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How to become an IT Technician

A male IT Technician holding a laptop whilst looking into a server with lots of wires coming out

Qualified IT Technicians are in demand. So what do they do and how can you become one?

The boom in digital technology means employers are clamouring to fill roles including: Information Communications Technician, Software Developer, and Network Technician – to name just a few. Essentially, wherever there are computers, you’ll find IT Technicians.

That opens the door to a huge variety of working environments. And as IT support is needed around the clock, you can often find opportunities to work flexible hours.

So if you’re weighing up the idea of becoming an IT Technician, read on to discover what the job can involve, your salary expectations, the skills required, career progression, and the steps you could take to get started.

What does an IT Technician do?

As an IT Technician, you’re the go-to person to fix software and hardware problems for your company’s computer users. You’ll install, troubleshoot and check IT and network systems, set up equipment, and help to keep everything working as it should. The daily requirements of the role will vary from company to company, but it’s likely to involve most of the following:

  • taking details from users about their IT problems
  • diagnosing and repairing reported faults
  • tracking work in progress and recording issues and solutions
  • updating online databases
  • testing and servicing IT equipment
  • upgrading systems
  • teaching people how to use new software.

What about the pay?

The average starting salary* for IT Technicians is £18,000, rising to around £35,000 as you gain experience and expertise.

Skills required

Could you get your head around Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, Windows 10, Linux, PowerShell and CMD? How about Python, SQL, PowerApps, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and GitHub? As an IT Technician, you’ll need to gain a wide knowledge of computer operating systems and be confident dealing with networking, hardware and software issues.

Most importantly, you’ll have to be familiar with all your company’s IT systems and procedures because your ultimate responsibility is to ensure these function smoothly.

Alongside the technical knowledge, you’ll be expected to work well under pressure. IT problems usually need to be sorted out urgently, so a cool head and empathetic manner will serve you well.

You’ll also have to explain technical issues to non-technical staff, so you’ll need excellent verbal communication skills.

Career progression

Becoming an IT Technician opens a variety of career options. You could work your way up to an IT Project Manager role with average earning potential of £60,000*. Or specialise in cyber security, cloud computing, data analysis or web development. Many IT Technicians go on to become self-employed, so with the right skills and enough experience you could offer your services on a consultancy basis.

Steps you could take to get started

For many employers, on-the-job experience along with accredited IT qualifications are the most important requirements. That makes an apprenticeship an ideal route to becoming an IT Technician.

As an apprentice with Kaplan, you gain real work experience while studying for your qualification. You can join an apprenticeship programme at any stage in your career. So whether you’re just leaving full time education, or you’ve been working for years and want to pivot to a new career in tech, or you’d like to gain relevant skills to progress your current role, an apprenticeship could be the right option for you.

To discover what it’s like to be an apprentice, take a look at our apprenticeship info for learners.

You can also see all the Data and Technology Apprenticeship Programmes we have available, and see what opportunities are available in your area on our Apprenticeship Jobs Board.

It’s a great time to move into a role as an IT Technician, and Kaplan is here to help you make a success of it.

* Figures from the National Careers Service, June 2022