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Interview with a Computer Technician

I am a computer technician in the music/retail industry and have worked in this field for the past 15 years. My job is to troubleshoot, develop and program websites. One common misunderstanding involving my field of work is that just because I am a computer technician, I am not solely working with computer hardware or even software.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rank my job an 8. At times, there can be a lot of pressure to get a certain job completed. My ranking would be higher if the end users would give me more information regarding the errors they experience because then I could get the problems solved more quickly and be less stressed.

I do enjoy working with computers. I feel that it is my calling to the extent that this is what I have been called to do, at least for the moment. If I could have more contact with internationals, or even be in another country, I think I could be in my true calling, but I'm content in what I do now.

I do not have a degree; everything I have learned in this field has been self-taught and experience-driven. In fact, when looking for a new job, I was passed over numerous times for people with degrees, when I got hired for my current position based on my experience. To be honest, I do think experience matters more in enjoying your work, than any degree could offer you, especially if you are doing what you love.

I became interested in how websites work and what went into making them and so I taught myself by looking at code. I do wish that I had more formal training at times, but I probably would not trade what I have learned through experience.

I have learned that simple is sometimes better than overly-complex. One can make something look good, but if it doesn't work, it is not worth it. I am constantly writing and rewriting code because it just needs to be simpler in order to properly get the job done on time.

The working world is not as forgiving as professors in the classroom may be. One mistake may cost you a job, whereas in class, it may only cost you a grade or having to take the class again. Be honest with your employers. If you mess up, be honest about it. Most employers will appreciate the honesty. If you attempt to cover it up, it can and will cost you. Schools do not teach you experience. If you are looking to get into a profession, try to build experience in that profession while still in school.

Other than to provide for my family, the reason I get up and go to work each day is because I enjoy helping people to get their equipment up and running so that they can perform their job functions.

When I started this job, I was stepping into a role in which my predecessor had been fired for not knowing what he was doing. I've had to rewrite nearly everything he did and that has been frustrating at times.

Deadlines are sometimes stressful and my boss does not always let us know what he is thinking, but I am allowed to work 8 hour days, and family is important to my boss. He is flexible with when I come in and when I leave and if I need time off.

The typical salary range for this position is about $45,000.  I do not have much vacation, but as I said, my boss is flexible with days I can take off.

When considering this field, a person should have a good sense of logic and math skills. Being able to think quickly and solve problems are good skills to have as well. If you want to go for education in this field, take some basic computer programming courses, but try to get a wide variety. Do not try to specialize unless you really do not see a need for other languages. Patience is another virtue; both with people and machines.

If a friend of mine was considering a career in computers I would tell him or her not to do it for the money. Be sure you love computer work and you are patient in dealing with people who may not be able to articulate the types of problems they may be having with their equipment.

In five years I would like to be working for myself, and maybe even have a crew of technicians.

This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry.  Visit to read about how to work smarter by improving your people skills on the job.

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