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Careers Advice: How To Become an IT support technician

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What is an IT support technician?

An IT support technician will monitor and maintain computer systems and networks on behalf of businesses and clients. Solving technical problems and installing new technology will be a regular part of the job.

What does an IT support technician do?

On a day-to-day basis, an IT support technician will:


  • install and configure computer systems

  • monitor and maintain networks

  • liaise with clients and staff

  • troubleshoot system and network problems

  • replace parts as required

  • provide documentation and reports

  • follow diagrams and instructional manuals

  • set up new user accounts and profiles

  • establish good relationships with customers

Skills & interests required for an IT support technician

An IT support technician will need a variety of skills. Most importantly they will need to be great with computers, with broad knowledge of different software packages as well as a range of different IT systems. You will also need to be good at explaining ideas to non-experts throughout the business, as well as building relationships with clients, colleagues and suppliers. A major part of the role is diagnosing and resolving issues with software and hardware performance both at an individual user level and a company-wide network level.

- Attention to detail
- Computer Hardware
- Microsoft Office
- Problem Solving
- Teamwork

Working hours

You may be expected to work long shifts and often may need to work unsociable hours in order to meet demands. Part-time and self-employed work is not uncommon.

Work base

You may be based in a single office or IT helpdesk location. Alternatively, your work might involve travelling to the sites of the computers and technology which you have been assigned to assess or install.

Travel

You may need to travel within a working day to meet with clients and solve their computer-related issues.

Salary ranges & earning potential

The average starting salaries range from £17,000 to £23,000 per annum but, with experience, you can progress to between £35,000 and £40,000.

Perks & benefits

With experience, you may be able to move into specialist areas and deal with more complex issues, or alternatively become a section leader, which would involve being responsible for supervising support staff and managing the business.

Self-employment is also an option for career development, or you may wish to move to other roles within IT, such as a systems developer or network engineer.

Education requirements

Aside from a degree, employers will look for in-depth knowledge of the programs and applications they use, typically Microsoft, Apple, Linux and Cisco technologies.

Useful subjects to study at school & university

Degrees in the following subjects may be beneficial in helping you to secure a position as an IT support technician:

  • Business information technology

  • Business systems engineering

  • Computer networking and hardware

  • Computer science

  • Computer software development

  • Information technology

  • Internet engineering

  • Software engineering


Gaining work experience will be highly beneficial to your application. Experience in customer service roles will also be advantageous as it will demonstrate your abilities to handle client demands.

Useful resources

British Computer Society