How to Become an IT Technician: What to Expect in 2024

How to Become an IT Technician

If you are considering becoming an IT technician, you may be wondering what certifications you need to get started. In this blog post, I’ll go over all you need to know about being an IT technician and some of the fundamental qualifications and skills that will enable you to excel in this position.

To become an IT technician, you must have a solid understanding of computer science and technology. You should also be able to handle hardware and software issues and provide exceptional customer service.

Continue reading for more information on becoming a great IT technician!

Key Takeaways 

  • Although a degree is not required for every IT technician job, it can help you stand out in the career path.
  • As a novice IT technician, get entry-level jobs to build experience and acquire certifications, such as CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+, to grow in this field.
  • Find opportunities to practice your communication skills and create a resume that reflects all your technical skills.

What Is an IT Technician?

Have you noticed that one IT guy who seems to be everywhere at once in your company? Have you ever watched him and wondered what it means to be called an IT guy? You have? Great, then give me a moment, and I’ll explain.

An IT technician is a business and technology expert who is the primary point of contact for an organization’s IT challenges. This expert is responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining computer systems.

What Does an IT Technician Do?

I asked an expert IT technician friend to give me a detailed breakdown of what he does for the company; here’s what I got.

An IT technician often has the following responsibilities:

  • Troubleshoot and resolve IT-related issues for employees, customers, and clients.
  • Upgrade systems to install compatible software on all PCs and other equipment.
  • Installation and configuration of new gear and software.
  • Inspecting computer hardware for functionality and fixing or replacing parts as needed.
  • Monitoring the functioning of networking equipment and servers to maintain efficiency and avoid downtime.
  • Installing and testing firewalls, servers, software, and hardware for functionality.

IT Technician Salary

IT technicians are full-time employees who frequently work overtime to cover major downtime or process upgrades. Earnings vary depending on geographic region, employer type, experience, education, and certifications.

According to Indeed, the average annual salary in the United States is $74,039, with salaries ranging from $17,000 to $172,000 per year.

See Also: THE 2024 IT SALARY GUIDE: How Much You Can Earn in Your Tech Career

IT Technician Requirements

After some research, I came to the conclusion that workers in these fields typically require a combination of the following:

1. Education

IT technicians are usually expected to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, computer information systems, or a similar field. These programs provide thorough training in programming languages and computer engineering, giving students theoretical and practical knowledge of various topics and processes they will encounter on the job.

See Also: CHOOSING AN IT DEGREE: What You Need to Know for a Thriving Career

2. Training

While earning a degree, IT workers may receive introductory training in programming languages and troubleshooting techniques. Many companies I’ve worked in personally, and some organizations my colleagues have worked at usually offer these sorts of opportunities. They may also undergo a few weeks of on-the-job training to become familiar with an organisation’s unique software and hardware systems. However, these technicians are often expected to understand the basics of mainstream IT products and solutions.

3. Certifications

Acquiring certifications as an IT technician is optional. However, as I have advised several times, numerous optional certifications will improve your employability and broaden your knowledge.

CompTIA A+ Certification

This was one of the beginner certifications I acquired, and it was totally worth it. The CompTIA A+ certification is the industry standard for technical support professionals. This certification confirms a candidate’s understanding of software, hardware, network troubleshooting, operating systems, networking, security, mobile devices, and operational procedures. To obtain this certification, students must pass two exams, each with a maximum of 90 questions to answer in 90 minutes. Certification is valid for three years and can be maintained through approved training and activities.

CompTIA Network+ Certification

The CompTIA Network+ certification suits IT technicians who configure, troubleshoot, and manage networks. This certification demonstrates an understanding of infrastructure, networking fundamentals, network security, network operations, and network troubleshooting. I discovered that many expert IT technicians own this certification. To gain certification, candidates must pass an exam of no more than 90 questions in 90 minutes. Certification is valid for three years and can be renewed through participation in continuing education opportunities, courses, and other recognized activities.

