Becoming a Computer Repair Technician: Maintaining Technology

Computers are vital to business operations, as they are used to store, process, and produce important information. Because businesses depend heavily on computers, there is a need for well-trained computer repair technicians in various organizations. A computer repair technician, also known as a computer hardware technician, is responsible for maintaining and repairing personal computers, servers, printers, and auxiliary computer equipment. Computer repair technicians typically run diagnostic programs and testing devises to determine why a computer is not working. Their responsibilities include everything from fixing incorrect settings to removing viruses and spyware to replacing an entire operating system.

What Do Computer Technicians Do?

Computer hardware technicians generally perform hands-on maintenance and repair of computers and related equipment. They also install computers and software, build and configure new hardware, and create and maintain computer networks. The job of a repairer is often confused with that of a computer support technician, but support specialists provide technical assistance in person or by telephone and generally do not perform repairs.

Computer repair technicians can be found working in a variety of settings, including corporate information technology departments, educational institutions, central service centers, and law enforcement offices. Technicians may have to work some evening, weekend, and holiday shifts. Computer repair technicians often have to work with customers, so they must have a neat appearance and strong communication skills. It also helps to be a problem solver who loves to look for clues in order to troubleshoot computer problems.

Computer Repair Training Requirements

Having knowledge of electronics is imperative if you want to work as a computer repair technician. Although employers may provide some training to new computer repairers on the job, they prefer hiring technicians who hold a certification or associate’s degree program in electronics or hardware repair from a vocational school or career college. Topics that you may study in a computer repair training program include operating systems, hard drives and backup, networking, software installation, digital logic and systems, and laser printer repair.

Several organizations offer certifications for individuals who want to pursue a computer repair career. Certifications demonstrate competency and may increase an applicant’s employment opportunities. In order to obtain a certification, you must meet certain prerequisites and pass a written or online exam. Many technicians also attend training sessions throughout their careers to keep up with changes in technology and service procedures.

Typical Computer Hardware Technician Salary and Career Prospects

Job prospects for computer repairers will be limited because newer computers and auxiliary equipment do not need to be repaired and maintained as frequently. However, as computer repairers retire or leave the occupation for other reasons, job openings will arise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of computer repair technicians was $36,360 in May 2011. Computer repairers who work in computer systems design and related industries earn the highest wages. Those with formal training, certifications, and knowledge of electronics will have access to the best employment opportunities. If you want to join the ranks of computer repair technicians, start exploring your degree options today!