Providing all manner of technical assistance to computer users is the basic job description of a computer lab assistant. The assistant monitors a computer lab and resolves computer problems or answers users’ questions.
A computer lab assistant provides lab users with assistance on hardware issues, installing and using software programs, printing documents and understanding and using certain operating systems.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Computer Lab Assistant
- Offers general consultations for people who are working or studying in the lab.
- Provides instruction to all lab users on proper use of all equipment.
- Consults supervisors on more difficult issues.
- Ensures that computer lab equipment is being cared for properly by users.
- Makes sure food and beverages are not consumed in close proximity to computers.
- Monitors files and programs that are downloaded on to the computers to make sure spyware, malware and other dangerous programs are not downloaded.
- Diagnoses hardware problems and fixes them or contacts the appropriate engineer to correct the problem.
- Files all reports required by the employer.
- Supplies reference materials to help users learn how to use particular programs.
- Conducts regular maintenance on the computers in the lab.
- Maintains inventory of supplies, places orders and records of maintenance activities.
- Performs regular software backups.
- Changes toner in printers, adds paper and otherwise ensures proper functioning of all printers in the lab.
- Sets up and shuts down the lab according to work hours.
- Guides lab users to safety in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Knowledge of computer systems, hardware and various types of software.
- Must have the ability to effectively provide instruction to lab users.
- Knowledge of how to operate, maintain and care for printers, projectors, scanners, speakers and other equipment used in conjunction with computers.
- Knowledge of tests that must be performed on computers to maintain optimal function.
- Must have excellent communication skills.
- Must have excellent reading comprehension skills.
- Must have exceptional complex problem solving skills.
- Must have strong organizational skills as well as effective time management abilities.
- Must have active listening skills.
- Must have excellent troubleshooting skills.
- Must be detail oriented.
- Must have excellent interpersonal skills.
Education and Experience
- High School diploma.
- Associate’s degree in Computer Technology from a technical or vocational school.
- Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or a related field.
- On-the-job training in the specific place of employment.
- Certification required by the employer.
- Time is spent primarily in a climate controlled lab setting.
- Time is spent looking at computer screens and operating a keyboard.
- Must have dexterity to manipulate a mouse and perform routine maintenance on computers and related equipment.
- Must be able to lift heavy objects like computer monitors, printers and hard drives.
- Must be able to work well in a fast-paced environment with occasional high levels of stress.
- Salaries range from $20,000 to $40,000 depending on the size of the lab and the complexity of the equipment.
- Salaries may exceed $40,000 depending on the level of education and the specific responsibilities.