How to Become an IT Technician
IT Technician Careers & Degrees

It is a common problem for most.

Someone is working diligently at their computer when it suddenly crashes making them feel as if they have just lost all the information they were just working on.

Someone who knows nothing beyond turning on a computer will need the assistance of an experienced IT Technician in order to diagnose and repair any computer malfunctions.

IT Technicians are not only computer experts, they perform tasks that help with all the frustration a person feels from having to deal with a malfunctioning computer.

IT Technicians are computer science professionals that help maintain a company’s hardware and software computer system.

They are responsible for solving technical issues, updating software and repairing computers.

A person who wants to become an IT Technician must be comfortable working with computers and be able to resolve computer related issues.

It is important for someone who wants to become an IT Technician to understand computer language and know how to develop and work with a variety of software.

Education Requirements to Become an IT Technician

In order to become an IT Technician, a candidate needs to have a combination of education, licensure and experience in the field.

The majority of hiring companies seek professionals who have a four year degree in Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Information Technology or a similar major.

A candidate can also opt to get an Associate’s degree from an accredited trade school or junior college.

Candidates who wish to take the Associate’s degree route can get certification to complement their educational background.

Certification can also help those who do not have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in the field but who have several years of experience working with computer systems.

There are several types of certification an IT Technician jobseeker can acquire including some of the following:

  • A+
  • MCTS
  • MCITP
  • Linux+
  • CTP+
  • CTT+

IT Technicians should have a diverse skill set that includes expertise using several types of software.

Companies use a variety of software programs and in order to be highly competitive in the field an IT Technician should have experience with a variety of programs as well as keeping their skill set updated.

Some types of application software an aspiring IT Technician will need to learn and be familiar with can include:

  • Mainframe
  • Java
  • J2EE

Candidates can take courses and get certification in order to show their expertise in these programs.

Visit individual websites for more information on courses, training and certifications.

IT Technician Job Description

An IT Technician can perform their job either in person, by phone or via email.

Their work revolves around computer servicing and upkeep.

IT Technicians set up computers and hardware, perform computer development, troubleshoot and repair malfunctioning computers.

An IT Technicians role can be broken into the following responsibilities:

Provide support to system users:

  • Diagnose any hardware or software problems and perform any needed repairs
  • Be accessible to provide support at a moment’s notice
  • Have an organizational system to document employee requests
  • Train staff to use computer programs and other technology appropriately

System maintenance:

  • Computer and other technological installation such as telephones, printers and copiers
  • Provide server upgrades
  • Upgrade hardware and software
  • Perform any computer backup

Other responsibilities an IT Technician may have include the physical installation of technology cables and exploring new types of software that can help make a company be more efficient.

IT Technician Salary and Career Path

Individuals who want to become an IT Technician can expect to be promoted throughout their career.

IT Technicians can move up through many levels beginning at the trainee level and going up as high as supervisor and trainer.

Career outlook is strong as the majority of companies rely on computer systems to run their businesses.

Here are some other roles that may interest you:

Wage and salary depends on experience, education and type of employer IT Technicians work for.

Candidates can work within many industries such as in Healthcare, Education, Private Businesses and Governments.

The pay range for IT Technicians ranges from the low $23,000 to approximately $59,000.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$68,860
$38K
$49K
$68K
$83K
$106K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$61,680
Alaska$59,670
Arizona$56,830
Arkansas$47,760
California$75,150
Colorado$75,040
Connecticut$76,200
Delaware$62,600
District of Columbia$84,080
Florida$65,030
Georgia$71,380
Hawaii$64,700
Idaho$52,760
Illinois$64,070
Indiana$61,640
Iowa$55,820
Kansas$51,300
Kentucky$57,550
Louisiana$56,520
Maine$65,770
Maryland$73,410
Massachusetts$84,240
Michigan$62,900
Minnesota$65,600
Mississippi$65,670
Missouri$58,780
Montana$57,000
Nebraska$58,760
Nevada$62,320
New Hampshire$73,840
New Jersey$89,060
New Mexico$57,600
New York$77,790
North Carolina$69,220
North Dakota$66,930
Ohio$63,070
Oklahoma$63,060
Oregon$59,710
Pennsylvania$68,660
Rhode Island$60,110
South Carolina$58,500
South Dakota$47,770
Tennessee$57,610
Texas$71,530
Utah$59,790
Vermont$54,960
Virginia$73,290
Washington$86,900
West Virginia$57,920
Wisconsin$69,350
Wyoming$60,020
Guam$40,750
Puerto Rico$35,700
Virgin Islands$71,790

The top earning state in the field is New Jersey, where the average salary is $89,060.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New Jersey - $89,060
Washington - $86,900
Massachusetts - $84,240
District of Columbia - $84,080
New York - $77,790
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Computer Network Support Specialists, OCC Code 15-1231, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does an IT technician do?

Information Technology (IT) technicians maintain computers, provide technical support and teach non-IT users the skills they need to operate newly installed programs.

As an IT technician, your job duties will typically include diagnosing computer problems, installing and updating software, testing computer equipment and programs and performing maintenance on existing equipment.

IT technicians need a strong knowledge of computer hardware, software, and operating systems but they should also have some programming skills.

They also need good troubleshooting and communication skills because they have to frequently interact with clients and non-IT computer users.

QuestionHow much does an IT technician make?

Salaries vary depending on the technician’s expertise, experience, and employer.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer network support specialists was $62,770 as of May 2018.

Technicians who specialize in user support earned a median wage of $50,980.

Those who work in the telecommunications field earned a median annual wage of $70,000 while those who work for temporary help services earned a median wage of $47,090 a year.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become an IT technician?

IT technicians typically hold a post-secondary diploma or degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field.

Costs vary depending on the school and the type of program you choose.

An associate’s degree in computer science will cost you, on average, around $20,000 a year.

In order to improve your employment prospects, you can also get a certification in your field of specialty.

Some IT technicians have an A+ or Linux+ certificate offered by CompTIA; others hold a Microsoft Certified IT Professional or a Cisco Certified Network Associate credential.

The certification can be obtained after passing an exam; the examination fee is typically somewhere around $300-$600, depending on the type of credential you want to earn.

QuestionWhat is the demand for IT technicians?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for computer support specialists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028.

IT technicians will be in demand especially in the healthcare industry and in computer systems design.

Job prospects are expected to be better if you hold a degree in computer science or a related field or a certificate in your field of specialty.

QuestionHow long does it take to become an IT technician?

IT technicians typically need a few years of education beyond high school.

Some hold a diploma which can be obtained in less than 1 year while others have completed a 2-year associate’s degree or a 4-year bachelor’s degree program.

These programs typically cover topics such as computer security, hardware configuration, and technical support and prepare graduates for entry-level employment in the field.

Earning a CompTIA, CISCO or similar certification in your field can improve your employment and advancement prospects.

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