5 Entry-Level IT Jobs to Kick-start Your Tech Career
There are plenty of great entry-level career options that will put you on the right path for a lucrative career in the IT field, but starting a new career, especially in the IT industry can seem a bit confusing at first. What position is right for you, what certifications do you need and what can you expect to make? Don’t worry; we’re going to answer these questions and make this a lot simpler.
Here are 5 entry-level IT jobs, certification requirements and the salary you can expect to make:
1. IT Support Specialist
IT support specialists are responsible for setting up, installing, and troubleshooting technology and software. They are also charged with upgrading, servicing, and maintaining all hardware and software for a company. The role may also involve managing a company’s smartphones and tablets in addition to any desktops or notebooks. As an IT support specialist, you will work closely with customers to offer training, solutions, and troubleshooting. You might also have to work with vendors and other clients, so you will need to have strong communication skills.
In order to become an IT support specialist, you will need at least a high school diploma as well as some previous technical experience. Some jobs may also require a two or four-year college degree or IT certifications like CompTIA A+ and Network+. Network plus certification will help most in this particular career.
The average salary for an IT support specialist is $45,126 per year, with a reported salary range of $30,104 to $65,129 per year.
2. Desktop Support Technician
Desktop support technicians are first in line when a problem arises with a company’s desktop computers. As a desktop support technician you will have to troubleshoot problems either in person or remotely and help restore the customer’s computer to working condition. You will be responsible for a range of tasks including configuring, testing, and troubleshooting network and wireless issues, setting up user accounts, and formatting and setting up desktop and laptop computers.
In order to become a desktop support technician, you will generally need a bachelor’s degree in IT or a related field. Some companies will hire employees who have a high school diploma or GED, as long as they have the right IT certifications like CompTIA Network+ and some related experience.
The average salary for a desktop support technician is $44,383 per year with a reported salary range of $29,470 to $58,988 per year. Desktop support technicians in Washington, DC report the highest average salary of $51,000 per year.
3. Help Desk Technician
A help desk technician is the person who diagnoses any technical problems for customers or colleagues. While they aren’t usually responsible for fixing the problem, a help desk technician will be able to discover the issue, so that the customer or colleague can have the issue fixed by another person in the IT department.
In order to become a help desk technician, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems management. However, some jobs may only require a high school diploma and a certification. For this CompTIA A+ and Network+ will do the job.
The average salary for a help desk technician is $38,078 per year, with a reported salary range of $25,163 to $50,675 per year. Help desk technicians in Washington, DC report an average salary of $48,000.
4. Computer Technician
Computer technicians often wear many hats in IT and most eventually branch off into specializations in the field. Computer technicians generally work independently, for a business or company, or in a computer repair shop. As a computer technician, you will need to be skilled in how a computer is built in order to diagnose and fix any hardware issues.
Most computer technicians start out with a similar education and a CompTIA A+ Certification. Once they begin working in the field, they will usually find a specialty such as networks, desktops, servers, and more and will obtain added certifications like Network+. Whether you choose from classroom training or Network+ online training you'll be happy you did.
The average salary for a computer technician is $37,426 per year, with a reported salary range of $21,483 to $52,996 per year. Computer technicians in Washington, DC report one of the highest average salaries of $50,000 per year.
5. Systems Administrator
Systems administrators are responsible for creating and maintaining computer systems and networks for a company. As a systems administrator you will be responsible for figuring out an organization’s needs in terms of networks and computers and then implementing that plan. It involves setting up computers and networks, maintaining the hardware and systems, and keeping software up to date.
There is no specific major for a systems administrator, but a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering will give you the groundwork you need. If you don’t have a degree, a series of IT certification can fill that gap. Usually, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security plus training along with Cisco CCNA training and Microsoft MCSA should do it. Since technology is constantly evolving, you will also need to continue your education throughout your career.
The average salary for a systems administrator is $57,086 per year, with a reported salary range of $37,564 to $81,020 per year.
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