IT Support Technician – First Step to the IT Stars
Computers are everywhere, and the numbers of information technology equipment and objects are growing, so an IT support technician job is highly future-proof.
IT technicians maintain the computer networks of all types of businesses, providing technical support and ensuring the company runs smoothly. They supervise and manage the business computer systems, installs, and configures hardware/software, and solves technical issues.
Due to the nature of the call, certain companies may require IT technical support to undertake shift work. It’s therefore paramount to ensure the proper running and maintenance of the IT ecosystems.
What is an IT Support Technician?
It’s a person responsible for helping customers/consumers and understanding how to use and fix their computers or other different technologies. They also called desktop support technicians or computer support specialists.
You may have received complaint calls about malfunctioning equipment and have to diagnose the issue over the phone and help the customer solve the problem if possible.
Also, you must be extremely knowledgeable about the equipment you’re providing support for best assist to the customer.
IT Support: Job Description
As an IT support staff member, you’ll help computer users with setup, maintenance, troubleshooting, and problems they have with their devices.
You’ll often deliver both in-personal technical support and assist customers remotely, generally through phone or email.
You might offer support services exclusively for a specific technological product, like a software program or particular hardware peripheral, or help users with any computer-related program.
Loss of data, viruses, non-working software programs, troublesome hardware setup, and unstable Internet connections are potential problems you might experience in this position.
Therefore, you must have great communication and problem-solving skills. Much of your workday could consist of discussing IT issues and operations with users who may know much less about technology than you do.
You’ll need to translate complex technical problems into simple terms. If you offer phone support, you must be able to understand users’ descriptions of their computer issues in order to correctly troubleshot them.
Here’s a selection of your work duties:
- Installing/configuring computer hardware, software, systems, networks, printers, and scanners;
- Monitoring/maintaining computer systems and networks;
- Responding on time to service problems and requests;
- Delivering technical support across the company;
- Setting up accounts for new users;
- Fixing and replacing equipment as necessary;
- Testing technology;
- Training more junior staff members.
What Type of Education Would You Need?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most IT technical support professionals need some form of formal education or a degree in IT for entry-level employment. You can also study a related field, such as programming, networking, or computer science.
Degree programs give you a strong background in relevant computer technology concepts, including a hardware architecture, programming languages, software apps, data structures, system logic, and information security.
You’ll learn how to apply specific technical support tools for troubleshooting and systems analysis. Also, you can substitute a professional certification for postsecondary education. Such certifications show professional dedication and expertise to potential employers.
For example, the Microsoft certified desktop support technician is awarded to IT support technicians who have 6-12 months of work experience and pass required exams on Windows OS and desktop apps.
They’re pivotal members of today’s workforce due to the widespread presence of computer technologies in businesses.
An associate’s degree is the minimum of job requirement, but professional certification may be acceptable in place of formal education.
Note – Gaining as much practical work experience throughout your degree course is quite beneficial, and year internships or summer placements or are highly recommended.
Temporary or part-time work in a relevant area will also be helpful. Experience in customer service roles will be advantageous for this position, as this will demonstrate that you have the desired communication skills.
What Skills Do You Need?
If you want to be a success as an IT tech support guy, you need to have the following:
- Superb issue-solving skills;
- The ability to work as a team player;
- Attention to detail;
- Logical thinking;
- In-depth knowledge of how operating systems and software works;
- Interpersonal skills since you’ll regularly be in contact with colleagues and/or costumers;
- The capacity to prioritize your workload;
- The capability to clearly explain a technical issue to a customer/colleague;
- Excellent listening and questioning skills.
Members of IT support services work in well-lighted, comfortable offices or computer laboratories. Most work about 40 hours per week.
Those who work for third-party support companies often are away from their offices, spending considerable time working at a user’s location.
As computer networks expand, more IT, support technicians may be able to deliver technical support from remote locations.
This ability would reduce or eliminate travel to the client’s workplace, and may allow some support technicians to work from home.
Injuries during the work are uncommon. Still, like other workers who sit for long periods, they are susceptible to back discomfort, eyestrain, and hand/wrist issues.
A job title typically involves a general term, years of experience, and any specific requirements. This term optimizes your job title to show up in a general search for jobs in the same industry.
The level of experience will entice the most qualified applicants by outlining the amount of responsibility and prior knowledge required.
And if you’re specialized in some specific IT area, consider including the specialization in the job title too. But skip using internal titles, acronyms, or abbreviations to ensure applicants understand what your job posting is before clicking.
- IT technician;
- IT technician (entry-level);
- IT technician (with Linux proficiency);
- IT technician (part-time);
- IT desktop support technician;
- IT support technician.
Where Can You Work?
You may work in several IT areas, such as:
- Computer networks – Installing, configuring, and supervising the computers in large organizations;
- Desktop support – Direct customer assistance;
- Contract hardware maintenance – Working for companies with contracts to maintain and repair computer hardware;
- Suppliers of vertical software apps – Software apps for a specific business field, including retail, travel, or pharmaceuticals;
- Managed hosting providers.
