IT Assistant: Job Outlook, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an IT assistant. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certifications to find out if this is the career for you.

Information technology assistants provide computer and technology support for companies, whether that's installing a computer network or answering questions regarding the current computer network. Many employers look for applicants with a bachelor's degree in information technology, but those interested can also pursue certifications through various hardware and software vendors like Microsoft. This is a growing job market where those who find positions could earn a median salary of $62,250 a year in 2015.

Essential Information

Information technology assistants help install, operate, and maintain computer networks and communication systems. Many employers require a bachelor's degree in information technology, computer systems, or a related field, while others accept candidates with previous experience. Expertise in computer networks is a must, and certification through specific software or hardware vendors may also be required.

Required Education Varies; bachelor's degree in information systems, computer science, or related field is a standard requirement
Other Requirements Some employers may require certification through specific hardware or software vendors, such as Microsoft
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% (computer network support specialists)
Median Salary (2015)* $62,250 (computer network support specialists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

IT Assistant Job Outlook

Tremendous growth in computer networking and technology will spur the trend for IT assistants as more businesses and organizations upgrade computer systems. Demand for IT assistants in the fields of Web design and development, Internet hosting and security is expected to grow at a sharp pace as well. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts jobs for computer support specialists, or IT assistants, will grow by about 8% between 2014 and 2024. IT assistant jobs are entry-level positions that can lead to positions of greater responsibility, such as IT technician or network administrator. The BLS published the median annual salary earned by computer network support specialists as $62,250 in May 2015.

IT Assistant Job Duties

IT assistants are responsible for the installation, operation, and maintenance of computer systems and other technologies, such as communication systems. An IT assistant's duties include configuring hardware and software, setting up peripherals such as printers or routers, repairing equipment, and providing daily support for computer network users. Assistants may work at a help desk, answering calls and e-mails regarding the computer network or communication systems. They may also be responsible for writing reports, tracking inventory, evaluating new technologies, negotiating contracts with vendors, and developing contingency plans in case of network failure. IT assistants may also work in other technological specialties, such as Web design or Internet security.

IT Assistant Job Requirements

Qualifications vary depending on the job. Some employers require IT assistants to hold a bachelor's degree in information systems, computer science, or a related degree, while others require technical training coupled with experience. Certifications offered by certain hardware and software vendors, such as Microsoft, are generally beneficial. Knowledge of computer networking systems and computer hardware and is essential. IT assistants also troubleshoot network systems and computer hardware and make repairs when necessary.

Information technology assistants install, maintain and operate the computer network systems for businesses. While qualifications may vary, many will have bachelor's degrees in information systems, and must be knowledgeable about computer hardware and software. Within a department, these individuals may work from support desks or answering phone calls and emails, addressing any technological problems that arise within a company.

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