technician repairing laptop computer closeup

There’s hardly a single industry where computers don’t play a role. That means there will likely always be a demand for computer technicians and support specialists to keep those computers and networks running. Learn more about this quickly growing field and get yourself job-ready with a computer technician certificate and these ten tips.

What does a computer technician do?

Computer technicians install, maintain, and troubleshoot hardware and software for businesses and organizations. Depending on what type of company you work for, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • Setting up hardware and installing software
  • Performing repairs on computers and other peripherals
  • Providing support for software or hardware issues
  • Assisting with the IT aspect of onboarding new hires
  • Answering technical questions
  • Performing regular software updates
  • Troubleshooting system failures and bugs
  • Managing security updates

1. Get certified.

One way to validate your skills to a potential employer is to earn a computer or help desk support certification. Consider starting with a foundational certificate, like the CompTIA A+ credential, to help make your resume stand out to hiring managers. With the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, you’ll learn the job-ready skills you need while preparing yourself to pass the CompTIA A+ exam, even with no previous experience.

2. Pursue a formal education.

While not all computer technical support jobs require a degree, having one in computer science or a related field can help you build your computer knowledge and give you a competitive edge over other applicants. Education requirements vary. Some companies require an associate degree, while others look for at least a bachelor’s degree.  

3. Build a computer.

Get to know computer technology inside and out—literally—by building your own computer. As you gather and assemble the components of a computer, you’ll learn about its structure, what makes it work, and what hardware issues correspond to what parts. 

In addition to the hands-on learning experience, you’ll end up with a machine customized to your needs and likely for less than what you’d pay for a comparable pre-built computer in a store.

4. Practice fixing common computer problems.

One of your biggest tasks in a computer technician job will be identifying and solving hardware and software issues. But you don’t need to get hired to start gaining experience fixing computers. 

Chances are your family members, friends, and co-workers experience computer problems from time to time. Let them know you’re willing to help. You can also search local classified ads for unwanted broken computers that you can try to diagnose and fix. Keep track of your work so you can add your successes to your resume.

5. Develop your non-technical skills.

Strong technical skills and knowledge of computer systems are critical for success in the IT industry, but keep in mind that you’ll also be working with people. Developing these “soft” skills can not only help you impress hiring managers but can help make you a better technician once you’re on the job.

Solid communication techniques help you to actively listen and ask the right questions when walking a co-worker through a computer setup or helping a user troubleshoot a software issue. Critical thinking empowers you to find solutions to complex problems that might not exist in the current documentation. The ability to write clearly allows you to effectively document your actions for a company knowledge base or customer relationship management (CRM) system.