How to Become a Computer Technician

Interested in becoming a computer technician? In today’s tech-focused world, the demand for skilled computer technicians is on the rise. As IT technology develops, so does the job potential for skilled technicians. This can be an incredibly rewarding job and offers appealing room for career growth.

[Related Job Titles: HelpDesk Technician, Technical Support Specialist, PC Technician, Tier 1 / Tier II IT Support Technician]

Many IT professionals, including our CIAT graduates who hold advanced positions in cloud administration, server management, and cybersecurity, credit their success in building a successful IT career to starting at the bottom, learning the ropes of the IT world, supporting users with technical problems, and troubleshooting hardware and software systems.

“When you’re first starting out – don’t be afraid of grunt work. Everything you get your hands on is going to prepare you for the next step.” — Elisa, CIAT Graduate | Senior HelpDesk & IT Systems Administrator | Read her full story

To kickstart your career as a computer technician and get your foot into the door in the IT industry you’ll need to focus on 1) building your technical skills, 2) earning your first 1 or 2 industry certifications, and 3) craft your resume to highlight early DIY technical experience or business experience. Here are some tips and frequently asked questions about getting started with this career path:

3 steps to get started:

Explore frequently asked career planning questions 

Build Your Technical Skills

A computer technician is a role that is rooted in technical skills. Before you can start to build a career in this field, you will need to build up a solid base of technical skills. Computer technicians need to have a strong understanding of how to support multiple hardware devices and troubleshoot commonly used business software applications.

Some typical skills and duties of a computer technician include maintaining PC equipment, installing hardware and software, repairing computers, and configuring computer networks. Focus on developing your troubleshooting and problem-solving skills as there will likely be new issues that pop up daily that you’ve never experienced before.

To become a successful computer technician, start by developing a deeper understanding of how computers work, what each part of a computer does, and how to repair different components. Taking apart a computer completely and reassembling it is one of the most valuable tasks for any new computer technician to be able to do. 

If you’re not comfortable tinkering or learning on your own, or your own DIY path is not leading a direct path to your first job, consider a technical Certificate or Degree program that combines skills-based training, industry certification preparation, and career services support. 

Get Certified

Employers hiring entry-level computer technicians often require industry certifications as a way to validate your technical proficiency (hint: if a candidate lists certifications as “highly preferred” on their job description you can be that you’ll likely lose out on available opportunities without these on your resume). Make sure your resume gets through company filters and automated systems by placing the industry certifications you’ve earned (or are in process of earning).

The CompTIA A+ certification is one of the most popular qualifications for entry-level IT professionals. This certification is the basis that most IT support or IT HelpDesk jobs in the industry require. This is a good place to start when getting certified, as it covers all of the necessary knowledge for early-stage IT professionals.

For CIAT students that are brand new to the IT field, your first three courses will help you prepare for two industry certifications – CompTIA ITF+ and CompTIA A+. Showcasing multiple certifications on your resume helps demonstrate a broad foundation of skills and knowledge related to PC hardware, software, operating systems, and more and help you qualify for a broader range of job opportunities.

If you’re just starting out, have no prior IT experience, and are looking to build quick momentum, the CompTIA ITF+ and CompTIA A+ certifications are a great place to start. 

Build Real-World Experience

Sometimes getting started with a new career can feel like a “chicken and an egg” dilemma – how do I get a job without experience and how can I get experience without landing my first job?

We help students forge past this challenge all the time. Stack your resume with skills you’ve earned through a quality, accredited Certificate or Degree program, industry certifications you’ve earned, volunteer work, passion projects, or related business experience in other jobs. Look for opportunities to help your friends and family with technical issues on their computer, home WiFI networks, or mobile devices. Consider volunteer organizations that help you add creative skills and projects to your resume. 

Consider recording a video of yourself taking apart and reassemble a computer. This allows you to work with each individual part of a computer, gaining a stronger knowledge through first-hand experience with each part and showcases your communication skills as you describe what you are finding as you explore.

