What Does A PC Support Technician Actually Do?
With technology every growing and changing, we often find ourselves asking what a particular job title actually does. With a little help from Wikipedia (and a lot of first hand knowledge), we’ve put together the following job insight regarding PC Technicians.
PC technicians are responsible for a wide variety of job functions including installing, repairing, maintaining, and analyzing many different types of computers, devices and software products. Today, a PC repairman may be called into anything from a fortune 500 business or government agency to a user’s home. The actual tasks of a professional PC Support Technician vary greatly based on their training, experience, and the job that they are being hired into. In fact, as a general rule of thumb, the tasks that they perform also change and expand with the frequent advances in the technology. Therefore it is important to note that some PC technicians specialize in installing and maintaining networks or servers, while other PC support staff members may work in forensics and user support.
The Required Skills
There are many commonalities in the skills needed to perform this job. People who apply for jobs in these areas or perform these duties in small businesses will need to possess a wider diversity of skills to be proficient while in large organizations the tasks may be more distributed among professional and therefore more narrow in scope. A few essential skills that PC Support professionals will need in order to be successful are:
Troubleshooting. People who work in these jobs must be able to troubleshoot computers and computer networks to identify the causes of breakdowns or network downtime issues and get them back up quickly for their corporate users or a client.
Repair hardware problems. At times the problem may be due to a malfunction in the hardware. So, the person must be able to identifying where the root cause of the problem. Whether it is a bad hard drive or a defective mother board, these technicians must be able to identify it and replace as needed.
When the root of an issue is in the software, the ability to install, configure and optimize operating systems and device drivers will be critical.
Career and Growth
Because of the diversity of skill sets used in the PC support jobs, there are numerous paths into these job functions. Since the primary role of a PC support technician is to provide assistance and recommendations to individuals and organizations that use computer software and/or equipment, the PC Support person must be prepared to take on any and all tasks. Consequently, they may choose to work in an office setting wearing as a computer support specialist, computer user support specialist, or an IT help desk specialist. Which means, the career steps taken toward securing a job in the field may differ in route. For instance, some people may pursue a two year degree from a community college while others may pursue a four year college degree to be hired by a top corporation in their area. Yet others may pursue short certification preparation programs.
Because these duties can be performed for both individuals and organizations, the PC technician has a long list of employers that they can work for to perform their craft. Some of the best employers in this specific industry may be identified as high tech companies that need these skills, large corporations that produce innovative technologies like the latest computers on the market and hospitals that service multiple audiences on a day-to-day basis. The best employers for a PC Technician normally depends on the type of employer that they choose since it may be a small online company that allows the person to work as a freelancer or a large corporation like Google that need this support in virtually every area of their operations. People who work in these positions may have an opportunity to work in an environment of their choice.
The PC Support Pay Scale
According to Bureau of Labor statistics, the outlook for the PC Repairman position is attractive with a projected growth rate of 17% between 2012 -2022. As the demand drives price, technicians are looking at an average pay of $48,900 annually.
PC Technician Certifications
For some job positions a certification is not a requirement. On the other hand, some employers will only hire technicians that possess them. For instance, PC support technicians that have the CompTIA A+ certification have a greater competitive edge to other technicians in the industry. To obtain this certification, however, the individual will need to take and pass A+ Certification exams 220-801 & 220-801 or 220-901 & 220-902. One of the best ways to go about preparing for the certification is to take part in a course that has an actual A+ practice test whereby you can practice answering the types of questions you will see on the CompTIA exam and that way you don’t end up focusing on the minors instead of the major components of the exam.
After passing the A+ Certification exams, the individual there are a few paths towards additional certifications that relate to more specialized area of expertise. For instance, they may want to take the Network+, Security+ MCSA – MCSE.