Summary: An Information Technology (IT) technician is an expert in computer science who specializes in a branch of engineering which deals with the use of computers to retrieve, store, and transmit data. IT technicians usually install or remove software from a computer or a network of computers, diagnose technical issues and provide fixes, and carry out user networks for companies.
Duties: An IT technician may provide support either through telephone, email, chat, and face-to-face contact. Their primary duty is to maintain communication and computer systems. Their work may involve installation and configuration of various hardware such as routers, hubs, switches, and modems; installing software; troubleshooting computer and network problems; fix hardware and software related issues; and maintaining the entire computer network system to avoid the occurrence of hardware or software issues. They are also responsible for ensuring the computer network’s security, which normally involves virus and malicious software prevention and removal. Those who have been working in the industry for years may also be given administrative tasks that may involve leading a team for hardware or software development.
Education and Training Requirements: An IT technician is usually a graduate of either a bachelor or an associate degree in Computer Science or Engineering, with a specialization in telecommunications or any related field. Alternatively, some colleges or universities also offer short courses in information systems, mainframe operations, data processing, or computer systems. To advance in this field of work, it is recommended to pursue continuing education through a Master or Doctoral degree, although it is more important to acquire various certifications like Cisco and Microsoft.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: Aside from knowledge about computer hardware and software, it is also important to be very good at problem solving since most of the work requires you to maintain computer network systems. Aside from that, you have to be a highly organized, a confident communicator, and eager to learn. It also helps to be considerably capable of handling tools because some IT related work involves on-site repair. Since most of their knowledge is acquired through work experience, it also helps to be observant and unafraid to ask questions.
Working Conditions: Depending on their field, most IT technicians who are involved in software development work in a relaxed, clean, well lighted, and cool environments. Those involved in hardware development are often required to work on-site and may involve driving or walking in between departments. Standard work is 40 hours a week, although overtime may be required to meet deadlines. Some lifting may also be necessary.
Salary: The annual average salary of an IT Technician amounts to $39,000. This usually depends on the industry, location and the company of employment. Generally, IT Technicians who have more certifications and years of experience earn more compared to entry-level technicians. They usually receive benefits such as medical insurance, paid vacations, pension schemes, and transportation allowances when necessary.