Before you worry about finding the perfect job, look for any opportunity to get your foot in the door and work your way up as you build more skills and earn additional industry certifications. 

Once you have the skills, certifications, and resume projects behind you, a world of job opportunities start to open up!

Computer Technician FAQs

What Does a Computer Technician Do?

Computer technicians provide internal IT support for employees of a company, provides technical support for customers or products, or work for an IT managed services company that provides support or consulting services for other organizations.

In short, a computer technician’s role is to fix any computer, system, or technology application related issues. Computer technicians work with both hardware and software. They are in charge of installing, maintaining, repairing, and troubleshooting technical problems that impact business operations.

Some typical tasks and responsibilities of a computer technician include:

  • Repairing hardware and servers
  • Offering the necessary technical assistance for any IT related issues that may arise in an organization
  • Finding solutions to any IT problems
  • Setting up new computer systems and preparing all the correct software
  • Testing and troubleshooting software programs
  • Making sure that internet security is working properly
How Much Money Do Computer Technicians Make?

Salaries for computer technician related job opportunities can vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • the amount of experience on your resume
  • number of industry certifications
  • geographic location
  • work history
  • size and industry of the organization hiring

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a computer support specialist nationwide is $55,510 (or $26-27 / hr). This can increase depending on the technician’s level of experience and location. Salary.com reports the average Computer Technician salaries for California, Texas, and New York ranging from $43,921 – $68,280.

Is a Computer Technician a Good Career?

Technology is constantly developing and evolving. Employees and businesses rely on strategic technology initiatives to hit performance goals, reduce time and costs, and improve collaboration. 

As demand for new applications, 24-7 online services, and growing support for a remote workforce, demand for computer support specialists will continue to rise, making it a sought-after position for entry-level IT professionals starting their careers.

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Computer Technician?

Most importantly, you’ll require in-depth technical skills and knowledge of computer systems. On top of this, you should have good customer service skills with a strong level of patience.

Strong communication and problem-solving skills are also important.

What Certifications Do I Need to Become a Computer Technician?

The first certification would be the CompTIA A+ for a good basic knowledge of computer systems. To advance your career as a Tier II IT Support Specialist, you’ll want to add additional skills and certifications to your resume. The CompTIA Network+ certification is necessary for further skill development involving wired and wireless devices. The CompTIA Security+ certification is preferred for a strong understanding of IT security networks and operations.

Various other IT certifications are available for those wanting wider specializations and qualifications.

Can I Get A Computer Technician Job With No Experience?

Yes, it is possible. But, real-world experience and knowledge are essential in a technical role like this. It would be best to start your career with an internship to gain experience.

What Should I Put On My Resume for a Computer Technician Job?

Outline your skills and certifications. List any courses or certificates you have achieved. Include your personal strengths and any industry-specific knowledge.

What Other Job Titles Are Similar to a Computer Technician?

Careers related to a computer technician include HelpDesk Technician, Technical Support Specialist, PC Technician, Tier 1 and Tier II Support Technician, and similar titles.

How Do I Advance My Career As a Computer Technician?

Start by getting your initial certification and gaining practical work experience – part-time work, volunteer opportunities, or entry-level positions that have training and mentorship programs in place are a great place to start.

As you progress and gain more experience, try to achieve further IT certifications for a wider range of skills. The more skills you have and the broader your knowledge is, the more opportunity you will have for a successful career.

Start your path towards a career in as little as 15 weeks

CIAT is a technical, vocational college, specializing in helping students prepare for careers in tech through innovating IT programs, industry certification preparation, and personalized career support. With accelerated five-week courses, small class sizes, and a passion for helping students transform their lives, your path to a new career starts here. Explore our 15-week Computer Technician Certificate program.

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Request an appointment with one of our IT expert Admissions Advisors for personalized guidance on building your education plan. You’ll be able to book an appointment instantly for a time that fits your schedule. 

Next Enrollment Deadline is November 1st, 2021!

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