You’ll install and configure computer systems, diagnose hardware and software issues, and troubleshoot technical and application problems over the phone or in person as an apprentice IT support technician.
You will cover one or more areas of expertise depending on the size of the organisation for which you work. For example, technical IT support staff are often divided into first and second-line support, with the second-line responding to more specialised inquiries that first-line support cannot handle.
Understanding how information systems work is just as vital as knowing how to use computer hardware or software.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- take details from customers about their IT problems
- find and fix faults
- track work in progress and record issues and solutions
- update online databases
- regularly check equipment like printers, projectors and IT networks
- set up new equipment and upgrade existing systems
- teach people how to use new software, face-to-face and online.
- Starting salaries in IT support range from £17,000 to £23,000.
- After gaining experience, it’s possible to progress to earnings of around £26,000 to £35,000.
- Technical support managers can earn over £40,000.
You will typically work 35 to 40 hours per week.
Due to the nature of the job, you may be forced to work shifts or be on call, and you may be expected to work outside of regular business hours to accomplish a task.
Part-time employment is uncommon in many major organisations due to long working hours, although it may be achievable in certain smaller businesses. Even though this market is shrinking, there are opportunities for self-employment in handling repairs and improvements for homeowners or small businesses.
Career breaks are unusual owing to the need to keep up with constantly evolving software and operating systems.
You could work in an office, at a client’s business or in a contact centre.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice IT support technician include:
Level 3 IT Solutions Technician – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent. This qualification takes 18 months to complete.
On an IT support technician apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- analytical thinking skills
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be flexible and open to change
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.
IT support technicians work for a variety of organisations, in both the public and private sector, including:
- software and equipment suppliers, including application service providers (APS)
- IT maintenance companies
- call centres
- retailing chains
- financial institutions
- education (schools, colleges, universities)
- local government
- health trusts.
You’ll get on-the-job training as well as short training seminars. In addition, accredited certification courses are often offered by IT expert training businesses recognised by IT vendors such as:
- Microsoft (for Windows)
- Cisco (for networking)
- Oracle (for databases)
These courses enable you to concentrate on specific technologies and gain in-depth knowledge and expertise.
Technology develops rapidly, and you must stay up to date on any advancements in hardware, software, and specialised system applications. Therefore, CPD (continuing professional development) is crucial. The organisations listed below provide a range of professional qualifications and CPD activities:
Self-learning also entails reading manuals and instructions, analysing online help screens, and rationally figuring things out.
Large organisations with extensive technology infrastructure may have many teams handling different areas of their operations. Therefore, pursuing a site dealing with more demanding technical settings is possible after gaining experience.
Another option is to take on the role of team or section leader. This involves guiding the work of support staff, planning regular maintenance, and eventually managing the firm’s whole operational support.
Self-employment as a contractor to large organisations is an option, but it is difficult to take since it demands you to keep current in so many different areas of IT.