Information technology technicians hold one of the most important jobs for any company: they keep a business’s computers and related systems running smoothly. IT technicians service individual desktop and laptop computers, as well as a company’s computer mainframe and network. The duties of an IT technician vary by company size, location and number of employees.
The role of these professionals in a corporate setting also varies depending on experience. An entry-level IT technician typically trains under more experienced workers and perform a wide range of basic computer, network and mainframe support activities, as reported in the Michigan Civil Service Commission.
Intermediate-level IT technicians perform similar work with more autonomy, while the most experienced technicians are responsible for a complete range of support activities with little or no supervision. They exercise independent judgment to determine solutions to a company’s computer or networking problems, as well as perform system-wide diagnostic testing and upgrades.
Day in the life
As an IT technician, you may be responsible for fielding telephone calls or responding to help-desk messages from individuals who are experiencing problems with their computers. You may also be responsible for providing a diagnosis and solution. Many more responsibilities are involved with this career:
- Install new software and peripheral devices, such as monitors and keyboards, as well as motherboards and hard drives as needed.
- Order new computer parts for replacement.
- Salvage key parts from older machines within an organization.
- Field calls from third-party companies that provide computer services and software and evaluate their worth to the company.
More experienced workers provide training to entry-level IT technicians, as well as monitor and run diagnostic testing on computer mainframes to ensure their integrity.
Education and training
An IT technician typically pursues associate or bachelor’s degrees in information systems, data processing, computer science or electronics technology. Many workers in advanced positions in the field of information technology are required to hold a minimum of a four-year degree, the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds. However, IT technicians and computer or network administrators that gain on-the-job-training often are able to move into positions with more responsibility–and better pay, the BLS says.
Job growth and salary expectations
Internet technology is a field with a high growth curve. The BLS predicts an increase of 30 percent–one of the highest rates amongst the nation’s workforce. Employment of network and computer system administrators, whose job description most closely mirrors that of IT technicians, is expected to increase by 23 percent.
Pay varies greatly depending on location, duties performed and experience.