How To Become A Computer Technician

Computer technician is a general job title used for those professionals performing the duties of both technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. They may also be known as computer support specialists. Computer technicians help make the use of computer and its accessories easier for people, and help to resolve any computer issues the user may have. They help and advise people and businesses using computer equipment and software. They not only work in the information technology (IT) industry, but also in the telecommunication, healthcare, finance, and education sectors.

Computer Technician Job Description
A computer technician's work schedule may be flexible in the sense that he/she may not have a 9-to-5 job. However, some computer technicians need to be available 24 hours a day as computer support is critical for many businesses and individuals. A technical support specialist will perform the following duties on regular basis:

  • Troubleshoot internet systems, wide area networks (WANs), and local area networks (LANs)
  • Ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Test and evaluate existing network systems

A help-desk technician will perform the following duties on regular basis:

  • Use his/her excellent communication skills to listen and talk to customers
  • Ask customers relevant questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Explain the problem and its solution to customers in a step-by-step manner
  • Help customers install software
  • Help customers use email and other programs
  • Train others in the most common problems faced by computer users

Help-desk technician mostly work over the phone and email. Some may however have to visit their clients. Technical support specialists will usually work on-site in the employer's IT department.

How to Become a Computer Technician
One of the biggest attractive features of the industry is the fact that even high school graduates after taking a few postsecondary education classes may be eligible to work as a computer technician. Some jobs may, however, require holding either an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, or engineering. Once hired, computer technicians may be required to take training programs. These programs are on-going as technology is always fast changing.

While some computer technician jobs may not have stringent academic requirements, individuals with the following qualities are more likely to excel in the profession:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Writing skills
  • Speaking skills
  • Listening skills
  • Interpersonal skills

Postsecondary education courses in computer technology are offered by many community colleges, technical schools, and four year universities. The same courses are offered through online degree programs as well, which, if accredited, are producing first-rate computer technicians.

Job Outlook
In 2010, there were more than 600,000 computer technicians in the US. Their numbers are expected to grow at a rate of 18 percent between 2010 and 2020. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) quotes a salary figure in excess of $45,000 per year for computer technicians in 2010. Therefore, becoming a computer technician is a win-win situation both for the professional as well as his/her clients.


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