what is an IT technician?

An information technology (IT) technician provides support services to employees using a company's computer systems. When you join the profession, your work will involve fixing or maintaining hardware and software for your employer. Your job covers repairing computer system hardware, such as desktop devices, printers and external hard drives.

You also provide networking support, from installing networking equipment (switches, routers, cables, etc.) to monitoring networks to ensure optimal performance. Your job also covers installing and monitoring security breaches. Monitoring includes regular system checks on the installed servers and computer systems to ensure that anti-virus programs are running optimally.

When working as an IT technician, you ensure an organization’s storage system functions as expected. Aside from regular checks for errors, you update storage systems and perform backups to avoid losing vital data during a system glitch. Apart from your main tasks, you also assist other employees if they need technical support and recommend ways to improve the safety and security of your employer's computer systems.

Would working as an IT technician suit your interest in working with computers? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an IT technician role.

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average IT technician salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of IT technicians in Canada is $71,052 per year or $36.44 per hour. When you are new to the role, you start with a salary of $51,716 annually. However, as your experience improves and you can perform complex duties, you are likely to earn over $74,431 yearly.

how to increase your salary as an IT technician

The salary of an IT technician depends on qualifications and specific duties. Some IT technicians perform complex tasks that require additional qualifications. For instance, if you perform complex repairs requiring expertise, you earn a higher salary than IT technicians who provide support on simple hardware or software issues. Specializing in hardware or software components relevant to your industry also increases your earnings since you bring additional expertise to the company.

The size of the organization also influences your earnings. When you work in a small start-up, the limited resources and the projects you work on influence your earnings. You handle complex tasks in large companies, and having unlimited resources boosts your earnings. The location could also affect your earnings since some regions, such as Quebec, have a higher demand for IT technicians.

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types of IT technicians

As an IT technician, you provide general IT support or specialize in the following areas:

  • help desk technician: when you are a help desk IT technician, your role is to diagnose technical problems for computer users. After identifying an issue, you contact a suitable technician to handle it.
  • desktop support technician: as a desktop support IT technician, you respond to problems arising in desktop computers. Your work is to troubleshoot issues or configure and test networks. You can also assist computer users in setting up new desktops or user accounts.
  • IT support analyst: if you are an IT support analyst, you are the go-to person during an IT audit. Your job is to determine issues that may arise in a system and recommend ways to improve its functionality.
  • IT support specialist: your tasks are mainly hands-on since you are responsible for setting up or installing technologies. You troubleshoot and maintain hardware and software in your employer's computer systems to avoid glitches.
smiling man holding a laptop beside server
smiling man holding a laptop beside server

working as an IT technician

As an IT technician, you provide computer hardware and software support. Here are IT technician tasks, work schedules and work environments.


IT technician skills and education

The educational requirements for being an IT technician include:

  • college course: to work as an IT technician in Canada, complete a college program in computer science, network administration or computer programming. You can pursue a degree or a college qualification to learn the skills required to perform maintenance and repair tasks. Some employers require certification provided by software vendors. In Ontario, you require certification from the Ontario College of Trades.
  • work experience: you need experience to work as an IT technician. On-the-job training prepares you for the role, but having entry-level experience in IT boosts your chances of employment.

competencies and characteristics of IT technicians

Aside from academic qualification and technical knowledge, you need soft skills to boost your career prospects. Some of the skills include:

  • multi-tasking skills: as an IT technician, you work in fast-paced surroundings, and multi-tasking abilities can help you juggle multiple tasks. Organization skills are also handy since you are expected to keep accurate records of the repairs and maintenance tasks performed.
  • time management skills: as an IT technician, you manage job tasks within a specific time frame. Time management skills help you consult with several clients and boost productivity.
  • computer skills: familiarity with computer software and hardware functions enables you to resolve computer system problems. It is also crucial in maintaining networks and ensuring that upgrades will benefit the company's operations.
  • analytical thinking: it is important to have strong analytical and diagnostic skills to identify problems in a computer system. Analytical thinking also helps you uncover hidden issues in a network that can cause future problems.
  • problem-solving skills: your primary duty is to resolve system problems and assist computer users with hardware or software issues. Possessing a strong problem-solving ability is essential for IT technicians, and it helps you identify creative technical solutions.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an IT technician.


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