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The main role of IT assistants is to install, configure, and maintain computer network systems for a company. They are responsible for ensuring that their company’s computer network is functioning properly and up-to-date.
IT Assistants work for a wide variety of companies, including technology companies, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, corporations, and more. Essentially, if a company has a computer network, it needs an IT assistant. IT assistants work exclusively in an office environment.
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IT Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
To ensure that their company’s computer network is running smoothly and efficiently, IT assistants perform an array of tasks. We analyzed several online job postings to identify these core duties and responsibilities.
Installing and Configuring
In the event that their company purchases a new computer network, it will be up to the IT assistant to install and configure that new network so that employees can begin using it as quickly as possible. Additionally, new computer networks will have to be configured to suit the company’s unique needs.
Setting Up Peripherals
Many peripherals have to be set up in order to complement the computer network. These can include things such as printers, keyboards, routers, modems, and smart devices. It is the IT assistant’s responsibility to set up those peripherals and ensure that they are both functional and secure.
Maintaining and Repairing
Even if a computer network and all its peripherals are set up flawlessly, issues will still arise on a daily basis. IT assistants have to check their company’s network for errors, repair malfunctioning peripherals, and help colleagues troubleshoot problems.
If their company's computer network is used by customers outside of the company, IT assistants may be required to spend some of their time at a help desk answering calls and emails regarding technological problems.
As part of their ongoing work, IT assistants are typically required to keep detailed records of their network's configurations, peripheral specifications, problems and solutions, and more. These records help their company address issues more quickly in the future.
IT Assistant Skills
Successful IT assistants are results-oriented individuals who love to tackle tough problems and find creative solutions. They are as comfortable interacting with people as they are with installing a computer network, and they excel at applying their skills to unfamiliar issues. In addition to these general personality traits and attributes, employers are looking for IT assistants with the following skills and qualifications:
- Computer network skills - it is essential that IT assistants have extensive knowledge of the inner workings of computer networks, as well as how to operate and repair them
- Peripheral skills - because they'll be installing and repairing a number of peripherals, it's important that IT assistants be able to analyze and work with peripherals they may have never encountered before
- Attention to detail - since they'll be keeping detailed records and working with highly complex networks, IT assistants must have excellent attention to detail
- Communication skills - IT assistants will be required to work with colleagues and customers on a daily basis, thus, they have to have well-developed written and verbal communication skills
IT Assistant Tools of the Trade
In order to accomplish their daily goals, IT assistants use a variety of tools. IT assistants should be familiar with the following:
Recent versions of Microsoft Office software suite – programs in Microsoft Office, such as Excel and Word, will come in handy to IT assistants
Computer network hardware and software – besides installing and configuring computer networks, IT assistants use a variety of hardware and software to complete tasks
Standard office equipment – IT assistants have to know how to use standard office equipment such as printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, and more
Standard communications equipment – since part of their job involves communicating with colleagues and customers, IT assistants frequently use telephones, fax machines, emails, and more to communicate.
IT Assistant Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Network Architects, which includes IT Assistants, make a median annual wage of $101,210. The lowest paid earn $55,610 or less per year, while the highest paid earn $158,590 or more per year. IT assistants in Delaware, California, and New Jersey enjoy the highest median annual wage in the United States, earning $124,090, $123,220 and $117,210 per year respectively.
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IT Assistant Resources
We put together the following list of resources to help you explore your career as an IT assistant.
With more than 200,000 members, this LinkedIn group is a great place to connect and share ideas with other IT professionals.
With more than 400,000 members, this LinkedIn group is ideal for finding job openings and getting a sense of the IT field.
Updated on a regular basis and full of valuable information, this networking blog addresses all things networking related.
This universally useful book serves as a handy reference guide for IT assistants.