A career as a computer repair technician can be very rewarding. But it requires someone with the following traits:
A logical mindset Computers are logical devices and critical thinking skills are necessary to make appropriate decisions on how to solve a particular computer problem.
Curiosity to continually learn how things work. Computer technicians usually like what they do and have a passionate interest in computer technology. Given the continually changing nature of computers & technology, new technologies emerge and require continual learning.
Diagnosing and repairing computer problems can be a time-consuming process.
The technician must have the ability to explain to the end user what the problem is, the solution, and how to prevent problems in the future without the use of too much technical jargon that will confuse the user.
A positive attitude
Someone who has computer problems may have attempted to solve the situation on their own to no avail. They may become angry and frustrated. A positive attitude is a necessity when dealing with people.
To be a computer repair technician requires at least a high school diploma. However, many technicians have at least a two-year associates degree from an accredited college or a diploma from a technical institute. To work in many shops or organizations, a technician will also require an A+ Certification.
The A+ Certification is an internationally accepted, vendor neutral, certificate awarded by the Computer Technology Industry Association or CompTIA. Having an A+ certification shows that the computer repair technician has competency in troubleshooting, preventative maintenance, installation, networking, and security aspects of the computers they service.
There are two exams that require passing before a technician can become A+ certified. There is the essentials exam (220-701) and the practical applications exam (220-702). The essentials exam covers basic material expected of an entry level IT Professional with 500 hours of field or laboratory training. The second exam utilizes a more interactive approach to demonstrate competency focused on scenarios in which the technician proposes the correct solution. The tests are multiple choice and they are adaptive. CompTIA requires that the A+ certification be renewed every three years.
Education and certification are important, but in many cases previous work experience is necessary in order to land employment in the field. Many organizations that hire technicians expect them to have some level of hands on work experience in addition to certification and education. One way of getting relevant work experience is by becoming a volunteer and offering technical services to a non-profit organization. This will enable the technician to hone his/her skills and gain valuable work references for potential employers.