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Computer Technician Duties and Responsibilities
Computer technicians perform varied job duties based on the number of computer terminals and related equipment used by the hiring company. These core duties for this job, however, are usually the same despite those differing factors:
Set Up Hardware Computer technicians set up hardware and install all software and drivers needed to get it functioning properly. This includes computers and workstations as well as related equipment, such as printers, monitors, keyboards, routers, and any associated wires and cables.
Repair Equipment Computer technicians maintain and repair equipment such as PCs, credit card machines, and cash registers.
Maintain Security Computer technicians maintain security, privacy, and protection for all devices to prevent cyberattacks.
Upgrade Systems Computer technicians upgrade computer systems and perform regular software updates.
Troubleshoot Computer technicians troubleshoot system failures and bugs and solve these problems to keep systems functioning.
Remove Viruses Computer technicians remove malware, spyware, and viruses from computers.
Install Workstations Computer technicians set up and configure computer and laptop workstations. This includes setting up routers to provide internet access and running all wires and cables.
Computer Technician Skills and QualificationsComputer technicians are tech-savvy professionals with excellent computer skills who keep business computers and related hardware functioning without errors. Employers look for computer technicians who have the following skills:
- Computer skills - computer technicians need strong computer skills to perform various hardware and software functions, upgrades, and installations
- Time management - computer technicians use time management skills to address computer problems quickly and efficiently
- Communication skills - computer technicians need excellent communication skills to actively listen to users describe their current computer problems and effectively troubleshoot these issues
- Problem-solving skills - computer technicians use problem-solving abilities to diagnose and repair computer problems of all types
- Physical fitness - because computer technicians lift and move heavy pieces of equipment, crawl and bend to install cables, and perform other potentially taxing actions, some degree of physical fitness is required for this job
- Attention to detail - computer technicians must maintain good attention to detail to diagnose computer issues, properly install computer hardware and software, and remove all viruses from computer systems
Computer Technician Education and TrainingEducation and training requirements for computer technicians vary by employer. Many employers require computer technicians to have a bachelor's degree in an information technology field in addition to A+ certification. However, some employers accept candidates who have a high school diploma in addition to previous work experience in tech support or a computer-centric career field. Paid job training is provided to computer technicians. During training, computer technicians work closely with a supervisor or senior member of the tech staff to learn more about the computer systems and related hardware most commonly used by the hiring company. This training period varies by employer and may last for several weeks before computer technicians begin performing their job duties independently.
Computer Technician Salary and OutlookComputer technicians earn a median hourly income of $15.49, according to PayScale. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that computer support specialists earn a median annual salary of $52,810, or $25.39 hourly. BLS data shows that computer support specialists occupied more than 800,000 jobs in 2016. These jobs are expected to grow 11 percent by 2026, a rate faster than the national average. Computer support specialists and computer technicians have many of the same duties. Both provide technical assistance and support to computer networks for businesses and organizations. A majority of employers provide health insurance with dental and vision coverage to computer technicians. Other benefits commonly include retirement planning options, life insurance, paid vacation leave, paid holidays, and paid sick days. Some employers may also provide computer technicians with continuing education reimbursement.
Find career strategies, tips, techniques, and job guidance for computer technicians in these books and websites:
Association of Information Technology Professionals - advance in any IT career field with the resources and information at this website. Search AITP for upcoming networking events, training programs, and more career tools for computer technicians
Computer Technician RED-HOT Career Guide - learn how to ace an interview as a computer technician and impress potential employers with the questions and answers in this book
Consumer Technology Association - search through research resources, find upcoming industry events, and get news updates for all things related to IT at this website dedicated to computer tech
PC Technician's Troubleshooting Pocket Reference - get tips and tricks for troubleshooting PC problems of all kinds with this easy-to-use pocket reference guide
Computer & Communications Industry Association - browse the library and read content about the computer industry, find news updates and upcoming events, and learn more about cybersecurity and other computer issues at the CCIA website
Troubleshooting: A Technician's Guide - learn troubleshooting techniques for an array of computer problems in this guide written for computer technicians
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