We’ve all run into problems with our computer at one time or another. Have you ever wondered about the people who appear out of nowhere and magically fix whatever ails our computers at that time? These people are skilled professionals called computer technicians or computer support specialists and their main job is to help and advice individuals and businesses using computer software and equipment.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of a career in IT, this is one of the many options you can consider. Here are some more insights into a computer technician career, so by the time you finish reading this article, you can make an informed decision.
Computer Technician Career – What does it involve?
Computer technicians provide a range of technical support to individuals and businesses in using computer software and equipment. Depending on their specific responsibilities, they may go by several titles including computer repair technicians, technical support specialists, help-desk technicians, field service technicians, IT support administrators, etc.
The role of a computer technician may vary from one position to another, but on a broad level, their responsibilities include:
1. Diagnose and repair computer hardware and software problems
2. Install hardware equipment and software programs for users
3. Train users in the use of newly installed hardware/software
4. Schedule routine maintenance of computer equipment
5. Setting up security measures on users’ computers
6. Configure LAN, WAN and Internet systems in an organization
7. Troubleshoot problems related to computer network systems
8. Test and evaluate computer networks and ensure their optimum operation
9. Offer support to users through email, telephone or in-person visit.
10. Keep records of a company’s computer systems and peripherals.
Computer Technician Career – Is it for me?
Before you do anything, it’s important to ask yourself this question because it is very easy to get carried away by the thrill and excitement of an IT job.
To begin with, having an interest in computers and everything related to it is extremely important for anyone considering a computer tech career. You should be notorious for taking things apart in a computer and fixing them back, just so you can understand how it works!
You should also have problem solving skills and an interest in figuring things out for yourself. A lot of work that computer technicians do rests on this quality of theirs. Additionally, since computer technicians interface with people on a regular basis, they should have well-developed interpersonal, listening, and verbal as well as written communication skills.
Computer Technician Career – How can I get started?
Once you have figured out that you are the right fit for a computer technician’s career, you can start preparing for this job by getting qualified for it. There are several education routes available to individuals interested in IT support roles.
You can get an Associate degree from a community college or complete postsecondary training at a career or technical school. You may also find online courses that will prepare you for a computer tech’s role.
However, whichever route you choose, make sure you get the CompTIA A certification before you hit the job market. This certification is a proof to potential employers of your technical competencies and is typically required for most entry-level support roles.
CompTIA A certification is granted to individuals who pass two exams and must be renewed every three years by taking the most current exam.
Computer Technician Salary – What can I expect?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of computer support specialists was $46,260 in May 2010.*
But it’s not just a computer technician’s salarythat’s promising about this career. Monetary rewards are accompanied by favorable job prospects and why not. After all, our dependence on technology is only growing each day, so it’s only natural that the demand for professionals skilled at fixing problems with it also increases alongside.