Computer technician job opportunities soar

The world is currently in the midst of a tech talent shortage. There are not enough tech professionals to fill all the current hiring roles at every level of the vertical industry. As the world becomes ever-more advanced, the need for computer techs increases exponentially. The tech workforce shortage is profound, making technology a sound career choice both for stability and opportunities for career advancement. With so many companies hiring IT professionals, your capabilities can be met with new demand and better available roles.

Of course, everyone starts somewhere. Becoming a computer technician is an approachable place to enter the tech industry. Most people can tackle the initial skills necessary to succeed as a computer technician. Today, we’re here to spotlight the 10 most important skills for computer technicians that create the foundation for a long and happy tech career.

Interacting with computers

Familiarity with computers is at the core of any IT and technician role, especially starting as a computer technician. The more time you spend interacting with computers and mobile devices, the more you will naturally take to the other skills necessary for the role. Become skillful at working with operating systems, software, and settings on a user level, then dive into deeper understanding.

Understand how computers work and how they interact with humans to optimize each task. The best technicians understand how computers function and can adapt their methods based on both the current hardware and the task at hand.

Collecting data and information

Research is a big part of IT and technical work. From hunting down a hardware problem to determining the right software tools to use, there is a great deal of data and information collection.  Most technicians can research an unfamiliar bug or behavior at lightning speed. Online resources mean that even seemingly obscure problems can be solved with cross-checked information.

As a computer technician, much of your role will involve diagnosing and repairing problems. The more skilled you are at researching problems and finding solutions, the better your reputation as a technician. You will need to quickly collect all the relevant information to diagnose problems. Great data and information skills can also open doors for data management or information IT work in the future.

Problem-solving and decision-making

For any technician, problem-solving is an essential skill. To troubleshoot computer hardware, you will need a significant foundation in problem-solving and careful decision-making.  Computers need to be handled in a logical and even-handed way. Combined with an understanding of how computers work, your problem-solving skills will define how quickly and effectively you can accomplish your technical work.

Decision-making allows you to weigh each option and choose the course that will give the best results. In computer work, this means knowing which course of action will give you information and which will produce an inconvenient result.

Communication

Every job requires a certain amount of communication. Whether it’s face to face, on the phone, via email, or instant message, every day you will be communicating with others. A computer hardware field technician must be able to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers to share information and solve the problems that arise in their everyday life. This means honing your conversation skills as well as your listening and teamwork skills. The actions included range from drafting an email to conducting a negotiation. The more experience you have in professional communication, the easier your new role will be.

Consulting and advising others

As you become a professional computer technician, others may come to you for information or advice on technical issues. You may be providing IT assistance to clients, internal employees, or providing consultation for managers who rely on your expertise. For this reason, you should hone your skills in providing consultation and advice to others. Practice both giving consult presentations and being patient with those who are troubleshooting at a distance.

You may be asked to advise management on the best course of action, in this endeavor, apply all your knowledge and experience to help them foresee the IT strategy options along with each potential set of outcomes and effects.

Inspecting equipment, structures, or material

Your familiarity with computers should reflect an ability to inspect hardware. Become experienced with the inside and outside of modern computers. Examine internal and external pc parts and practice determining what is wrong with the equipment. The ability to inspect accurately is essential for any hardware computer technician,

You should have a complete and comprehensive understanding of all the equipment you work with and how it works together. If someone asks you what is wrong with a computer, know how to approach the inspection, and determine a potential solution.

Documenting and recording information

Solving computer problems means taking some baseline metrics that will give you critical information. The CPU and RAM usage, processor temp, and network access speed are just a few easily named. No matter what branch of the tech industry you specialize in, you will find yourself documenting, recording, and then building a plan from computer information. The more comfortable you are with stats and spreadsheets early, the easier you will learn new troubleshooting processes.

Developing objectives and strategies

Computer solutions are always reached with goal-oriented strategies. Hone your skills in developing objectives and building action-plans from those goals. Practice building strategies to put your solutions into action. This process works for both short-term and long-term computer solutions, from repairs to network cybersecurity.

As a computer technician, you will need to be on top of frequent maintenance, virus scanning, and network defenses in addition to the health and performance of every computer. Preventative strategies prevent future issues, while objective-driven troubleshooting can quickly repair a system when performance is flagged.

Training and teaching others

As you rise in the tech career, you may be asked to train others. It doesn’t take long for someone rising above the crowd to be assigned a trainee. Proving your capability even in an entry-level tech job can result in training someone who could use the talent or skill that you’ve put into the job. You may also be prompted to help teach non-IT staff how to use the system or protect themselves from cybersecurity threats. So, it’s a good idea to get used to training and teaching now.

Practice explaining things in a calm and clear way, and re-phrasing your point in three different ways to help another person understand. You may practice tutoring by helping out the students in your life if the opportunity arises.

Repairing and maintaining electronic equipment

Finally, practice maintaining your own electronic equipment and home devices. Open up failed equipment and practice fixing including harvesting parts to fix it. Become intimately familiar with the interior components of a computer and at ease with switching out the parts. The ability to understand and maintain electronic equipment is essential as a tech professional, especially a hardware technician. PCs, laptops, and other mobile devices are complex pieces of machinery. In order to maintain each device, you will want a practiced skill with repairing and upkeeping the equipment.

Joining the tech career path is easier than many realize. To become a computer technician, focus your efforts on these ten leading skills. Most will improve your technical skills and prepare you for the tasks and work environment of a hardware technician, the rest will lead you to be a highly effective employee in any organization. For any of the skills that you don’t yet possess, you can find the training you need through online courses by contacting us today. Career Technical Institute looks forward to helping you build the skill set needed to become a successful computer technician. Contact us at 888-516-5339 to learn more.

*This blog was originally written in 2018 and has been updated due to industry standards.