As technology advances, businesses in Australia require a growing number of qualified individuals to maintain and deploy computer infrastructure and diagnose and fix technical problems in computer systems. As a result, the technology sector is a vital area of the Australian economy, contributing $167 billion annually.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital adoption significantly, forcing firms to embrace technology to survive. According to a McKinsey and Company study, digital transformation accelerated by as much as seven years. Additionally, over time, jobs in the technology sector have diversified away from Australia’s capital cities, allowing individuals from across the country to access high skilled roles and training opportunities.
Many companies are looking to recruit skilled IT Technicians. Successful IT Technicians possess both hard and soft skills. Hard skills include technical competencies such as coding, operating system knowledge, and hardware deployment experience. However, soft skills are equally necessary as technical competencies in the technology industry. For example, effective communication, organisation, flexibility, problem-solving and project management is also advantageous in securing a role in IT.
Typical Duties of an IT Apprentice
As an IT apprentice, you will learn about cloud computing solutions, migrate new technology, apply programming techniques, customise software packages for clients, use advanced computer applications and more. However, your specific duties will depend on the course you choose. For example, the duties of a Computer Technician Apprentice vary significantly from a Telecommunications Network Technician.
Typical Entry Requirements
It is possible to become an IT Technician without formal qualifications if you can demonstrate competency to an employer. However, most employers prefer individuals with the relevant skills and experience, usually gained by undertaking Certificate III, IV and Diploma qualifications.
Qualified IT Technician Average Wage
In Australia, the median full-time weekly salary of a non-managerial IT Technician is $1,498 before tax. However, salaries vary by state based on demand and skill level:
Sydney, New South Wales: AU$25.67 per hour.
Melbourne, Victoria: AU$25.31 per hour.
Brisbane, Queensland: AU$25.10 per hour.
Darwin, Northern Territory: AU$29.73 per hour.
Perth, Western Australia: AU$25.00 per hour.
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: AU$25.50 per hour.
Hobart, Tasmania: AU$32.41 per hour.
How to Become an IT Technician
To become an IT Technician, you should gain a qualification in the subject. For example, you may want to consider undertaking a Certificate III or IV qualification to gain the skills and experience required to succeed in an IT Technician role. Alternatively, if you possess an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate, you might want to consider undertaking a diploma in IT Technology.
How to Find and Get an IT Apprenticeship
The first thing to do is explore the Australian Apprenticeships website. There, you will find information about apprenticeship programs, apprentice rights and contact details of Australian Apprenticeship Network Providers.
Apprenticeship Network Providers help you find a suitable employer and a registered training organisation, both of which you will need to commence an apprenticeship. Additionally, Apprenticeship Network Providers will provide a legal contract for parties to sign and help you access financial support if you meet the eligibility criteria.
If you want to learn more about what you can expect from your chosen apprenticeship, the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website offers valuable advice and guidance.
There are several apprenticeships and diplomas to consider if you are interested in a career in IT:
Undertaking a Certificate III Computer Technician qualification will give you the skills and experience to work as part of an IT team and provide support by installing hardware, software, and operating systems. During training, you will develop critical thinking skills, give clients IT advice, and operate and care for IT hardware.
The apprenticeship will take around ten months to complete. You can learn more about the training involved in a Certificate III Computer Technician course here.
Telecommunications Network Technician
A Certificate III Telecommunications Network Technician qualification will enable you to assess optical and copper cabling network installation requirements. Additionally, you will plan and perform installations, test equipment, and diagnose faults. Training will involve identifying and fixing faults and weaknesses in telecommunication networks, as well as installing, testing, and certifying cabling.
49.7 per cent of Telecommunications Technicians gained a Certificate III or Certificate IV qualification to give them the skills to find employment in the industry.
The training will take approximately one year to complete. You can find the training summary for the Telecommunications Network Technician training here.
A Certificate IV Systems Programmer qualification will give you the skills and experience to install, debug, modify and maintain operating systems and computer applications. During training, you will identify emerging technologies, build user interfaces, test software, develop applications and automate processes.
The apprenticeship will take approximately 12 months to complete. You can find a summary of the training involved in a Certificate IV Systems Programmer qualification here.
Undertaking a Computer Programmer Diploma will give you the skills and experience to design, develop and test software programs and maintain operating systems. The role involves liaising with others to ensure IT projects meet business expectations. The course will involve leading a team, managing client issues, building advanced user interfaces, and monitoring and debugging applications to ensure they are working correctly. The training will take between 12 and 24 months to complete, and the sector is expected to grow very strongly over the next five years, meaning there will be plenty of job roles available.
You can learn more about the training involved here.
Start Your IT Career Today
Certificate III, IV and Diploma qualifications give you the relevant skills and experience to excel in the rapidly growing IT industry. To get started, visit the Australian Apprentices website. In addition, the Australian Apprenticeship Pathways website may help you if you require further assistance. There, you will find helpful resources, including aptitude quizzes to find your ideal work type, training descriptions and information about school-based apprenticeships.