators collect information from network users, troubleshoot hardware and software, and work with vendors to obtain additional information. To pinpoint the solution to specific network problems, it is typically necessary for a systems administrator to document multiple troubleshooting attempts.
To meet the needs of network users while not exceeding the company’s budget, systems administrators ensure that the performance and security of the computers they manage are adequate. To satisfy these needs, they may purchase, install, or upgrade computer components and software, perform routine automation, maintain security policies, troubleshoot, train, and/or supervise employees, and provide technical support.
System Administrator Salary
System administrators in the United States earn approximately $77,156 per year or $37.09 per hour. A systems administrator on the lower end of that spectrum earns roughly $59,000 yearly. In contrast, on the top end, they make approximately $100,000.
Wrapping it Up
Becoming a computer technician can be a wonderful career choice for anyone with a passion for computers. You will need a degree and some certifications to become a computer technician. However, some companies may hire simply with certifications.
It is possible to pursue various career paths after becoming a computer technician. Furthermore, when you train to be a computer technician, you will gain tremendous skills you can use to move your way along the technician or computer career path. The ability to take on more responsibilities and influence you can be as important as increasing your salary and taking on more responsibilities.
Computer related career fields are on the rise as more and more technology is created. Every business utilizes computers and other forms of technology in one way or another. That said, there will always be a need for employees with computer backgrounds, such as computer technicians. Becoming a computer technician can help you get your foot into the tech and digital career world, where you can continue to advance.