IT support technicians solve computer hardware and software problems. They help computer users using online platforms, over the phone or on a face-to-face basis. If you have an interest in information technology and possess excellent problem-solving skills, then this might well be the career for you.
What do IT support technicians do?
Although many IT support technicians work as resident employees in organizations that use computer systems, others work for computer manufacturers and suppliers where they provide Internet-based support services. Irrespective of their work settings, some of the tasks technicians perform include the following:
- Getting in touch with clients to obtain more details on computer faults
- Diagnosing the faults and coming up with solutions
- Explaining solutions to clients
- Installing peripheral equipment such as scanners and printers
- Keeping records of computer faults, their causes and solutions
- Training newly qualified technicians
IT support technicians work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. Some technicians work on shifts covering evenings and weekends.
Although the technicians spend most of the time in their offices, they often visit company departments to fix problems or travel to meet clients.
The salaries for IT support technicians vary with the level of experience and employer but thhe typical wages are:
Level of experience
Newly qualified IT support technicians
Experienced IT support technicians
Senior IT support technicians
Source: National Careers Service
To become an IT support technician, you must have vast knowledge of computer systems. Some of the courses you can pursue to gain the relevant knowledge include:
- Level 1Certificate in PC Maintenance
- Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in ICT Systems Support
- Level 2 Certificate in ICT Systems and Principles
- Level 2 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence
Alternatively, you could complete an information and communication technology apprenticeship scheme available in your local area.
Important skills and abilities
To be a competent IT support technician you should have:
- A detailed understanding of operating systems, networks and computer firmware
- A methodical approach to situations
- Good analytical and problem-solving skills
- Good communication and customer service skills
- Good practical and technical skills
- An interest in information technology
Training and development
Many IT support technicians start working as trainee technicians. After receiving on-the-job training, you can pursue the following courses to enhance your competence.
- Level 3 Diploma in ICT Systems Support
- Level 3 Certificate and Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles
- Level 4 Certificate and Diploma in ICT Professional Competence.
There are also several relevant certifications, which you can pursue to demonstrate to your employer that you are ready for a promotion. The certifications include:
- CompTIA A+ Certificate
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).
The Chartered Institute for IT also offers a range of a range of qualifications, which you can obtain to heighten your chances of moving a step ahead.
The main employers for IT support technicians include:
- Local authorities
- The National Health Service
- Financial services companies
- IT companies.
After gaining enough experience as an IT support technician, you can progress and become an IT support supervisor or manager. With relevant qualifications, you can move into other fields such as:
- Network engineering
- IT security
- Database administration
The following links can come in handy when looking for employment:
Finally, there will be over 24,000 jobs available for science and engineering technicians within the next six years. This is a large number, which should encourage all prospective IT technicians to continue working toward obtaining the required qualifications. Career advancement avenues are also available for determined and hardworking technicians.