Although sales of traditional desktop and laptop computers have declined in recent years, there is still a wide range of employers in need of qualified computer hardware technicians. Simply put, these men and women are the workers who repair and maintain computers, and troubleshoot problems and recommend upgrades as needed. In many situations, these technicians perform installation work, as well.
For a computer hardware technician working in a repair shop or even a larger retailer, customers will bring in poorly-functioning computers for repairs. The technician will run diagnostics and determine a repair estimate for the customer before proceeding. If the computer is thought to be under warranty, the technician determines if the repair or any damage falls under the conditions of that warrant and will proceed accordingly.
Upon completion of repairs, the technician usually runs further diagnostics to make sure it is functioning properly. He/she may also be asked to scan the computer for viruses or malware, though this typically depends on the specific repair terms and customer agreements.
Hardware technicians generally work for companies with repair and maintenance contracts. In this case, they may make on-site visits to assess repairs, determine estimates and warranty determination, and possibly recommend upgrades to system architecture, if necessary. Technicians working with repair and maintenance contracts may also help with hardware installations and on-site diagnostics.
To work as a computer hardware technician, applicants should have a high school diploma or equivalent, and often have degrees or certifications in repair/diagnostics from accredited technical or vocational schools. In many situations, they will also need to obtain other certifications to meet employment requirements within the industry. Those in this position typically work regular business hours in a tech shop environment, but may do on-site and after-hours work as required by client contracts.
Computer Hardware Technician Tasks
Build custom components and configure existing parts for use.
Maintain, update, and test computer hardware and associated devices.
Repair and update hardware and devices, including testing and evaluating equipment.
Install and configure computer hardware and associated devices.
Manage and respond to a help tickets, documenting interactions.