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How do I train for computer repair jobs?

Computer repair jobs and the training for them all start on the same basic path but very quickly branch off in more specialised directions. For a job in local computer repair shops, a few basic certifications will be sufficient to prepare for most problems. If the goal is a career as a repair or support technician though, more time and study are required.

General certifications

The basic starting point for all computer jobs are A+, net+, and Microsoft Certified Professional certifications. Study guides for these are readily available online or from any major bookstore. However, the actual certification tests need to be taken at a registered testing facility. A+ certification
The A+ certification covers basic hardware troubleshooting, repair, and replacement. Two or three weeks should be sufficient for most people to obtain this certification. Net+ certification
Net+ covers basic network technology, security, and repair. This certification will require three or four weeks to prepare for, unless the trainee already has a grasp of how IP addresses, sub netting, and wireless technologies work. Microsoft Certified Professional
Being certified as a Microsoft Certified Professional not only provides a strong grounding in the mechanics of navigating an operating system, but is the first step toward the more specialised career paths. Practice putting machines together and taking them apart will also provide experience and confidence.

Career options

At this point, the certifications begin to specialise, branching toward individual computer servicing or network administration and engineering. Computer repair
For basic computer repair work, the above certifications are a solid base and potential employers or a local testing center can be consulted for other job specific requirements. Network support and engineering
For careers in network support or engineering though, be it a help desk or an administration job, more training is required. Becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator and later a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer are baseline requirements for employment at this point. To set a resume apart though, adding Cisco or network security certifications is recommended.

Other things to consider

While every job is different, there are a few general requirements which need to be considered before starting a career in computers. Clean driving record and a criminal background check
Many local repair shops or support services will send a technician directly to a customer's home or office to repair their machine. Because of this, a clean driving record and, usually, a criminal background check are requirements for employment. Working as a freelancer
The option of working as a freelance computer repair technician, advertising locally and online, should also be considered. Degree holder
For network administration or engineering, a degree is a very common, though not a universal requirement. Jobs which require a degree will generally have a higher starting wage though.

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