A computer repair specialist troubleshoots, configures and installs computer hardware, software and operating systems. He or she may provide services for one company, work as an independent contractor for multiple companies or own his or her own business. To become a computer repair specialist, you usually will need a high school diploma and knowledge of computer hardware, software, operating systems, networking and printers. An associate's degree from a career or technical school and a professional certification related to computer repair also are helpful to get your first job in the field. If you desire eventually to advance to a computer networking, security, systems design or database management position, then you may benefit from a bachelor’s degree with a technical leaning.
To become a computer repair specialist, you will need at least a high school diploma. Some employers prefer to hire repair specialists who hold an associate's degree related to computer repair, and more advanced technology jobs often require a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer engineering or computer information systems. A popular professional certification that employers desire is the A+ certification offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association® (CompTIA®). The certification covers the basics of computer hardware and software and teaches you how to properly troubleshoot, repair and install computer components.
You will need to be knowledgeable in many areas of technology to become a computer repair specialist. In addition to fixing a computer’s internal components and installing software, you may work with printers, digital cameras, mobile devices and external storage devices. Some employers require computer repair specialists to back up data, create system images, restore lost data and secure systems. Basic network troubleshooting and configuration are other common tasks and require you to work with modems, routers, switches, cabling and network interface cards. If your company provides services to users at multiple locations, then you may use remote desktop tools to fix problems remotely.
Many entry-level jobs exist in the computer repair field, especially if you plan to offer repair services as an independent service provider. To become a computer repair specialist in a large company, you may need a year or two of experience troubleshooting and repairing computers. A candidate with a college degree and computer certification may have an advantage if he or she lacks the required work experience. A help desk position also is a good stepping stone to gain experience in this field and can lead to more advanced jobs in computer hardware, networking, security, database management or programming.