What is an IT support technician – Job description

Posted at 15 October 2023

An IT technician can be likened to the Mary Poppins of the IT world. When screens go dark, computers refuse to boot, motherboards fail, software crashes, or network connectivity falters, they swoop in to save the day. 

In this article, you'll discover the multifaceted roles an IT technician can play within a company, with insights from our IT recruitment experts.

What does an IT support technician do?

An IT technician, also known as an IT support technician, is a professional specializing in the management, maintenance and resolution of problems related to computer systems, hardware and software. His or her main role is to ensure that computer equipment functions properly, and to meet users' needs by resolving computer problems and keeping systems up and running.

IT support technicians are also responsible for providing technical assistance and troubleshooting to users of computer systems within a company. Some large organizations choose to hire technicians in-house, while others deal with IT professionals externally, such as through their Internet or software providers.

Tasks of an it support technician

The main tasks of this technician include installing and configuring computers and other IT equipment and ensuring their compatibility. They are also responsible for installing and configuring software and computer programs. They may also be responsible for data transfers between different workstations or organizations. Finally, theIT support technician answers user questions and provides assistance with the various computer hardware.

The role of the IT network management technician

The IT network management technician has a different role within a company. They are responsible for managing, operating and monitoring a company's local area networks as well as wide area networks, mainframe networks, and all other related computer equipment.

IT network management technicians are responsible for the maintenance of multiple networks and troubleshooting the causes of network failures as part of their role. They also have many other tasks that help them maintain control of a company's IT networks and ensure that they are functional and secure to protect the company's confidential data.

In summary, the IT technician:

  • Provides assistance to users by answering their questions, solving technical problems and helping them to use computers and software effectively.
  • Performs preventive and corrective maintenance on IT equipment, including computers, printers, servers and other peripherals.
  • Configures, monitors and maintains computer networks to ensure stable and secure connectivity.
  • Implements security measures to protect systems and data against threats such as viruses, malware and computer attacks.
  • Identifies and resolves hardware and software problems, whether in person, by telephone or remotely.
  • Participates in the planning, implementation and management of IT projects, such as the introduction of new systems or migration to new technologies.
  • Keeps abreast of the latest trends and developments in technology to recommend appropriate improvements and upgrades.

Yes, this is an essential job that requires great versatility!

What does a programmer-analyst or application developer do?

The programmer-analyst or developer is an IT job that requires a little more creativity than the previous two. This technician develops, designs, tests and documents different interfaces of various computer systems. They have to develop software that considers both the user experience and computer performance. 

The programmer determines the IT needs of a company's users and develops solutions to optimize the work of all users. They analyze and refine the programs they design to ensure that they are error-free. They also help users by providing them with information about the applications they have developed.

What skills are required of a computer technician?

In terms of hard skills, i.e. technical skills, those required for technical support jobs are numerous. They include:

  • Mastery of operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.).
  • Technical support to solve hardware and software problems.
  • Network management (configuration, maintenance, troubleshooting).
  • Computer maintenance (hardware, software, peripherals).
  • IT security (firewall management, intrusion detection, antivirus).
  • Troubleshooting to identify and resolve IT problems.
  • IT project management.
  • Programming skills (scripting languages, automation).

Soft skills or valued interpersonal skills

Many IT soft skills are important.

  • Effective communication to explain technical concepts in an understandable way.
  • Priority management to effectively manage time and tasks.
  • Customer service (friendliness, patience, sense of service).
  • Analysis and Problem Solving to deal with complex challenges.
  • Autonomy and Initiative to make informed decisions and initiate improvements.
  • Teamwork to collaborate with other IT professionals or departments.
  • Adaptability to adjust to technological developments and new situations.
  • Creativity to find original solutions to IT problems.
  • Sense of responsibility to ensure that systems run smoothly.
  • Organization to manage projects and tasks efficiently.

These technical and behavioral skills are all important for an IT technician to succeed in a constantly changing IT environment, while meeting users’ needs professionally and efficiently.

How do you become an IT technician?

In Quebec, you can take a computer technician program offered at many of the province's colleges. These programs generally last three years and lead to a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DEC) in computer techniques. During this training, you'll acquire solid technical skills, including network administration, hardware and software troubleshooting, operating system management and computer security.

In addition to your college training, it's a good idea to obtain IT certifications. Certifications such as CompTIA A+ or Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) are widely recognized and appreciated in the industry. They demonstrate your expertise in specific areas of IT and can increase your chances of employment.

If you aspire to more advanced positions or management roles, a university education may be an asset. You might consider a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer engineering.

The importance of ongoing training

With IT constantly evolving, ongoing training is crucial to staying competitive. You can take courses and workshops to keep up with the latest technologies and trends. Taking part in webinars, reading specialized blogs and collaborating with technical communities can also strengthen your skills. Training is no substitute for practical experience. Internships or personal projects can complement your training by enabling you to apply your knowledge in a real-world environment. Practical experience is invaluable for developing skills such as troubleshooting, problem-solving and communicating with users.

IT support technician salary

IT technician salaries vary according to the level of IT support, but in Quebec we can estimate salaries at $45,000/year for a junior profile.

According to our IT professions 2023 salary guide, this figure can rise to $60,000 after a few years' experience for support 0 or 1, and $70,000 for support levels 2 and 3.

Find your dream IT job with fed IT!

In short, an IT technician can occupy a wide variety of positions depending on their interests and abilities. A technician who is highly interpersonal and communicative may be interested in IT support, while a resourceful person with a strong sense of responsibility may prefer network management. Technicians seeking to stimulate their creativity may prefer to take up programming and development.

The IT sector is full of challenging and exciting professions for IT professionals. At Fed IT, our team can help you find a job that matches your ambitions. Don't hesitate to contact us today!