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What is a PC Technician?

Posted December 15, 2008

Topics: Certification

Fundamentally, computer technician is another way of saying computer 'repair person,' a label not appreciated by some but one that describes the job adequately enough. PC technicians are the tinkerers of the IT industry, working as much with their hands as with their heads.

Personal computer repair and maintenance is the avenue many IT professionals use to enter the industry. Some IT industry newbies believe that PC repair represents an "easy" method for breaking into the IT field. However, make no mistake about it friends: truly competent PC technicians, those who will make a fruitful and lasting career of it, are typically born, not made.

This "born, not made" topic is best reserved for another blog post, but I submit that unless one comes to IT in receipt of three essential ingredients:

  • genuine interest in their subject matter
  • genuine aptitude for their subject matter
  • a willingness to devote time to hone one's skills in their chosen craft

the probability of the individual lasting in the industry for any appreciable length of time is small indeed.

Many IT veterans posit that good PC support personnel represent a blend of two additional qualities: technical excellence and communicative ability. In fact, in many environments, the PC support person's ability to communicate with a client is almost as important, and in some cases more important, than his or her technical aptitude. Of all the non-managerial career fields in IT, PC support probably requires the highest level of communication finesse overall.

PC support technicians tend to interact with end users to a much greater extent than their counterparts in networking, programming and other areas of IT. This is because PC support people are the individuals who maintain their users' daily experiences with computer hardware and software. Effectively, PC support people represent the face that is associated with computing in general.

A curious stereotype concerning PC support people is that they are expected to know not simply how to repair PCs, but also how to fix any other piece of technical equipment, be it phone system, a fax machine, an audiovisual system, or a multifunction printer. While it is quite reasonable for an hourly bench technician to back away from duties that fall outside his or her formal job description, most PC support people find that they are happy to undertake "new and different"  configuration and repair projects as they broaden and deepen their skill sets.

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