Interested in how to become a computer technician? If so, you may be relieved to find out that it doesn’t always take a college degree. You can also expect an abundance of job opportunities to open up over the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 844,600 new positions for computer support specialists will hit the market by 2030. Read on below to learn what steps you need to take to break into the field, where you can work, and how much you can make.[toc]
What Do Computer Technicians Do?
Computer technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing computer hardware and software. They often work as part of the technical support team for large companies or organizations, though some may work for support firms or as independent contractors, providing direct assistance to personal clients. Additional responsibilities include:
- Installing and repairing hardware and software
- Updating and troubleshooting operating systems
- Providing technical support to colleagues or clients
- Staying up to date with the latest computer technology
How Do You Become a Computer Technician?
Though there are different paths to becoming a computer technician, there are a few things you can do to expedite the process. We outlined the most important steps below.
Get the Proper Training
Education requirements for becoming a computer technician may vary depending on the employer. Generally speaking, the profession does not require college experience. Instead, you can break into the field by earning an IT certificate from an accredited institution.
These programs aren’t just employer-approved, they’re also fast and affordable. Most offer flexible schedules and can be within a few months. Online courses are also available, allowing students to work or man responsibilities at home while pursuing their education.
Volunteer in Desktop Support
Participating in volunteer work is another way to secure some real-world experience for your resume. There are plenty of places where aspiring computer technicians can offer their services, from schools, local businesses, to nonprofits, and more.
Build the Perfect Computer
If you really want to master computer technology, then you can always attempt to build one of your own. The process will introduce you to all components necessary for keeping a computer up and running. If you encounter any issues, you can always take things apart and try again.
It’s a thorough way to prepare for your computer technician job. Plus, you don’t have to perform under the pressure of deadlines or client demands.
Troubleshooting hardware is a highly transferable skill. If you don’t want to risk experimenting with your own computer, you can look around for unwanted broken computers or parts. That way, you can begin the assembly without worrying about any accidental expenses.
Conduct Some Self Education
If you’re brand new to the world of computer repair, then you might want to get more familiar with basic IT concepts and techniques before jumping into a formal certification process. There are plenty of free resources available online, from how-to-guides, video tutorials, podcasts, and more.
Doing so will also provide a snapshot of what life on the job will be like, which can help you determine if a career as a computer technician is right for you. If the industry seems like a match, you do more additional research to see what areas you may want to specialize in.
Create a Stellar CV
There is a lot of competition among aspiring computer support specialists. A great-looking CV can help you stand out from the competition. List all relevant certificates and training towards the top. You should also be sure to include any experience, from internships to volunteer work, and more. Try to remove anything that isn’t relevant to declutter the document.
Do Plenty of Interview Prep
Preparation is key if you want to perform well in an interview. Knowing what to expect can also help calm your nerves and boost your confidence going into the meeting. Though we can’t say for sure what you’ll be asked during the interview, you’ll likely need to explain your technical experience and walk them through different aspects of computer repair.
Questions about your skills and personal process may also come up. Be sure to explore the company website before your interview to get a better sense of their workplace culture and expectations.
Land Some Additional Credentials
You can always sign up for an additional certificate program to boost your chances of landing a job. Some of the most popular credentials among computer technicians include:
- CompTIA A+
ICOHS College offers educational bootcamps dedicated to the CompTIA trio series as well as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Students have a choice between online or in-person classes when attending these 15-week training programs.
Students can also train to be certified as network specialists online or at our San Diego campus. The program provides the necessary technical skills to pass multiple industry certifications including CCNA and CompTIA A+.
Salary & Career Outlook
According to the BSL, computer support specialists earn a median annual salary of $55,510, with the top ten percent of earners picking over $110,450 per year. The organization also predicts that the field will grow by 9 percent over the next ten years. That means we can expect another 844,600 new jobs to hit the market by 2030. Top paying states for the profession include New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington.
Work environments may vary. While the majority of computer technicians perform a normal 40-hour workweek, they may occasionally have to work nights or weekends. That way, they can install system updates and upgrades without interrupting business operations.
As far as career progression goes, there are lots of related fields out there. System administration, programming, and cyber security are all fast-growing careers that offer competitive compensation. A background as a computer technician can secure a foundation in concepts related to these areas. That said, additional education in computer science may be required.
Skills You Need to Succeed in the Field
Learning how to become a computer technician is one leg of the journey. Developing the additional skills needed to succeed in the field marks another. Check out the list below to learn more.
Computer technicians must handle a variety of tasks, all of which are technical in nature. Professionals need to be proficient in computer hardware and software systems and possess the knowledge required to troubleshoot issues as they arise.
Computer technicians can face a variety of technical issues on the job. They must entertain different possibilities and look for different solutions. They also need to get to the bottom of things fast so that the company can resume normal business operations.
Being a computer repair technician isn’t only about mastering your technical ability; you must also harness some social skills to succeed in this field. A support technician needs to communicate information about issues as they arise and in terms the rest of the team can understand.
Customer Service Skills
Remember, not all computer technicians work as part of a support department. Some work for computer repair shops or handle clients independently. In these instances, technicians will need to effectively provide technical assistance and communicate to clients what kinds of repairs need to be made and how much they will cost.
Can I become a computer technician with no experience?
While you don’t necessarily need professional experience to become a computer technician or computer support specialist, you should have some kind of certifying credential or volunteer experience to distinguish your application.
Do I need a bachelor’s degree to become a computer technician?
While a high school diploma is preferred by employers, formal education is not required to succeed in the IT industry. Short of a degree program, aspiring computer technicians are encouraged to pursue industry certificates to prepare for their careers. These programs can often be completed online and in just a few months.
How long does it take to become a computer technician?
Answers will vary depending on your experience, education, and geographic location. The Network Specialist Certification program from ICOHS College can be completed in as little as 12 months. No prior experience needed or certifications are necessary for enrollment.
What skills do I need to become a computer technician?
To be successful as a computer repair technician, you need a combination of technical, personal, and communication skills. Relevant industry credentials will also make it easier to land a job at a large business or corporation.
As information technology continues to grow, computer technicians will remain high in demand. Get the training you need to break into the field. ICOHS College offers a range of certificate programs and Bootcamps including
Scholarships and title IV funding are also available to help students cover the cost of tuition. Call us to speak to one of our representatives (858) 581-9460 or contact us via email for more information on financial assistance.
Students attending ICOHS College will have full access to our career counseling program. They’ll also receive lifetime job placement assistance after graduation.