What Is an IT Technician? How to Become One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn what an IT technician does and how much they make, as well as how you can become an IT technician.

[Featured image] An IT technician assists a fellow employee with her laptop

An IT technician provides a wide range of services to support, fix, and maintain the hardware and software of an organisation’s computer systems. Often considered an entry-level position, IT technicians can go on to more specialised roles like systems engineer, network administrator, or cloud administrator.

IT technician salary and job outlook

IT technicians in the UK make an average salary of £26,790, according to Glassdoor as of May 2023 [1]. This figure includes an average base salary of £25,595 and £1,195 in additional pay. Additional pay may represent profit-sharing, commissions, or bonuses. 

This field is growing in the UK and is expected to see increased job opportunities. Around 13 per cent of all job vacancies are related to IT, so demand for IT technicians is expected to increase in the future [2].

What other entry-level IT jobs are similar?

IT technician is one of many general IT support positions you might see in job descriptions. Keep an eye out for similar titles like:

  • Help desk technician,

  • Desktop support technician

  • IT specialist

  • Help desk analyst

  • IT associate 

Though roles might vary slightly, much of the skill set and expectations can be similar. For example, work as an IT specialist or help desk analyst might involve more resolving user issues and less hands-on technical work. But you’ll still be expected to know your way around basic networking, troubleshooting, and security issues. 

How to become an IT technician: 4 tips

Get on the path to becoming an IT technician—or a host of other entry-level IT positions—by following these four tips. 

1. Get a certification.

Many professionals have gotten their start in IT with an entry-level IT certification. A certification can be a great way to build up experience if you’re starting from scratch. It can also be a quick way for employers to see that you have the skills and knowledge required to get an industry-standard certification. 

Getting a certification generally means you’ll have to take and pass an exam. Studying for this exam—through coursework or self-study—can give you a structured way to learn the skills you’ll want to have.  Keep an eye out for credentials that will teach you the essentials of a wide range of IT areas, like the CompTIA A+ and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate.

2. Build IT technician skills.

Here are a few skills that are often requested in job descriptions for entry-level IT positions, as well as tips on how to get them.

  • Troubleshooting protocol: As an entry-level IT professional, you’ll likely be asked to fix computers that go awry in the office. Knowing how to find the problem’s root cause, solve it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again is a process you should be familiar with.

  • Hardware and software: Setting up and configuring software and applications on PCs or Macs is a skill that’s often requested in job descriptions. You’ll also want to know how to install and set up various types of hardware like firewalls, access points, and network switches.

  • Networks: You should know the essentials of maintaining and troubleshooting a computer network, like TCP/IP protocols and stacks.

  • Apprenticeship: Currently in the UK, you can train to be a Level 3 IT solutions technician and Level 3 infrastructure technician through advanced apprenticeships. This is another great option to achieve a career in this field, as you’ll be able to gain real-world experience. Five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 are required to be able to enter the apprenticeship programme. The GCSEs must include maths and English [2]. 

3. Learn the space.

Do your research by browsing or asking questions on Reddit and other online forums. Or find a few YouTube channels to see if you can gather any useful advice.

Don’t forget your resources extend beyond the internet. Consider reaching out to family members, friends, mutuals, alumni from your alma mater, or coworkers who might work in IT. Seeing what advice they have about breaking into the field, or learning how they got their job could help you navigate your own road into IT.

4. Go back to school.

If you have the time and resources to go back to school, it may be worth completing additional college courses that can help you become an IT technician. The majority of IT technicians in the UK joined the profession after completing college courses in computing or IT support. The Level 2 Certificate in ICT Systems Support and Level 3 Diploma in ICT professional competence are two common courses you can complete at college to boost your resume for IT technician jobs [2].

Getting Started in IT

Getting a head start as an IT technician—or an IT associate, or a help desk technician, or whatever it may be—can be simple. If you’re ready to get started but don’t know where to begin, take a look at the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. Learn job-ready skills in less than six months, all online. Plus, the first week is free.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “IT Technician Salaries in United Kingdom, https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/uk-it-technician-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN2_KO3,16.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed October 18, 2022.

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