How To Become an IT Technician: A Detailed Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 January 2023

Published 12 October 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.

Information technology (IT) technicians provide support to individuals and businesses with computer networks and issues. Through maintenance and installation, IT technicians can ensure their computers are operating efficiently. Understanding how to become an IT technician can help you plan your future career. In this article, we discuss how to become an IT technician, what their responsibilities are and the skills that may be required.

Relevant: What Does a Support Technician Do? (And How to Become One)

How to become an IT technician

The exact qualifications you might need as a IT technician can depend on your future potential employee and the role you are applying for. Below you can find a general step-by-step guide on how to become an IT technician:

1. Complete a diploma or traineeship

Studying for a diploma can take between one and two years to complete. You can tailor your study for an information technology diploma towards several roles. Networking, cyber crime and advanced programming are a few of the specialist roles. Diplomas are usually obtained through institutes such as TAFE.

You can also apply for a traineeships to study a qualification in information technology. A traineeship provides students with work experience and practical studies. The duration of a traineeship is usually between one and two years. You can search and apply for IT technician traineeships using the Indeed job board.

2. Complete a bachelor's degree

Completing further education can be looked upon favourably by potential future employers.. A bachelor's degree in information and technology can help you develop advanced skills and knowledge in computer systems.

A bachelor's degree may take three years to complete and involves practical and theoretical studies. StudyAssist can provide you with information on applying to universities.

3. Complete a master's degree

Once you have your bachelor's degree you may consider applying for a master's degree in IT. Obtaining a master's degree can provide you with several opportunities to specialise in an IT role. There may be several IT roles that require extensive experience and qualification. A few roles that may require a masters degree are IT security architects, computer system managers and data scientists.

Completing a masters degree usually takes five years and includes a bachelor and postgraduate degree. Postgraduate studies usually take 2 years to complete. An IT master's degree can provide you with technical and soft skills to help perform your duties as an IT technician.

4. Apply for an IT technician role

If you have completed the relevant qualification, then you may start applying for roles as an IT technician. Depending on which level of qualification you have, there may be a few specialist roles available. IT technicians can find work in many fields such as business, security, defence and education. You can search for IT technician roles using the Indeed job board.

Before you apply for a role as an IT technician, you can consider updating your resume and cover letter. A resume that is clear and easy to understand may enhance your job opportunities. Ensure your relevant skills and qualifications are included in your resume.

Related: Cover Letter Checklist: What to Review Before You Submit

What does an IT technician do?

IT technicians are skilled in the maintenance, installation and operation of computer systems. Many organisations have a wide range of hardware and software to help run their business. IT technicians can provide technical support for online security systems. Technicians can master computer science and specialise in a wide range of industries.

Usual responsibilities and duties of an IT technician may include:

  • Repairing computer hardware

  • Installing operating systems

  • Maintaining hardware and software

  • Updating computer systems

  • Identifying network issues

  • Developing, maintaining and updating local networks

  • Improving the cyber security of organisations and individuals

  • Resolving hardware and software errors

  • Creating codes for programs

Skills relevant to an IT technician

There are several skills that can assist you when completing tasks related to computer science. Technical skills can help you perform role-specific duties, such as writing technical manuals or briefs. Soft skills are usually personality traits that you can develop over time. Below, you can find a few of the relevant skills of an IT technician:

Colour vision

Working as a computer science technician may require you to use colour coded wires and cables. These colour codes determine where the cables and wires plug into. Working in certain roles as an IT specialist may require full-colour perception.

Some people are born with a certain level of colour perception, and others develop it over time. To find out what colour vision you have, you can do simple tests online, for example, the colour plate and hue test.

Attention to detail

Working with software can require attention to detail. In rows of coding, where there may be hundreds of letters and symbols, one wrong placement can result in the code failing. Being able to identify issues and mistakes within systems is a vital role of an IT technician. Focusing on organisational skills and training your brain with puzzles may improve your attention to detail.

Communication

Support technicians may explain complex technical terms to someone with little or no experience. Being able to clearly communicate information is a crucial part of being a support technician. Practising good communication habits, such as active listening and attending skill workshops can help improve your communication.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Organisation

Information and computer systems can require a high level of organisation. Software programs may require multiple scripts of coding to function properly. When multitasking, you may find yourself distracted or unfocused. Being organised can allow you to focus on one task and reduce mistakes. Creating goals whilst planning and managing your time can help you become more organised.

Technical writing

IT technicians that develop and install complex security systems, may create a brief and manual. The information contained within these documents can have strict formatting. Improving your technical writing can usually be achieved by studying for a bachelor's or master's degree.

Teamwork

Many roles as an IT technician may require you to work with other specialists and departments. When creating programs for companies, you may share and compile code and software from other IT technicians. Being able to work as a team can allow for unique perspectives and skills. Having a positive mindset and knowing what everyone's responsibilities are can help create a positive team dynamic.

Frequently asked questions about IT technicians

Below you can find a few of the most frequently asked questions about information and technology technicians:

How long does it take to become an IT technician?

How long it takes can depend on several factors. If your goal is to become the manager of computer security systems, then it might take you over five years to achieve. Some roles may need a master's degree, while others may only require a one-year traineeship. Traineeships do not require a qualification to commence and can be a quick entry into the industry.

Do IT technicians get paid well?

The average salary for a qualified IT technician is $72,833. Your salary as an IT technician can vary based on experience, qualifications and the role you are applying for. An IT technician who has completed their master's degree may have more opportunities for high paying jobs. Your potential employer may provide details on your salary and the qualifications needed.

Is it hard to get a job as an IT technician?

The difficulty of finding a career in information and technology can vary depending on your specialisation or experience. There are many roles in different industries that are related to information and technology. Most large corporations and businesses might have an IT department. IT technicians can specialise in a wide range of roles, so there can be several industries to search in.

Some IT roles may be easier to find than others. An IT support technician can potentially find work in any organisation that uses computer systems, like schools, corporate business, universities, hospitals and many other organisations. However, a more specialised IT technician role such as cyber defence might be limited to only a few organisations.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed.

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