What’s it all about then?
As an IT Technician you’ll be sorting out software and hardware issues for your company’s computer users.
You’ll identify and diagnose computer problems, monitor company IT systems, set up equipment, and ensure that everything works as it should.
You’ll be one of the company experts in all aspects of IT usage and everyone will be relying on you to ensure that their issues are resolved as quickly as possible.
What might I be doing?
The exact role varies from company to company but will likely involve most or all of the following:
- Diagnosing and repairing reported faults
- Repairing equipment, including printers and scanners
- Upgrading company IT software and hardware
- Servicing equipment and troubleshooting to ensure optimum performance
- Recording all issues to identify patterns of problems
- Installing new equipment and systems and training staff accordingly
- Making suggestions for improvements to working practice in the use of IT
- Administering and updating policies and procedures regarding IT
- Maintaining backups of all important information
- Ensuring that company IT security procedures are fit for purpose
- Dealing with external customers and suppliers
What will be expected of me?
As an IT Technician in a Food Manufacturing company you’ll have to have a wide knowledge of computer operating systems and also know loads about networking, hardware and software.
You’ll have to be familiar with all of the company IT systems and procedures because your ultimate responsibility is to ensure that these function smoothly.
As well as the technical knowledge you’ll be expected to be able to work under pressure, particularly when problems arise that need to be sorted out urgently.
And of course you’ll have to be able to explain the solutions to problems to non-technical staff which means a good command of language and the ability to communicate effectively to everyone with whom you come into contact.
Although you’re likely to be part of a team of IT specialists there may be occasions when you have to work by yourself (for instance covering shifts) so you must be motivated to keep busy.
What can I expect?
You’ll work 37-40 hours a week, although many companies work shifts and weekends so you may have to be on call or employed specifically to cover non-office hours.
You’ll likely be based at an office, but a lot of your time will be spent in other departments within the company.
As well as this the job might mean that you spend time on different company sites, or with external suppliers or customers.
What about the pay?
The salaries vary from company to company and from sector to sector, but IT specialists are required by practically every employer; this means that you will be likely to be well paid.
Many IT technicians will start on a salary of £18,000 to £22,000 and, as you gain experience and expertise this will rise towards £30,000.
Please note that these figures provide you with a guideline only and some employers will pay more than others for a similar job.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
There are loads of qualifications you could consider which will provide you with enough knowledge to start off as a trainee IT Technician.
Some examples that might interest you are as follows:
- Foundation Degree in Computing/ and Network Systems
- Level 3 extended diploma in IT
- Level 2 BTEC diploma in computing
- Certificate in ICT systems support level 2
You could also consider an Apprenticeship in an IT related subject which will provide you with paid employment as well as qualifications.
What about further training?
The IT sector is one which changes extremely quickly so you’ll need to keep developing your skills as you progress upwards in your career.
You should check out what’s available in the local colleges and universities and take some further training – for instance if you start with an Apprenticeship, why not consider a foundation degree or honours degree?
Or, if you commenced working in IT as a graduate then why not consider a masters degree?
Finally you could consider membership of a body such as the Chartered Institute for IT which provides you with a progression route to follow in your career, as well as other benefits.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, the role of IT Technician is one which is vital to the effective running of any manufacturing facility and food is no different in this respect.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that food manufacturing doesn’t need IT specialists – in fact the sector is one of the biggest employers of IT people in the UK!