CompTIA Linux+ Certification

CompTIA’s Linux+ certification certifies expertise in security, hardware and system setup, system operation, maintenance, automation, scripting, Linux troubleshooting, and diagnostics. IT technicians, as well as IT security, will find this beneficial. Candidates must complete a 90-question exam in 90 minutes to receive certification, valid for three years. Candidates can renew their certification by completing training programs, continuing education courses, and other activities.

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

Microsoft offers various MTA certifications that validate understanding of basic technical concepts.  Candidates can obtain numerous MTA certificates, such as Windows Operating System Fundamentals, Software Development Fundamentals, Windows Server Administration Fundamentals, and many others.

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)

The CCENT certification tests applicants’ competence to install, manage, and troubleshoot a small network system with minimal security. This certification is appropriate for entry-level IT technicians with little or no experience. Candidates must pass the certification examination. Cisco offers more advanced certifications for those with a more experienced skill set.

IT Technician Skills

As an IT technician, you require a specialized skill set to effectively perform the extensive tasks involved in this position. Here are some of them I gathered from IT technicians experts.

1. Time Management

As an IT professional, you will frequently have to manage multiple projects simultaneously, so you must keep track of each one and ensure that it is finished on time. Proper time management is essential because IT technicians are usually responsible for handling upgrades, installations, and troubleshooting, all within a single day. They have to coordinate these effectively to reduce downtime for the organization.

2. Problem-solving

One of these experts relayed that as an IT technician, she uses research, analysis, and critical thinking to assess problems and find the best solutions. You must plan for changes as you update systems, including anticipated inquiries or concerns from organization users. IT technicians apply these skills to ensure that systems function properly and that users are well-informed.

3. Project Management

Project management skills, such as organization and goal setting, will aid you as an IT technician in effectively planning and executing a project from start to finish. IT technicians work on a wide range of projects, from repairs to new installations, all of which require simplified processes and specific goals and schedules 

4. Communication

Strong communication skills are required because you often have to explain difficult technological tasks in simple language that everyone will understand.  These specialists must communicate their point effectively and simply when providing assistance in person, by email, or by phone.

IT Technician Work Environment 

As an IT technician, you can work for any organization that uses computers, networks, or other technology. This includes offices, hospitals, airports, universities, and other facilities. On-site IT technicians may spend some of the day working at their desks, but they will most likely move around the building regularly to address problems with other people’s computers and systems. This job may entail lifting, reaching, bending, and twisting. 

IT technicians can also specialize in a specific system or solution, supporting clients in numerous locations. These technicians can take incoming calls and provide phone support or come to clients’ locations to handle installs, settings, upgrades, and troubleshooting in person. In this job, the technician spends a lot of time travelling from one area to another.

These experts keep regular office hours, but they might work on the weekends or evenings at companies that rely on IT systems at those times. IT technicians may be planned or on call at any time in a setting like a hospital where workstations need to be accessible around the clock.

How to Become an IT Technician

Developing the necessary skill set to work as an IT technician is crucial. The tips below, which I have collected from experienced IT professionals, will assist you in preparing for a career as an IT technician.

#1. Complete Your Schooling.

The first piece of advice I got from a friend was that an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is sometimes required of IT technicians. A degree in computer science, information technology, or a similar discipline will provide you with a solid foundation in computer systems, programming languages, and other essential knowledge. Although a degree is not required for every IT technician job, it can help you stand out. Furthermore, it may increase your long-term income—according to a 2021 study, college grads earned an average of $36,000 more per year than high school graduates.

See Also: CHOOSING AN IT DEGREE: What You Need to Know for a Thriving Career

#2. Gain Relevant Experience.

The next tip I’ll give you is like an in-house secret from an accomplished IT technician. Many organizations prefer hiring IT technicians with previous experience with systems maintenance, network management, and IT troubleshooting. Therefore, look for entry-level help desk or computer technician positions to improve customer service and technical skills.

You’ll notice how much I emphasize this if you know me well. These qualifications authenticate your understanding of various sorts of technology and your ability to troubleshoot and operate with it. Pursue one or more certificates to improve your resume and see how fast you raise your income. 

#4. Display Your Interpersonal and Communication Skills. 

