How to Become a Computer Repair Technician
Possessing a technical degree for breaking into a computer repair career, is key. Specific industry certifications can be important to obtain if you are seeking a targeted field. Certifications can cover topics ranging from general troubleshooting and repair to operating systems or networking. Even with extensive repair experience, you will need to prepare to complete the certification process.
If you are already a skilled computer technician who wants a certification to enhance career options, consider a self-study program for getting certified. The most common repair credentials are the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications. Even if you are an experienced technician, you will need to study for these tests because, much like studying for a driver's license, you must know a substantial number of somewhat trivial facts to get your certification. CompTIA offers a variety of workbooks and practice exams on their website in paper and electronic formats. While there are a host of other websites that offer similar information for free or at a reduced price, be careful that your information is current on this ever-changing program.
If you are less experienced in computer repair or are concerned about your ability to pass standardized tests, consider one of the many classroom options for studying for this exam. These exams prepare you for both parts of the A+ certification and give you hands-on experience in many topics on which you will be tested. You will typically complete a timed sample test and get immediate feedback before you ever take the exam when it will count. While these courses and boot camps can be expensive, most come with a guarantee that if you fail they will train you further and will pay the retake fee for your exam.
Once it is time to take your exam, you should already have a good feel for the format and the duration of the test. The A+ certification, at the time of publication, consists of two separate exams with a maximum of 90 questions apiece. The first section, the CompTIA A+ 220-801 exam, covers the fundamentals of computing ranging from configuring a PC to basic networking topics. The second exam, the CompTIA A+ 220-802, covers operating systems, software and the basics of mobile devices. The questions on these exams are either multiple choice or a simulation of a computing topic or troubleshooting situation.
Everyone seeking a new A+ certification will be required to complete continuing-education courses to maintain their certification. The CompTIA Continuing Education Program also allows you to get renewal credit for adding additional credentials to your A+. The Department of Defense requires that its computer technicians maintain current certifications through CompTIA. This organization monitors your progress through the Defense Manpower Data Center application, which keeps track of your certification continuing education.
While the CompTIA certification is the standard for a repair technician, there are also several other certifications that can be useful in advancing to higher-paying positions. Microsoft offers several certifications geared toward expertise in operating systems, office productivity suites and other software offerings. The Microsoft Technology Associate and the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certifications show that you have mastered PC fundamentals and are ready for an IT career in a similar way to the CompTIA A+. These exams vary and exam preparation materials are available through Microsoft. Apple is another great choice to look into as well. They also offer a wide range of Apple technical certifications that could interest you as well.
Workinhg in the Field
In todays day in age, there are many options for landing a career as a certified computer repair technician. The competition can be tough, but as long as you make an effort, you should have no problems finding a suitable position. A quick google search in your area for computer repair companies should return many results. You can either contact them directly or use an employment agency to find the employer you seek. Make sure to consider things like starting wage, benefits and other relevant aspects when submitting your resume. A good place to look for starting a career as a mobile computer repair techncian in Calgary for example would be Tech!Espresso. They are always on the lookout for great new talent.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bjorn Hufer. Senior Computer Repair Technician. Business Owner. Accredited IT Professional holding TRIA Academy, Apple and Microsoft IT Certifications. Author and Publisher at Vueno Books.