How To Become a Computer Repair Technician in 6 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 23, 2021 | Published April 5, 2021

Updated July 23, 2021

Published April 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Computer repair technicians are professionals in the information technology (IT) field who specialize in solving computer issues. If you are interested in fixing computer hardware, installing software and troubleshooting technical issues, a role in computer repair could be a great opportunity for you. Learning more about this role and what it involves could help you determine your next career steps. In this article, we explain how you can become a computer repair technician, and we provide important career information, including job responsibilities, career outlook and useful skills.

Read more: Learn About The Information Technology Field

What is a computer repair technician?

A computer repair technician, also called a computer technician or PC repair technician, is an IT professional who helps troubleshoot and repair computers and computer programs. They can assist customers in a variety of locations, including corporate offices, IT departments and repair centers. They help ensure that computers, networks and systems function correctly.

Read more: Learn About Being a Computer Technician

What does a computer repair technician do?

A computer repair technician works to ensure computers function correctly. Their responsibilities can vary depending on their work environment and role, but common duties include:

  • Preparing new computer systems

  • Installing software and computer programs

  • Maintaining and troubleshooting existing software

  • Updating and checking computer security programs

  • Instruction customers on best security practices

  • Analyzing computer function and repairing hardware or servers as needed

  • Testing and evaluating new software programs for a company

  • Assisting customers or employees with technical issues

  • Answering questions and describing troubleshooting steps to customers

  • Training customers or employees on computer software programs or general use

  • Visiting homes or offices to repair computers

  • Working remotely to solve problems through live chat and diagnostic testing

How to become a computer repair technician

Three are several pathways you can take to become a computer repair technician. If you are interested in this career, consider following these general steps:

1. Earn high school diploma or equivalent

Computer repair technicians must have a high school diploma or equivalent education. Some high schools offer classes in computer repair or technology. These courses can give students a chance to work with computer equipment and develop technical skills. Courses in physics, math and engineering can also help aspiring computer technicians develop their skills. If you are in high school, consider exploring your school's programs to what courses it offers.

2. Complete additional education

Some computer repair technicians begin their careers with a high school diploma, but many roles prefer or require an associate or bachelor's degree. Consider earning an additional degree to help you stand out to potential employers and qualify for more roles. Computer technicians often have one of the following majors:

  • Computer hardware technology

  • Computer repair technology

  • PC maintenance

  • Information technology

  • Information science

  • Computer science

  • Computing and security

  • Engineering

Read more: Computer Technology Degrees and Jobs

3. Develop technical skills

Computer repair technicians can develop technical skills during their education, work or individual exploration. Many technicians begin by studying their own computer hardware. They might analyze common computer problems and help their family or friends solve technical issues. Consider developing your computer repair skills by studying computers, hardware and networks. You may find relevant information in online groups, online courses and books.

4. Gain professional experience

Professional experience can help computer repair technicians advance their skills and qualify for new roles. Consider gaining professional experience by applying for entry-level roles that involve computer technology. Some professionals start their careers working in customer service or help centers in a variety of industries. For example, an aspiring computer technician may work at a university help desk and answer technical questions in the library.

Read more: 31 Jobs in Technology and Science

5. Explore certification options

There are a variety of certifications available for IT professionals. These certificates show a professional has developed industry knowledge and exemplary technical skills. A certificate is usually optional for computer repair roles, although some positions may require certain certifications.

There are general IT certification programs or certificates in special software programs. Consider your interests, job preferences and skills when choosing a certificate program.

Read more: 16 Computer Science Certifications to Help Launch Your IT Career

6. Apply for roles

Computer repair technicians can work in a variety of locations. When applying for positions, consider your preferences. You may work for a repair center, business, healthcare organization or school. You can also pursue freelancing opportunities.

If you are interested in working for a company or organization, you can develop a resume and cover letter to reflect your hard and soft skills. IT professionals should list their specific software knowledge and any certifications they hold on their resumes. This can help show an employer how qualified you are.

If you want to begin your career as a freelancer, you can reach out to network connections or clients to find opportunities.

Skills needed for computer repair technicians

Computer repair technicians use a variety of hard and soft skills to succeed in their roles. Here are some important career skills they can use:

  • Customer service: Many computer technicians work directly with customers and clients. They listen to customer's computer issues, train clients on new software and explain best computer practices to others. They can use strong customer service skills such as empathy and patients to help them accomplish these tasks.

  • Active listening: Active listening is the ability to fully comprehend what someone is saying. Computer repair technicians can use active listening to understand customer's computer issues. This can help them troubleshoot and solve issues quickly

  • Verbal communication: Computer repair technicians may explain complex computer concepts to customers and clients. They sometimes lead computer software training within a company or explain processes to residential customers. Strong verbal communication allows them to express ideas clearly to multiple audiences.

  • Problem-solving: Computer repair technicians use effective problem-solving skills to resolve computer issues.

  • Analytical thinking: To resolve technical issues, computer technicians must use analytical thinking to analyze information. They assess how a computer functions to create a solution.

  • Technical skills: Computer repair technicians require technical skills and industry knowledge. Depending on their role, they may need skills in computer programming, coding, hardware repair or network analysis. They may also use a variety of software and computer languages.

Read more: 51 In-Demand Tech Skills for Technology Careers

Average computer repair technician salary

The average national salary for computer repair technicians is $20,303 per year. Common benefits for this career include remote opportunities, flexible hours, tuition reimbursement and employee discounts. Your salary and benefits can vary depending on your geographic location, education and professional experience.

Job outlook for computer repair technicians

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment in computer and information technology roles to grow by 11% from 2019 to 2029. This is faster than the national average for all occupations. The BLS expects the number of computer-related occupations to increase as companies use new technologies.

Computer repair technician work environment

Computer repair technicians can work in a variety of environments, including:

  • Computer or technology retail stores

  • Computer repair centers or help desks

  • Hospitals or other healthcare organizations

  • Government buildings

  • Universities or colleges

  • Company IT departments

Some computer technicians may work as freelancers, meaning they work on contracts for individual clients. They may travel to multiple locations, visiting residences, or work remotely.

Jobs for computer repair technicians

If fixing computers is something that interests you, there are a variety of jobs for you to consider. Here are 10 jobs similar to computer repair technicians:

1. IT technician

2. Technical support specialist

3. Desktop support technician

4. Help desk analyst

5. IT support specialist

6. Senior computer repair technician

7. Service desk technician

8. Cellphone repair technician

9. Instructional support technician

10. IT field service technician

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