Computer and Office Machine Service Technicians


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Traditional high school courses such as mathematics, physical sciences, and other laboratory-based sciences can provide a strong foundation for understanding basic mechanical and electronics principles. English and speech classes can help boost your written and verbal communication skills. Shop classes dealing with electricity, electronics, and blueprint reading are also beneficial. Computer science classes, of course, will provide you with great experience working with computer hardware and software.

Postsecondary Training

You may be able to find work with only a high school diploma if you have a lot of practical, hands-on experience in the field. Usually, however, employers require job candidates to have at least an associate's degree in electronics.

Once hired, technicians receive on-the-job education that includes company-specific training on diagnostic tools, such as proprietary software.

Other Education or Training

The Association of Computer Repair Business Owners provides webinars and other continuing education opportunities. Product manufacturers often provide classes and seminars that help technicians learn about new products or new software associated with an existing product. Contact these organizations for more information.


Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Most employers require certification, though standards vary depending on the company. However many consider certification as a measure of industry knowledge. Certification can also give you a competitive edge when interviewing for a new job or negotiating for a higher salary.

A variety of certification programs are available from the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, CompTIA, and ETA International, among other organizations. After the successful completion of study and examination, you may be certified in fields such as computer, industrial, and electronic equipment. Continuing education credits are required for recertification, usually every two to four years.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Try to obtain practical, hands-on experience in the field by working as a helper for a technician or participating in internships at repair firms while in college.

A strong technical background and an aptitude for learning about new technologies, good communication skills, and superior manual dexterity will help you succeed in this industry. You'll also need to be motivated to keep up with modern computer and office machine technology. Machines rapidly become obsolete, and so does the service technician's training. When new equipment is installed, service technicians must demonstrate the intellectual agility to learn how to handle problems that might arise. Other important traits include a task-oriented personality, good organizational skills, and the ability to convey technical terms orally and in writing.