How Do I Become a Data Center Technician?

Jeremy Laukkonen

Most data center technician jobs require you to have some combination of education, experience, and certifications, so there are a few ways to go about starting this type of career. It is typically possible to become a data center technician with no formal education if you have a strong understanding of technology, and can obtain the necessary certifications. The best way to go about this is typically to study computer networking on your own, and then apply for an entry level data center job. It is also possible to become a data center technician by earning a two or four year degree in networking. Each data center company has its own hiring requirements, and some emphasize experience over education, while some are the other way around.

Data center technicians should be familiar with telecommunications equipment.
Data center technicians should be familiar with telecommunications equipment.

Data center technicians perform a wide range of duties related to computers and networking. They are typically responsible for the day to day operation of the technology within data centers, and may install, diagnose, and repair various hardware components, software, and cabling. Entry level data center technician positions are sometimes limited to installation work, and may receive some on-the-job-training, while senior technicians often deal with both hardware and software, and typically need a great deal of experience. Data center technicians are often on call around the clock, and may be called on to fix critical issues at any time of day or night.

A data center technician may monitor and evaluate servers.
A data center technician may monitor and evaluate servers.

The position of data center technician is a highly technical job, so you need to have an excellent understanding of computer hardware, software, and networking to excel in this type of career. If you want to become a data center technician, then you typically have a few different options. Many data centers emphasize experience and certifications over traditional education, so it is often possible to get an entry level data center job, and work your way up. After you have enough hands on experience, and have earned some certifications, you may be able to become a data center technician.

Data center technicians handle tasks including running new cable and upgrading or installing new equipment.
Data center technicians handle tasks including running new cable and upgrading or installing new equipment.

Another option is to attend a two or four year educational program in networking or another similar subject matter. Some data centers require this type of education, or an equivalent amount of work experience, so you may be able to get a job as a data center technician after graduation. In some cases, you will need some work experience as well though, so an internship while you are still in school can also help you become a data center technician. If you want to progress into the supervisory or management side of the business, a bachelor's degree is sometimes also a requirement for those data center technician jobs.

Data center technicians must be familiar with the tools, such as cable testers, that are used to maintain networks.
Data center technicians must be familiar with the tools, such as cable testers, that are used to maintain networks.

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