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Become A Hardware Technician

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Working As A Hardware Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $48,620

    Average Salary

What Does A Hardware 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 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 Technician jobs

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Hardware Technician Career Paths

Hardware Technician
Network Technician Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Network Engineer Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Engineer Product Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Technician Sales Consultant
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
System Technician 4.4 years
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Bench Technician 2.8 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
Data Technician 2.7 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
PC Analyst 2.7 years
Technician 2.6 years
Depot Technician 2.5 years
Field Technician 2.4 years
On-Site Technician 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Server Technician 2.1 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
POS Technician 1.9 years
Help Desk Engineer 1.8 years
Student Technician 1.6 years
Imac Technician 1.6 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Dell Technician 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 5.6%
Internship 2.9%
Top Employers After
Technician 4.5%
Consultant 4.0%

Hardware Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

87.5%

Female

10.5%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

76.3%

Hispanic or Latino

11.2%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

3.0%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.7%

French

15.8%

Carrier

10.5%

Japanese

7.9%

Arabic

7.9%

Nepali

2.6%

Vietnamese

2.6%

Cherokee

2.6%

Hindi

2.6%

Korean

2.6%
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Hardware Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.9%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

6.4%

Strayer University

6.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

6.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.0%

Remington College

5.0%

Western Washington University

4.3%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.3%

Community College of the Air Force

4.3%

Texas A&M University

4.3%

Purdue University

4.3%

More Tech Institute

4.3%

Kaplan University

4.3%

Northeastern University

4.3%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.5%

Old Dominion University

3.5%

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West

3.5%

San Jose State University

3.5%

A-Technical College

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

16.5%

Information Technology

13.0%

Computer Information Systems

11.6%

Electrical Engineering

10.8%

Business

10.6%

Computer Networking

8.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.7%

Computer Technical Support

2.8%

Education

2.4%

Information Systems

2.4%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Management Information Systems

2.0%

Computer Engineering Technology

2.0%

Management

1.4%

Engineering

1.4%

General Studies

1.3%

Communication

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.3%

Computer Systems Security

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.0%

Other

26.7%

Associate

22.0%

Certificate

5.7%

Masters

5.6%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.2%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Hardware Technician

NetworkPrintersLaptopComputersDesktopSupportCustomerServicePersonalComputersSetupRemoteWindowsXPTechnicalSupportPCSHelpDeskComputerHardwareOSTroubleShootingActiveDirectoryComputerSystemsLANHardwareSupportLinuxNovell

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Top Hardware Technician Skills

  1. Network Printers
  2. Laptop Computers
  3. Desktop Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide support to network printers, software and hardware and provide adequate training to internal clients to operate various system printers.
  • Provided exceptional customer service to retail customers for Toshiba laptop computers.
  • Help desktop support with Ethernet problems (Dell, IBM and Apple latop and desktop.)
  • Worked with a team to encourage individual and team growth to meet and excel in customer service.
  • Maintain and distribute a loaner fleet of personal computers.

Top Hardware Technician Employers

Hardware Technician Videos

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Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

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