What exactly do they do?
Simply put, an IT Technician is responsible for maintaining, repairing and implementing IT systems – both hardware and software.
Needing a keen interest in the latest IT technologies, a logical and natural problem-solving ability, some of the typical tasks an IT Technician carries out include:
- Assembling and installing hardware
- Installing or removing software
- Diagnostics and troubleshooting hardware/software faults
- Managing IT networks
- Analysing systems ensuring optimum performance and ROI.
Some IT Technicians also specialise in certain areas on top of these tasks, such as security, networking, programming or database management.
You see, not as simple as turn it off, leave it a minute then switch it back on!
I want to be an IT Technician, but where can I work?
With technology now an integral part of every-day life, there is a vast amount of opportunity for anyone wanting to work in this field.
You could work within the IT department of a company managing their internal IT infrastructure systems and networks, either based in one main office or working across other satellite offices.
If you’re thinking you’d like more variety, you could work within a dedicated IT services company, which offers technical support to businesses and organisation’s that outsource their technical assistance. This type of role means you’d get to deal with different systems and technologies, and also give you more variety, as you would more than likely go out to client’s offices when necessary to work on their systems.
If none of these options appeal, and you’re keen to be your own boss, you could look to set up your own business offering IT support to the public and local businesses in your area. Although this option brings with it all the associated tasks that come with running your own business, such as managing the accounts and marketing, having the flexibility and control may be something you thrive on.
With both these latter two options, the hours you work could be more than the standard 9-5 hours, and involve more shift work or evenings and weekends, depending on the clients requirements.
What training do I need?
Some start from an early age and learn their way up through the ranks, with no formal qualifications or training, but this is unusual and employers will naturally sway more towards those with proven skills.
Gaining certifications in the systems you are likely to be working with, such as Windows, Cisco and Oracle will be the basic starting point to building your skillset. Many employers will also offer continual training so that skills are up to date.
The Microsoft site is useful at breaking down their certifications suitable for different roles.
There are also a number of certifications offered by City & Guilds for IT professionals, find more information on their site.
What will I earn?
If you’re just starting out on a help-desk, the starting salary could be around £22,000 – £33,000 per annum depending on where you live.
The scope for salary progression is excellent, and the more you build on your experience and skills, the higher your commanded salary will reach. Top IT Managers could reach in the region of £40,000-£50,000+ per annum depending on region and type of organisation you work in.