What does a computer service technician do?
Computer service technicians perform service tasks on personal, server, and mainframe computers. They also work on auxiliary computer equipment and printers. They perform hands-on maintenance and repair tasks and assist with the installation of computers and other related equipment. They help individuals and organizations with corrupted files, crashed hard drives, and malfunctions of entire operating systems. Computer service technicians often replace subsystems rather than performing a vast amount of repairs because it is more cost-effective to the individual or organization instead of shutting down systems for repairs that can be very time-consuming.
What kind of training does a computer service technician need?
Computer service technicians must have at least a high school diploma. Most computer service technicians complete formal training from community colleges and vocational and technical schools. They typically complete courses in computer programming, computer networking, computer security, and computer maintenance and repair. Many aspiring computer service technicians complete internships while pursuing their education to gain practical experience in the field. Most employers provide some on the job training to enable new computer service technicians to learn specific equipment. Many computer service technicians gain professional certifications such as the A+ certification from the Computer Technology Industry Association. Computer service technicians must complete regular continuing education to maintain their certifications, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast on advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a computer service technician?
Employment of computer service technicians is expected to decline slowly, decreasing 4% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Technological advancements and more reliable computer equipment will contribute to the job decline.
Job prospects are expected to be limited. Computer service technicians with formal training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace computer service technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons.
How much do computer service technicians make?
As of December 2009, the average annual salary for computer service technicians is $38,000; average annual computer service technician salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience and benefits (2).
A career as a computer service technician is a great choice for people with a strong interest in performing a variety of maintenance and repair tasks on a variety of computers and related systems. Computer service technicians must have a solid understanding on how computer systems operate and be able to troubleshoot a variety of problems. Patience, determination, detail orientation, technical aptitude, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Computer service technicians must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of individuals, organizations, and other professionals.