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Become A Hardware And Software Technician

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Working As A Hardware And Software Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $88,520

    Average Salary

What Does A Hardware And Software Technician Do

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Duties

Computer network support specialists typically do the following:

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the routine maintenance of their organization’s networks such as performing file backups on the network. Maintenance can be performed daily, weekly, or monthly and is important to an organization’s disaster recovery efforts. Solving an IT problem promptly is important because organizations depend on their network systems. Network support specialists may assist the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks.

Computer user support specialists typically do the following:

  • Pay attention to customers’ descriptions of their computer problems
  • Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
  • Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  • Train users to work with new computer hardware or software, such as printers, word-processing software, and email
  • Provide other team members and managers in the organization with information about what gives customers the most trouble and about other concerns customers have

Computer user support specialists, also called help-desk technicians, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. They can usually help users remotely, but they also may make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies or for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use business-specific programs such as an electronic health records program used in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Sometimes they work with other technicians to resolve problems.

Other help-desk technicians work in call centers, answering simpler questions from non-business customers. They may walk customers through basic steps in re-establishing an Internet connection or troubleshooting household IT products such as a Wi-Fi router.

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How To Become A Hardware And Software Technician

Because of the wide range of skills used in different computer support jobs, there are many paths into the occupation. A bachelor’s degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough for others.

Education

Education requirements for computer support specialists vary. Computer user support specialist jobs require some computer knowledge, but not necessarily a postsecondary degree. Applicants who have taken some computer-related classes are often qualified. For computer network support specialists, many employers accept applicants with an associate’s degree, although some prefer applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

Large software companies that provide support to business users who buy their products or services often require a bachelor’s degree. Positions that are more technical are likely to require a degree in a field such as computer science, engineering, or information science, but for others, the applicant’s field of study is less important.

To keep up with changes in technology, many computer support specialists continue their education throughout their careers.

Certification

Certification programs are generally offered by vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge of and best practices required by computer support specialists. Companies may require their computer support specialists to hold certifications in the products the companies use.

Advancement

Many computer support specialists advance to other information technology positions, such as network and computer systems administrators and software developers. Some become managers in the computer support services department. Some organizations provide paths for support specialists to move into other parts of the organization, such as sales. For more information, see the profiles on network and computer systems administrators and software developers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic. They must often help people who are frustrated with the software or hardware they are trying to use.

Listening skills. Support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions to clarify the situation.

Problem-solving skills. Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them.

Speaking skills. Support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand.

Writing skills. Strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as real-time web chat interactions.

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Hardware And Software Technician Career Paths

Hardware And Software Technician
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Specialist Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Administrator Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Information Technology Technician Technical Support Specialist
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer
Network Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Technical Support Specialist Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Field Service Technician Technical Support Technician
Senior Support Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Specialist
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Systems Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Analyst Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
LAN Technician 2.7 years
PC Analyst 2.7 years
MIS Technician 2.6 years
Top Careers Before Hardware And Software Technician
Technician 4.9%
Internship 4.2%
Consultant 3.8%
Top Careers After Hardware And Software Technician
Technician 4.6%
Owner 2.9%
Engineer 2.6%

Do you work as a Hardware And Software Technician?

Hardware And Software Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

86.3%

Female

11.5%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

53.9%

Hispanic or Latino

18.7%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

10.9%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Portuguese

14.3%

Sicilian

7.1%

French

7.1%

Arabic

7.1%

Afrikaans

7.1%

Italian

7.1%
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Hardware And Software Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.5%

University of Houston

11.3%

Strayer University

6.5%

Tarleton State University

6.5%

Houston Community College

6.5%

University of Florida

4.8%

Truman State University

4.8%

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

4.8%

Wayne State University

4.8%

Edward Waters College

3.2%

University of Maryland - University College

3.2%

Ashford University

3.2%

Western Governors University

3.2%

Katharine Gibbs School

3.2%

San Jose State University

3.2%

Springfield Technical Community College

3.2%

Charter College

3.2%

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

3.2%

Remington College

3.2%

Franklin University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

13.8%

Computer Science

13.5%

Computer Information Systems

13.5%

Information Technology

10.4%

Computer Networking

9.3%

Electrical Engineering

8.0%

Computer Engineering

5.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.5%

Management Information Systems

3.5%

Computer Technical Support

2.8%

Communication

2.1%

Criminal Justice

2.1%

Computer Systems Security

2.1%

Information Systems

1.7%

Computer Programming

1.4%

Psychology

1.4%

English

1.4%

Health Care Administration

1.4%

Engineering

1.4%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.8%

Other

24.0%

Associate

21.8%

Masters

9.2%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

3.6%
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Hardware And Software Technician Videos

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Top Skills for A Hardware And Software Technician

  1. Computer
  2. Personal Computers
  3. Network Printers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Investigated and resolved permanently software conflict problems between Dell computers and Truman-issued software.
  • Performed quality control measures on personal computers to ensure ultimate satisfaction for the user.
  • Performed refresh of personal computers, adding network printers, and configuring Windows software.
  • Improved desktop support efficiency by thoroughly documenting all procedures.
  • Update Desktop/Laptops Performs routine maintenance to ensure good operating conditions.

How Would You Rate Working As a Hardware And Software Technician?

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