A computer hardware technician is typically responsible for physically installing, maintaining, and repairing various types of computer systems. This type of position is related to the use of hardware, which refers to the physical components of a computer system such as hard drives, monitors, networking cables, and server mainframes. The basic responsibilities of a computer hardware technician typically begin with the initial installation of hardware and other computer devices that are part of a larger system. Once these components are installed and connected, then a technician usually ensures they continue to run properly and makes repairs when necessary.
One of the most important responsibilities a computer hardware technician has is the installation and set up of computer systems. This can be anything from building a custom computer for a company using a motherboard, processor, random access memory (RAM), hard drive, and other components to setting up a network for a business. While some software installation may be required, a computer hardware technician does not necessarily have a background in software development or repair. As new components are purchased or need to be introduced to an existing system, then the technician can provide further services to install those devices into the system.
Once a computer system has been set up for a company, then a computer hardware technician typically provides maintenance services for that company. If hardware needs to be cleaned or have maintenance software ran on it on a regular basis, then the technician may be responsible for providing those services. Such software is typically quite standard and easy to use, however, and a computer hardware technician does not tend to create custom software or run testing software for network security. As upgrades become available or necessary for the components within a system, the technician may also suggest such upgrades or provide information on upgrading an entire system.
A computer hardware technician is also typically responsible for any repairs that may be necessary due to failed hardware within a system. In the past, this would often include internal repairs for devices such as printers, hard disk drives, and other electronic devices. As technology has improved, however, it has become cheaper and easier for many devices to simply be replaced rather than repaired. A computer hardware technician may still be responsible for repairing overall systems, by replacing certain internal components, but repairs to physical devices have become less common and have created a decline in hardware technician jobs within various industries.