How to Become a Computer Service Technician


If you want to become a computer service technician, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you:


• Do you know your way around computer configuration and troubleshooting?

• Can you remain patient in the face of technical difficulties and frustrated people?

• Do you get satisfaction from rescuing people from technical problems?

• Do you enjoy working with people and information technology in equal measure?


Those who work as computer service technicians are typically individuals with a natural aptitude and interest in computers and information technology. They also tend to have a methodical approach to troubleshooting when things go wrong.


This career is an excellent choice for those who want a career that allows them to leverage their people, IT and problem solving skills to provide people and businesses with effective solutions for frustrating technical problems.



Education Needed to Become a Computer Service Technician

Working in this field does not necessarily require formal education; if you have a high school diploma and technical training or experience, even if self-taught, you may qualify for computer service technician jobs.


Although formal post-secondary education may not always be a formal requirement, employers generally prefer to hire applicants that have relevant post-secondary education in the form of a two-year diploma, in a field such as computer support, or computer systems technology; or an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as computer science.





General Job Description

Computer service technicians help people and organizations that are not well versed in information technology (IT) and need to install computer systems, or are having problems with existing computer systems.


Computer service technicians may help install, configure, maintain and service computer hardware or software. Their scope of assistance typically includes desktop, laptop or server computer systems and peripherals such as printers, disk drives and CD-ROM drives.



Typical Duties of the Job

The job duties of a computer service technician can vary depending on a variety of factors, including their level of responsibility, whether they work on site or out of a call centre, and many others. In general however, computer support specialists are responsible for performing the following duties:


• Inspecting and connecting new equipment

• Installing, configuring and updating operating systems, applications and software

• Installing and configuring security software

• Installing, configuring and troubleshooting Internet connections

• Connecting computers to wired and wireless local area networks

• Install circuit boards and peripheral equipment, such as printers

• Respond to customer complaints and provide solutions

• Diagnose and troubleshoot hardware and software functionality issues

• Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

• Keep records of installations, maintenance work and repairs



Who Employs Computer Service Technicians?

Computer service technicians might be hired on a part-time, full-time or contractual basis by organizations in the public and private sector. The following types of organizations typically employ computer service technicians:


• Computer manufacturers

• Computer consulting firms

• Computer sales and service companies

• Electronics retailers

• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government departments

• Medium sized and large corporations  

• Self-employment 



Skills and Traits Needed to Be Successful

To be effective in a career as a computer service technician, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will allow you to perform your job duties with competence, and will allow you to overcome the challenges of this career.


• In depth knowledge of how computers and computer systems function

• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

• Adept at listening to others as they explain problems

• Able to remain calm, focused and tactful when instructing frustrated customers

• Mental and emotional stamina needed to remain patient when solving complex problems

• Enjoy assisting others

• Enjoy performing tasks that require precision

• Take satisfaction from solving technical problems

• Methodical approach to isolating technical faults

• Willing and able to keep abreast of developments in IT





Working Environment Typical to This Profession

Hours of Work: Computer service technicians typically work a standard weekday schedule of 35-40 hours per week. However, because computer support is crucial to many people and businesses, some service technicians may work evenings and weekends or in rotating shifts so that support is available 24 hours per day.


Working Conditions: The work of computer service technicians can be very rewarding, such as when they help a non-IT user solve a complicated issue. Their work can also be very demanding and stressful, such as when dealing with very frustrated customers, or customers that can’t properly articulate the problems they are having.


Work Setting: For computer service technicians that work in the field, their job would involve travelling to visit clients on site, which may be their homes or offices. The work of computer service technicians that work in an IT support department is typically based in an office, although some time is spent with staff at their workstations. Some computer service technicians may also work exclusively from a call centre and provide support over the phone, or by accessing the customer’s computer remotely. 



Career Advancement Possibilities

Computer service technicians that gain enough experience may advance to supervisory or management positions within their organization, or a different organization. They may also choose to run their own computer repair and upgrade business.


With further training and education, computer service technicians may become technical specialists, IT analysts, IT managers, computer scientists or computer engineers. 



Job Postings - Current Vacancies

Our job board below has "Computer Service Technician" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.



Computer Service Technician Salary

The salary level of computer support technicians can vary, depending on their level of experience, their level of education, the size and type of their employer, and many other factors.


Salary - Canada (Alberta figures only): According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working as computer services technicians earn an average salary of $58,749 per year. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available for the rest of Canada.


Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Computer Support Specialists is $48,900 per year.



Similar Occupational Profiles in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to this one, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Avionics Technician

Computer Programmer

Network Architect

Robotics Technologist

Technical Support Specialist




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of this profession.


Occupations in Alberta: Computer Service Technician.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 7, 2019.

Computer and Information Technology:Computer Support Specialists.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 7, 2019.

Explore Careers:IT Service Engineer.” (n.d.). National Careers Service website. Retrieved November 7, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Computer Service Technician

The 'Relevant Fields of Study' section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a computer service technician. Scholarships matched to those fields of study can be found on the following pages:


Computer Engineering Scholarships

Computer Science Scholarships

Software Engineering Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a computer service technician. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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