Information technology plays an indispensable role in today’s economy. No matter the organization or the profession, success depends in some fashion on computers, networks, systems or databases. Our daily lives depend on IT — everything ranging from a visit to the gas station or grocery store to seeing the doctor.

IT technicians are handed the daily responsibility of keeping their employer’s digital infrastructure in-service and online. Technicians must support the operation of a wide range of hardware and software, often across multiple locations and used by hundreds employees globally. Here’s an overview of the IT Technician job description:

Basic Duties and Responsibilities

IT technicians have roles at a variety of levels of an organization’s information systems architecture. In general, technicians are charged with assisting users in operating and understanding computers, printers, handheld devices such as smart phones and related software. They will be called upon to conduct training on both hardware and software applications and will be asked to respond to request for repairs when things break down or go wrong. Technicians are also responsible for designing, establishing local area and wide area networks, including external connections to the Internet. In some advanced roles, technicians are involved in administering databases and overseeing computer security. Still other IT professionals work on telecommunications systems or in developing and maintaining Web applications. The IT field offers many excellent opportunities for individuals to apply their skills in information technology.

Training and Qualifications

Because of the wide variety of roles, education and experience requirements will vary.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most jobs in the IT field will call for a bachelor’s degree in a related subject area. Typical majors include computer and information science, computer engineering, computer programming or management of information systems. Advanced roles such as database administration require master’s level degrees. Entry-level webmasters can qualify with associate’s degrees.

Terms of Work

IT technicians work in office or laboratory environments, with schedules of about 40 hours per week. The Department of Labor says that higher-level IT technicians, such as administrators, work on average 50 or more hours each week.

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