Computers have become a necessary part of life. They help us run our businesses, diagnose diseases, and stay connected to people in our social network. Because they are such an important part of our existence, nothing is more frightening than when a computer breaks down. Thankfully, there are computer repair technicians who came to the rescue and get things back on track.
A computer repair technician is also known as a computer service technician. This person is responsible for diagnosing and repairing both hardware and software malfunctions as well as the maintenance of computer systems. Specific duties entail installation of hardware and software, database management, troubleshooting network and computer program errors, replacing hardware components, server maintenance, and hardware configuration. The computer tech is basically a jack of all trades who fixes whatever may go wrong with a computer system.
Computer repair technicians fall into two categories, field technicians and bench technicians. Field technicians are people who physically show up to diagnose and repair a broken computer. A bench technician works in a shop and the customer brings the computer to the store for repair. Computer repair technicians work with both stationary units like desktops and mainframes as well as portable devices such as laptops and handhelds. They also diagnose and repair peripherals such as keyboards, mice, displays, printers and external hard drives.
To be an effective and efficient computer repair technician, you should have a solid combination of technical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills. You will need working knowledge of both hardware and software and how those components interact with each other. You should know how to use various diagnostic tools and procedures for determining the exact problem with the machine. Since many computer repair technicians work on networks, you should have a good understanding of how these systems work.
A college degree is necessary for success in this field an Associate’s degree being the minimum level accepted for employment. Technical and vocational schools, junior colleges and job training centers often offer degrees in this field of study. Advanced bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Computer Engineering can also be beneficial. Additionally, certifications, such as A+ certification, earned through third party institutions can help make a computer repair technician more competitive in the job market.
Bench technicians work in clean, well-lit environments that are air conditioned and ventilated. Field technicians have to travel to a variety of locations, such as the customer’s house, to repair broken equipment and working conditions can vary. Computer repair technicians may be called on to work long hours including evenings, weekends and holidays. You may even be assigned an on call status just in case a problem with the system pops up.
The average yearly wage for a computer repair technician was between $36,000 and $45,000. According to the US Department of Labor, job opportunities are expected to increase 30% by 2012. As the world becomes increasingly computerized, skilled technicians who can keep things running smoothly will continue to be in demand. Anyone looking for entry into the computer industry can consider computer repair a good way to get their foot in the door.