You can be employed by a variety of businesses, in both the private and public sector, like:
- Software/equipment suppliers, including APS (application service providers);
- IT maintenance companies;
- Retailing chains;
- Financial institutions:
- Call centers;
- Local government;
- Health trusts;
- Schools, colleagues, and universities.
What Are the Advantages?
Being involved in IT technical support is an excellent way not only to learn more about your chosen occupation, but it also provides you the opportunity to network with influential people in other parts of your organization.
There’s a lot of jobs available for qualified candidates, and sometimes it can be a low-pressure role; in most cases, customers or co-workers have no clue how long it should take to repair a technical problem. As a result, you don’t have to rush and can focus on performing the task correctly.
What Are the Disadvantages?
Career breaks are unusual because you’re expected to keep up to date with specific operating system and software which are endlessly changing.
It’s also not the cleanest job as you must use other people’s equipment, which can often be quite dirty in office environments – keyboards are by far the worst culprit. You’ll also spend some time crawling around or beneath desks; therefore, you better get used to stretching.
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What to Expect?
You’ll be dealing directly with customers or employees who have technical troubles like forgotten passwords, viruses, or email issues. So, you can expect:
- To work as quickly as possible to deal with problems and accomplish the best results, as well to enable staff members to use their device again;
- If you have responsibility for networks or hardware, you may have to lift/carry equipment and stretch to access items in awkward places. The dress is casual, reflecting the physical nature of the work, but you’re typically expected to have a reasonable standard of smartness;
- Travel within a working day is sometimes required and overseas travel is only occasionally needed
How High is an IT Support Technician Salary?
There’re three different grades of technician’s salaries. Some companies have first, second, and third-grade support, while the wages are varied.
First grade – You can earn $25,000-$30,000 a year. It’s the most basic grade of support, but it solves a large percentage of technical issues;
Second grade – The pay increases to $35,000-$45,000 annually. This grade support should solve 99% of problems as it involves a development/technical/functional team looking at the issue based on the intimate knowledge of the system;
Third grade– You can earn $45,000-55,000 per annum at this level. If the second grade can’t solve the issue, it contacts the app developer support line with a detailed description of the problem.
IT technical support technicians usually undertake a combination of short training courses and on-the-job learning. Accredited certification courses are mainly provided by IT support specialist training organizations who are approved by IT giants such as:
- Oracle (for the database);
- Cisco (for networking);
- Microsoft (for Windows).
These courses enable you to target specific technologies and develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in those fields.
Technologies change rapidly, and it’s a vital part of the IT technical support technician’s position to stay up to date with recent developments in hardware/software and specific systems apps. CPD (continuing professional development) is, therefore, essential.
You can also carry out self-directed learning, which may include reading manuals/guides, working things out from logical principles, and studying online help screens.
Large enterprises with a vast technical infrastructure may have separate teams dealing with various areas of their business. With experience, a move to a specialist zone dealing with more complex technical environments is possible.
Another possibility is to take on the role of a section or team leader. It can involve supervising the work of a support staff team, planning regular maintenance schedules, and organizing the complete operational support throughout the business.
Self-employment is also a solution for career development. Work may involve providing contract services to large organizations within a hardware, software, or apps environment. Short or long-term contracts are sometimes offered.
Job Growth Trend
Employment growth for computer technicians between 2015 and 2025 will be 12%, which is better than average, says the BLS.
Businesses will particularly need computer technicians to help install hardware and software and fix issues that arise.
The healthcare and computer systems design industries will have the highest demand got the IT support technicians.
Even though you can expect an excellent career prospect of increased demand, you can earn even better if you have technical experience and a college degree.
How to Become an IT Support Technician?
These are the standard steps you should take to pursue this job position:
- Education – Search for these positions determine the minimum level of education required for the roles. Most businesses generally need at least a bachelor’s degree in information systems, computer science, or another closely related field. Some companies, however, may require only an associate’s degree.
- Experience – To obtain practical experience after completing your formal education, consider applying for internship opportunities while you’re in school or upon graduation. Also, connect with other IT experts in your area who may be able to help you generate employment opportunities when you’re ready.
- Certifications – Most employers prefer candidates to hold professional certifications. Many require the A+ certification at a minimum, even though some may require specific software certifications like those offered by Oracle.
- Update CV – When you have acquired the necessary experience, education, and certifications, update your CV. Display your highest level of education along with certifications you have obtained and relevant work experience.
- Apply for a job – Search for IT technician openings in your area and identify which you’re most qualified for based upon your education and experience. Apply using your updated resume with a cover letter that you have customized for each individual role.
Are You the Right Candidate for this Position?
Your tech qualifications and experience will speak for themselves. You can improve your IT-role punching power, still, by developing your soft skills and showing that you’re patient, friendly, and self-motivated.
People who are personable and detail-oriented will “buy” employers. If you’re a fan of problem-solving and computers enough that you continue personal IT projects at home, you’ll be an attractive candidate.
Make sure to let your employers know about your relevant interests, whether in your CV or during an interview.
Along with the ability to listen, new technical hires must have communication talents, the capacity to adapt, and a passion to learn. So, if you’re interested in technology and like solving challenging technical problems, working as an IT support technician can be a good place to start.