How To Become a Data Center Technician in 7 Key Steps

Updated June 24, 2022

Computer networks and servers often need maintenance. Companies have sensitive and important information stored on these systems that they need to protect. Data center technicians are skilled professionals who help ensure that hardware and technical devices run safely and efficiently. In this article, we explain what data center technicians do and how you can become one in seven steps.

What is a data center technician?

A data center technician is a computer hardware expert who helps install and maintain data servers and network equipment. They often have extensive knowledge of data center infrastructure and the ability to troubleshoot technical problems that may arise. Data center technicians often oversee a company's servers and networks. They can monitor these systems to help ensure the computer equipment and programs are performing well with optimal security.

Related: Computer Skills: Definitions and Examples

What does a data center technician do?

Data center technicians often perform the following tasks at work:

  • Monitoring an organization's server and network activity for optimal performance and operation

  • Identifying and troubleshooting data center performance issues as needed

  • Providing information technology (IT) live support services to staff and customers

  • Safeguarding an organization's sensitive and important data by preventing equipment issues, such as components overheating

  • Collaborating with cybersecurity teams to help prevent or mitigate threats like ransomware

  • Performing maintenance and repairs on servers and network equipment as needed

  • Developing comprehensive knowledge of physical infrastructure and building systems

  • Installing and testing data center infrastructure and systems

  • Running hardware diagnostics and replacing faulty equipment in a timely manner

  • Upgrading data center infrastructure as necessary

  • Documenting network or server failures and maintaining up-to-date records of facility work order requests and completion dates

  • Preventing loss of data and damage to networks through proactive maintenance and oversight

Related: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

How to become a data center technician

Here are seven steps on how to become a data center technician:

1. Develop a passion for data center technician work

Develop an interest in computer networks, data security and servers. Having a passion in data center infrastructure and in maintaining servers and network equipment may boost your productivity in this field and could help you become a stronger candidate for employment as a data center technician. You can learn more by taking courses, reading books or bogs and listening to relevant podcasts.

2. Pursue formal education in data center infrastructure

A data center technician often requires at least a high school diploma. Some employers may prefer technicians with a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering or a related field. You could consider higher education and study subjects like systems design, computer programming and networking. You could also consider a two-year technical degree in data center operations. A formal education in data center infrastructure can help prepare you for an entry-level position as a data center technician.

3. Seek training opportunities for hands-on experience

Consider an internship or training program that could provide you with hands-on experience in performing network and server maintenance operations. Data center technician jobs can be competitive, and employers often prefer candidates who have direct experience in performing installation and testing of data center infrastructure and systems. Getting this technical experience in a training program could help you secure full-time employment as a data center technician.

4. Take certification programs in data center maintenance

Consider taking a data center certification program and exam. A data center certification can boost your knowledge of networking technologies and often serves as evidence that you have an up-to-date understanding and training on data center best practices. Several organizations offer nationally recognized certification programs. Passing a certification exam often shows you have the skills to implement routing and switching protocols, security features and overlay networks in a data center. Some employers may prefer data center technicians with relevant and active certification.

5. Update your resume

Consider updating your resume to highlight your skills, knowledge and experience. Your resume gives you the opportunity to highlight your technical abilities. Resumes also give you the opportunity to emphasize any soft skills you may have, such as communication skills, integrity, willingness to learn, teamwork and dependability. Reflecting your skills on an up-to-date resume can help you attract the attention of a hiring manager.

6. Identify references

Consider cultivating a network of professional references. A reference can be any individual who knows your talent, skills and character. A reference can talk highly of you and may help you in the search for data center technician jobs. Hiring managers may request references from you, so it is helpful to request some of your trusted associates or colleagues to serve as one of your references.

7. Apply for data center technician jobs

Consider searching for data center technician job openings and applying for the positions most appealing to you. A job application is a professional document showing employers you're interested in working for them. By applying for a position, you give yourself a chance to be considered for the position. You can apply for any data center technician job that matches your qualifications.

Related: Resume Writing 101: Tips for Creating a Resume (With Examples)

Average salary

The average salary for a data center technician is $71,129 per year. You can improve your salary prospects by seeking higher education and getting several data center certifications. Having more experience also may increase your earnings potential.

Related: 6 Tips for Your Next Salary Negotiation


Data center technicians often require the following skills:

  • Communication: You may require strong customer service skills and the proven ability to work effectively with clients and staff to work as a data center technician.

  • Hardware repair: Having a basic ability to repair damaged or faulty network equipment and devices is a core skill you might need to work as a data center technician.

  • Troubleshooting: The ability to identify and fix errors in computer networks, including an organization's local area network, or LAN, is often a key data center technician duty.

  • IT computer networking: Data center technicians often have knowledge of how to install and maintain data center infrastructure, including network maintenance.

  • Stamina: Data center technicians may lift heavy items and work long hours on demand, so the position may require you to have physical endurance.

  • Inventory management: A data center technician job could require you to exhibit organization skills and might require you to maintain an accurate inventory of tools, equipment and network devices.

  • Technical writing: You might have to develop new standard operating procedures (SOP) as a data center technician, and creating any SOP often requires technical writing skills.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Work environment for data center technicians

Data center technicians often work in server rooms at physical office sites. The job often requires you to communicate with customers over the telephone. You may work eight to 12 hours a day, and you may have to be on call to handle any emergency maintenance issues after hours. The job might involve heavy lifting and may require you to carry and move items up to 50 pounds.

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