A Computer Technician installs computer systems and networks and performs routine maintenance and repairs on them. Technicians can serve in both hands-on and consultation roles. In either role, the Computer Technician is a problem-solver. Due to the growing complexity of computer systems and the common need to marry disparate hardware and software components, maintenance and repairs are often not routine. Computer Technicians in leadership roles are often tasked with developing structured maintenance and repair protocols that will save the employer or client both money and time. The exact duties of a Computer Technician depend heavily on the business domain of the employer.
Computer Technician Education Requirements
Nearly 11 percent of Computer Technicians in the workforce have only a high school diploma. Most technicians, however, have an associate's degree or comparable certification from a trade school. The most lucrative and challenging positions are reserved for people with a bachelor's degree. Many employers prefer a degree or certification in computer information services. Other options include a degree or certification in network administration or electrical engineering. Regardless of the core focus, students should seek to broaden their education within the domain as much as possible. Employers often target brand-specific certifications, and prospective employees can make themselves more attractive to employers by having already achieved the certifications they want.
Computer Technician Job Market
The job market for Computer Technicians is diverse and continuing to grow. There are many entry-level positions available, and a person can even begin working during high school to receive practical experience. Such entry-level positions are generally in the retail domain and focused on end users. Technician positions within in-house and outsourced IT departments are abundant as well but typically have more extensive education requirements. Computer Technicians with a bachelor's degree or master's degree and the necessary experience can also fill a wide range of IT Analyst or IT Consultant positions.
Computer Technician Salary
The average hourly wage for an entry-level Computer Technician is $13.28. The median salary for all Computer Support Specialists is $48,900 per year or $23.51 per hour. The top 25 percent Computer Technicians make more than $29 per hour or $60,000 per year.