How to Become a Copier Technician in 5 Steps
Read about the education and certification options for a copier technician position. Get information about the employment outlook for this career and the kinds of companies that might hire you. Schools offering Computer Support Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is a Copier Technician?
Copier technicians are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of office equipment, including copy machines, fax machines and printers. They routinely travel to stores and offices for service calls, where they conduct tests to determine if equipment is functional and in good working order. If equipment isn't functional, they may consult with employees to obtain detailed information about a malfunction, disassemble equipment, identify the source of problems, repair or replace damaged components, reassemble equipment, reinstall software and test their repairs. Finally, they maintain records of each visit and the maintenance work performed.
Step 1: Develop Your Electrical and Mechanical Aptitude
Shop classes in middle school and high school provide a formalized setting in which to disassemble and reassemble motors and engines, and create basic electronic circuits from discrete components. High school physics courses teach you fundamental mechanical principles. Self-directed exploration can help you become familiar with hand tools and devices.
Step 2: Earn an Associate's Degree in Electronics
Most employers prefer to hire technicians who have an associate's degree in electronics, although you may be able to find entry-level positions with a certificate. Electronics programs are widely available from private schools and community colleges. Programs provide a background in electronics theory and lab courses that allow you to put theory into practice and experiment. Topics covered might include basic circuits, circuit design, digital logic and programmable controllers.
Step 3: Obtain Certification
While it isn't mandatory, certification can improve your chances of gaining employment. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers several credentials that establish your knowledge of electronics and electronic devices. CompTIA offers the CompTIA PDI+, which establishes your competence to service document imaging and printing devices.
ISCET certifications relevant to copier technicians include the associate level electronics CET, the Electronics Systems Associate (ESA) and the Customer Service Representative (CSR). The electronics CET exam covers basic electronics, transistors, DC and AC circuits, troubleshooting and mathematics. The ESA exam is a 4-part test covering AC circuits, DC circuits, semiconductors and digital logic. The CSR exam tests your knowledge of interpersonal communication, feedback and response, conflict resolution, ethical behavior and the legal obligations of service reps.
The CompTIA PDI+ certification exam tests your knowledge of print engines, scanning processes, color theory, networking, tools and basic electromechanical components. Professional behavior, customer service and safety are also covered as soft skills. CompTIA recommends that you have a background working with printers and copiers, but otherwise has no prerequisites for the exam.
Step 4: Obtain Employment
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 152,900 people worked as computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers in 2008. Employment in this category was projected to be about 146,200 by 2018. Specific figures for copier technicians weren't available.
Your potential employers include commercial equipment wholesalers, office supply retailers, electronic equipment repair services, and electronics and appliance stores. The increased reliability of copiers and other office equipment will diminish the need for technicians, thus limiting your opportunities when existing workers retire or change jobs.
Step 5: Advance Your Career
Your advancement options include broadening the range of devices you service, transitioning into customer service and sales, or establishing your own repair business. Further education at the bachelor's degree level may help with the first option. Transfer programs are available that allow you to apply your associate's degree credits towards a 4-year degree in electronics engineering or related subjects. If you establish your own business, additional courses in management, administration and marketing may improve your chances of succeeding.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: