If you love technology and have an analytical mind, an IT technician career might appeal to you. Most likely, you're wondering what a career as an information technology (IT) technician involves, and what type of education you need.
Do you like computers and solving problems? If so, becoming an IT tech could be the perfect career for you.
Read more about IT technical requirements and the education you need to qualify for your dream IT job.
What Is an IT Technician?
An IT technician has to have a comprehensive knowledge of operating systems, hardware, software and networks. IT techs also need excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to explain the problems and solutions to non-technical people.
It's also necessary that you know how to work under pressure, troubleshoot, prioritize and meet deadlines. Another requirement is patience and the ability to work both with a team or alone.
IT is always changing, so it's important to keep earning IT certifications, and developing your skills and knowledge during your career. You can do this through business training or taking college courses.
Education Needed to Become an IT Technician
Information technology technicians have exciting, fast-paced opportunities to become talented professionals in every type of industry.
If you want to become part of the growing IT technician jobs available, you'll need the following education requirements and IT certifications:
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
CCNA is a beginning level certification. It lets your employer know that you're trained in installing, operating and configuring routers and enterprise-level switches. This certification also gives you the skills to find and solve network issues.
Once you earn the CCNA, you can choose specializations in voice or wireless networking and security.
To qualify for CCNA, you have to pass a 90-minute exam. The test has 50 to 60 questions. This certification allows you to apply for jobs such as a network engineer, network administrator and systems administrator.
Comp TIA A+ Technician
This is a basic certification for starting an IT career. When you're A+ certified, you're qualified to work on maintenance for computers, operating systems, printers and mobile devices.
To earn the Comp TIA A+ certification, you have to pass two tests. One is multiple choice and the other one is based on performance.
Earning this certification allows you to apply for jobs in desktop support specialists, desktop support technicians and help desk technicians.
This information technology certification is acknowledged all over the world. It verifies that you meet the IT requirements needed for managing, designing and troubleshooting both wireless and wired networks.
You have to pass one Network + exam that has 90 questions. The exam tests your knowledge of wireless and wired configurations on network devices. If you earn a Network +, you're qualified for jobs as a helpdesk technician, IT specialist and IT technician.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
This is another certification that's recognized around the world. When you earn the CISSP, it proves your expertise in information security, which gives you the skills to protect businesses and organizations from cyber attacks.
CISSP proves you have extensive managerial and technical skills so you can manage security programs.
The exam for CISSP certification covers eight subject areas. These include the following:
- Security and risk management
- Security engineering
- Asset security
- Communications and network security
- Identity and access management
- Security assessment and testing
- Security operations
- Software development security
The CISSP exam usually takes six hours to finish and has 250 questions. Certification offers you jobs as an information technology auditor, security analyst and an information technology analyst.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
Meeting the IT requirements for MCSI earns you a mid-level certification. This means you have the skills to create innovative technology solutions. The certification offers specialization in the following areas:
- Server infrastructure
- Desktop infrastructure
- Private cloud
- Enterprise devices and apps
- Data platform
- Business intelligence
The steps for the MCSE depends on your focus area. But, the test has five steps with different formats. These are simulation problems, multiple-choice and drag and drop.
If you earn the MCSE, you qualify for IT technician jobs as system administrator, field systems technician and systems engineer.
Associates of Science in Information Technology Degree
Rather than earning these certifications on your own, you can also attend college and earn a two-year associate's degree in IT technology. A college degree educates you in all the skills that employers from all over the world expect from IT technicians.
The most important IT specialties you can learn in a college program include:
- Systems analysis
- Application development
- Data management and analytics
- Information security
- Network and systems administration
Most college IT programs also offer hands-on work in a data center environment. Also, as you're studying for your degree, you can earn IT certifications to expand your resume for professional growth in the information technology field.
Also, as you continue in the IT program, you can choose a specialty and take advanced IT classes.
What You Can Earn as an IT Technician
When you complete your IT technical certifications, you'll qualify for a variety of technical careers that let you earn a great salary for doing something that you love.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the following median wages for entry-level IT technicians were reported in 2018:
- Software developer - $105,590 per year
- Computer support specialist - $53,470 per year
- Web developer - $69,430 per year
- Computer systems analyst - $88,740 per year
- Information security analyst - $98,350 per year
- Network systems administrator - $82,050 per year
- Database administrator - $90,070 per year
These entry-level IT technician jobs can give you financial stability for you and your family. Of course, what you earn will depend on the company or organization that hires you.
Get Started on Your Path to IT Technician Certification
So, if you recently graduated from high school, or you want to start a new career as an IT technician, then getting certifications in information technology gives you plenty of opportunities to advance your career.
If you've earned your IT certifications, contact us to help you find your dream job. Or, if you're a business searching for top IT talent, we can help you meet your IT staffing and recruitment needs.