There are many different types of jobs in the computer hardware field If you like working with your hands and are interested in how computers and networks function, this may be the ideal profession for you.
Where to Look for Job Openings
Because there are so many different types of jobs working with computer hardware, searching for a position can require a significant amount of research. Many of the global corporations who hire for these types of positions post jobs on their websites. It's a good idea for you to make a list of the companies that interest you, so you can search for a careers page on each company's website.
There is also a possibility that the perfect job for you is with a company that you have never heard of before. To make sure that you find out about a wide variety of jobs related to the type of hardware work that interests you, it's a good idea to get in the habit of checking major regional, national, and international online job boards on a regular basis. Popular job boards include:
If you want to find employment working with computer hardware in your local area, you may want to consider registering with a reputable employment agency. It's also a good idea to check your local online or newspaper classified advertisements at least once each week to find out about available positions.
Types of Computer Hardware Jobs
It's important to understand that computer hardware jobs aren't "one size fits all." There are a variety of opportunities available and you should investigate each type of position to see which one appeals most to you.
Companies that make computers and related peripheral devices employ individuals to work in a manufacturing capacity. Intel, for example employs people to design and assemble microprocessors and other hardware components. Intel has positions available for experienced professionals, as well as for recent graduates and interns, around the world.
Companies that make and market computers to consumers and corporate customers employ individuals to manufacture their products. There are a number of major computer companies, each of which employs people to work in various types of jobs in computer hardware. You may also be able to find manufacturing positions in your local area with independent companies that custom-build computer systems for clients in the region.
Major computer companies who hire people for assembly and other types of hardware-related jobs include:
There are also opportunities to work with companies that make various types of peripheral hardware equipment. Examples of companies that hire for these types of positions include:
Computer Equipment Repair and Maintenance Jobs
There are numerous career options for individuals interested in using their computer skills to repair and maintain various types of computer hardware. Many major big box electronics retailers employ trained teams of computer repair professionals. For example, Best Buy hires Geek Squad agents to work in stores, provide telephone technical support and assist customers with in-home computer installation and repair.
In most areas, there are a number of independently owned companies that specialize in providing on-site computer repair services for individual and business clients. If working for a local computer repair firm interests you, it's a good idea to use the yellow pages or your local chamber of commerce directory to identify potential employers.
Corporate Job Opportunities
It's becoming more and more common for large companies to employ their own computer hardware specialists. If you are skilled in performing all types of tasks related to computer hardware, you may be well suited for corporate jobs in computer hardware. Organizations with more than 100 employees, as well as smaller businesses that are dependent on fully functioning computer equipment at all times often hire professionals to keep their equipment up and running.
Some of the different types of businesses and organizations likely to employee computer hardware professionals include:
- Call centers
- Local, state, and federal government agencies
- School systems
Qualifications for Jobs in Computer Hardware
Because there are so many different types of computer hardware jobs, qualifications may vary significantly. Some positions, such as those in research and development of emerging technologies, may require advanced degrees in computer engineering. At the opposite end of the spectrum, assembly jobs may require only minimal formal education or completion of an entry level certification requirement.
Computer Hardware Certifications
Professional certifications tend to be very important in the field of computer hardware. Comptia A+ certification is recognized as the industry standard vendor neutral certification for entry level computer professionals. Many employers won't consider candidates who do not have an A+ certification for employment, regardless of earned degrees or other credentials.
Additional IT certifications beneficial for individuals interested in pursuing computer hardware careers include:
- Certified Novell Engineer
- Cisco Certified Network Administrator
- Microsoft Certified Professional
Those interested in earning professional certifications in computer hardware can benefit from attending certification boot camp programs or taking online certification preparation courses.
Beginning Your Job Search
Before you start looking for a job, spend some time thinking about the type of work environment that appeals to you the most. For example, if you will not enjoy working on an assembly line, you will probably not like working in computer manufacturing. If you aren't comfortable working in a retail environment or going into people's homes, a position with the Geek Squad isn't likely to be your ideal job. Fortunately, there are opportunities for computer hardware professionals in a wide variety of settings. You can target your search more effectively when you have a clear picture of the type of environment in which you want to work.