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Hardware technicians provide support to employees or customers regarding hardware and software-related technical issues, giving instructions on how to use different programs and devices. This involves installing and updating desktops or laptops, ensuring software is working efficiently, and troubleshooting all IT issues within the company. Hardware technicians work for a variety of organizations that use computers. It is usually a full-time role typically performed in an office-based environment. Hardware technicians should be analytical, have an aptitude for working with technical equipment, and have strong interpersonal abilities, including outstanding verbal and written communication skills, to listen to computer issues and explain solutions to others.
Hardware Technician Duties and Responsibilities
Hardware technicians work for many different organizations, which influences the exact duties and responsibilities they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, a hardware technician’sduties typically involve:
Assess Computer Problems
Hardware technicians listen to customer or colleague descriptions of computer issues. Through this they can ask questions to diagnose the problem and find a resolution to fix it.
Provide Problem-Solving Steps
Once a solution has been found for the computer problem, hardware technicians provide step-by-step instructions to help the customer resolve the issue easily and efficiently. They may need to use simple language to explain the solution if the customer doesn't have technical knowledge.
Repair Computer Equipment
Hardware technicians repair computer equipment and related devices when damage has occurred. They also run tests on the equipment afterwards to ensure it's working effectively before returning it to the user.
Train New Users
A key part of this job is training users to handle new pieces of equipment or computer hardware and software, such as printers, email systems, and word-processing applications.
Hardware technicians create documentation and guidelines on how to use different types of hardware and software, providing team members with information about what gives customers the most issues, their concerns, and the solutions to these common problems.
Hardware Technician Skills and Qualifications
Hardware technicians need an analytical mindset, the ability to communicate complex issues to nontechnical staff, and great problem-solving skills. Employers typically require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related subject as well as the following abilities:
- Customer service - hardware technicians help people who are frustrated with the software or hardware they are trying to use, so great customer service skills are useful in this position
- Listening skills - hardware technicians need to understand the problems their customers are explaining to them, so listening skills are essential
- Troubleshooting- hardware techniciansare great at identifying issues by analyzing the situation and then resolving the problem
- Communication skills - strong writing skills help hardware technicians prepare clear instructions in layman's terms, and interpersonal skills help them work well as part of a team and with clients
Hardware Technician Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become a hardware technician is a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a similar subject. For some positions, an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough to secure a position. Certification programs are usually offered by vendors or neutral providers in various computer disciplines to help job candidates demonstrate knowledge and best practices.
Hardware Technician Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for hardware technicians is nearly $62,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Hardware technicians in the 10th percentile earn around $37,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $105,000 a year. Some companies offer packages that can reach up to $6,000 from bonus structures based on individual or group performance, and profit-sharing opportunities of up to $7,000. Many employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package.
The BLS predicts job prospects in this field will grow 11 percent through 2026.
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We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about developing a career as a hardware technician:
from computer architecture to parallel hardware and software topics, this book provides an indepth look at the field with great examples to illustrate each point
over 6,000 members have joined this LinkedIn group, which connects computer technicians with those in similar roles to help with networking, knowledge sharing, and giving and receiving advice on difficult computer issues
from RAM to CPUs, this easytoread book has plenty of stepbystep guides and illustrated screenshots to simplify the complex world of computer hardware
covering all things computers, technology, and software, this website is a great resource for staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest tech and industry trends