Find opportunities to practice your communication skills, especially if you don’t have any past technical support experience on your CV. Volunteering to teach basic computer classes at a local library, tutoring students, or providing tech support to organizations are all methods to actively demonstrate your problem-solving and technical assistance skills.

#5. Build Your Resume.

I’ll say this is a crucial but tricky step for most. You have to create a resume that reflects your technical skills. It is only tricky if you have no idea how to do this, so here’s a tip. Emphasize any roles in which you were responsible for troubleshooting and supporting others with technological issues. Try applying the same terminology as job descriptions to better align your qualifications with employer expectations. 

Here’s an example from enhancv.com:

#6. Search for Local IT Technician Positions.

Conduct a job search for IT technician positions in your target area. You should also look at job ads for computer, help desk, and network technicians, as these positions have comparable responsibilities.

See Also: 27+ Top Tech Companies 2024 (Updated)

After you find potential jobs, you still have to ace the interviews. Don’t worry, I have you covered. Here are some IT technician Interview questions to prepare you for any upcoming job interviews:

i. Why are you interested in becoming an IT technician? 

This is a question every IT professional, including me, has to answer at some point. The question requires a personalized response, which will vary greatly. In addition to your motivations for becoming an IT technician, your answer should indicate a complete awareness of the job-related obligations and the fact that you’re qualified and prepared for them. 

ii. Why are you a good fit for our company? 

This question will very certainly necessitate some preliminary study about the company. Learning about your employer allows you to demonstrate your understanding of its company culture and principles, providing an excellent opportunity to explain how you fit in.

A typical response for an e-commerce company could include how you can deliver exceptional technical customer service and have a thorough understanding of the e-commerce industry. This is also a wonderful time to discuss your previous experience.

iii. How would you handle an angry customer? 

As an IT technician, years of experience in this by people have proven that you will be responsible for assisting customers with technical issues and dealing with furious clients is not unusual. Your professional background and personal preferences will influence your response to this question. 

A good example response to this question is to discuss your process. You can say that you deal with furious clients by being patient, summarizing their concerns for confirmation, and offering appropriate answers.

iv. What is your basic troubleshooting process for IT issues? 

The troubleshooting process often entails recognizing the problem, determining the cause of the problem, devising an action plan, implementing the solution, and performing basic tests to ensure the issue has been resolved. You can say that this provides an opportunity to take preventative measures and search for any concerns arising during the process.

v. What is the purpose of data backup, and what are some types of backup software? 

Backup techniques differ depending on the company’s data backup policy, backup applications, and data recovery strategies. Backup plans involve storing data in an external location with a regular backup schedule. It also includes regularly monitoring data access permission logs for security reasons. 

You can discuss data recovery measures such as restoring corrupt and erased files from external hard drives. The most common backup options are Oracle, cloud storage, and Microsoft SQL. You could also explain why data loss occurs and how to prevent it.

See Also: 19+ Technology Interview Questions 2024 & All You Need

FAQs

What Is the Difference Between an IT Specialist and an IT Technician?

IT technicians choose the necessary computer hardware and software for specific applications and oversee the installation. An IT specialist plays a major role in developing software that prevents cyberattacks.

An IT Specialist is a highly trained expert in planning, designing, and maintaining an organization’s IT systems. In contrast, an IT Technician is more hands-on and concentrates on direct technical support and troubleshooting.

What Does an IT Guy Do?

IT experts respond to requests and diagnose and repair technical issues with software, hardware, and network connectivity. They upgrade systems, optimize network setups, and service hardware. They manage procurement, arrange supplies, and set up workstations for new staff.

What Is an IT Person Called?

IT job titles include desktop support engineer, computer consultant, programmer analyst, LAN engineer, WAN engineer, network security consultant, database programmer, CIO (chief information officer), systems administrator, Microsoft administrator, and Unix systems administrator.

Do IT Guys Need to Code?

While knowing how to code is not always needed for an IT job, having some basic coding skills might be beneficial. IT technicians create programs to automate typical IT issues and administrative tasks.

Read More

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