If you have an interest in learning the ins and outs of computers, you may want to consider a career as a computer repair technician.
Whether you want to build PC systems or help troubleshoot software problems, computer repair technician training is a great way to gain the experience you need.
At Stratford Career Institute, we offer a PC Repair course that prepares you to work as a computer repair technician for both large and small businesses.
What Does a Computer Repair Technician Do?
A computer repair technician works with all different types of computers to ensure that they function properly. Typical duties include:
- Setting up new computers;
- Installing software;
- Updating security software;
- Troubleshooting software and hardware errors;
- Diagnosing viruses and spyware;
- Repairing faulty or broken hardware;
- Testing programs for functionality;
- Visiting homes or businesses to do repairs;
- Completing remote diagnostic testing through live chats;
- Assisting customers with technical issues;
- Teaching customers best security practices; and
- Answering technical questions for customers.
IT departments at large companies have computer repair technicians on staff to handle employee computer issues. Computer repair technicians can also work for computer repair businesses or as independent contractors.
To successfully complete this work, technicians need a complete understanding of the device’s ins and outs.
Computer Technician Training and Requirements
At this point, you may be wondering how to become a computer repair technician. Generally, you need a high school diploma or GED, as well as some computer repair technician training.
Whether you decide to obtain training through job experience or an official certification program, you need a comprehensive understanding of the following:
- Hardware assembly and disassembly,
- Operating systems,
- Memory, and
In addition, there are a few other career skills needed to succeed as a computer repair technician. These include:
- Communication—the ability to explain complex concepts clearly to customers who may or may not be familiar with computers.
- Problem Solving—the ability to identify computer functionality issues and resolve them.
- Customer Service—the ability to empathetically listen to a customer’s needs, troubleshoot issues quickly, and explain best practices when using a computer.
There are many ways to gain this training. Detailed below are some of the many ways you can earn experience.
Since most entry-level computer repair technician jobs require only a high school diploma, it is relatively easy to get a job at a local electronics store.
While working there, you will gain valuable experience—especially with identifying and removing viruses, spyware, or bloatware.
This hands-on computer technician training is excellent for anyone interested in being a computer repair technician since experiential training can accelerate your learning.
Perhaps one of the best ways to start learning about computer repair is to familiarize yourself with the components. A great way to do this is to research and purchase the components of a computer and build it yourself.
This will not only help you identify the different hardware components needed for a functioning computer, but also give you hands-on experience setting up a system from start to finish.
You can also earn a certification to become a computer repair technician. Having both a high school diploma and a certification from a computer technician training program can make you a desirable job candidate.
The Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) and CompTIA both offer certifications in computer repair.
CompTIA’s A+ certification is the most comprehensive certification available. It tests your competency in the areas of security, networking, maintenance, repair, and installation.
For many companies, an A+ certification from CompTIA is mandatory. To get A+ certification you must take two multiple choice exams. Each exam takes about 90 minutes to complete.
The first exam covers networking technology, hardware, and cloud computing. The second exam covers installation, troubleshooting, and security.
For this certification, we recommend having at least nine months of experience either working as a computer repair technician or taking coursework. The certification lasts for three years.
To obtain a certification as a Computer Service Technician from ETA, you must take a single multiple-choice exam.
This tests your knowledge in several areas of computer maintenance including processors, memory, storage, assembly, and disassembly. The exam takes about two hours to complete and the certification lasts four years.
An Associate or Bachelor’s Degree
Earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer repair or computer programming will make you an ideal candidate for computer repair technician jobs.
They not only help you stand out in the application process but also provide you with valuable training. Typically, computer repair technicians who choose to pursue a degree have one of the following majors:
- Computer science,
- Computer engineering,
- Information technology,
- Computer hardware technology, or
These degree programs are comprehensive and teach everything you need to know about computers. If you genuinely want to go far in a career as a computer repair technician, getting a degree is an excellent option.
Typical Work Environment
Since nearly every person, business, or institution uses computers or related technology, there are a variety of work environments for technicians. While retail stores are some of the most common, you may also have the opportunity to work in:
- Specialized computer repair centers,
- Hospitals or other health organizations,
- Universities or community colleges,
- Private company IT departments,
- Government agencies, or
- Online help desks.
If you are looking for more options, it’s possible to work as a freelance computer repair technician. This gives you the alternative of contracting privately with multiple businesses.
Common Job Titles
There are several types of jobs that involve fixing and maintaining computer systems, each with slightly different goals and responsibilities.
Depending on your training, experience, and education level, these jobs may be attainable over the course of your career:
- Senior repair technician,
- Technical support specialist,
- Help desk analyst,
- IT technician or support,
- Field service technician,
- Service desk technician, or
- Instructional support technician.
The job title you receive ultimately depends on the working environment for the job. For example, if you help customers diagnose problems over a live chat, you may be considered a help desk analyst.
On the other hand, if you help teachers or professors troubleshoot computer problems at a school, you may be called an instructional support technician.
Computer Repair Technician Job Outlook
According to a 2020 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 91,000 computer repair technicians in the U.S.
The average wage for technicians was $43,790, with top earners making as much as $64,630 or more. However, the total wages varied greatly from state to state.
The type of industry also made a noticeable difference in average wages. Businesses under the commercial equipment and wholesale category employed the most technicians—around 26,240—with an average wage of $47,210.
The smallest industries for employment were software publishers, chemical manufacturers, and architectural/engineering firms, with a total of only 150 computer repair technicians. However, these technicians were among the highest earners, making more than $57,000.
As of 2020, the job outlook for computer repair technicians is positive. The BLS estimates that employment in computer technology will grow by nearly 13% from 2020 to 2030. This is faster than the national average for all occupations.
Interested in a Career as a Computer Repair Technician?
An introductory course can be an affordable and worthwhile way to get started toward a career in computer repair.
This introductory course can teach you everything about a career as a computer repair technician, including:
- Understanding the personal computer (PC);
- Troubleshooting PC problems and errors;
- An introduction to upgrading and repairing PCs;
- Processor upgrades and troubleshooting techniques;
- System bus types, functions, and features;
- Troubleshooting memory;
- Optical drive performance specifications;
- Display adapters and monitors;
- Securing and sharing your internet connection; and
- Internet and networking.
This educational program is an introductory course designed to help students gain the knowledge necessary for the vocational application of this subject. Completion of this program does not fulfill the legal requirements of particular state licenses or certifications, which may require additional training or apprenticeships.
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