Providing all manner of technical assistance to computer users is the basic job description of a computer lab assistant. The assistant monitors a computer lab and resolves computer problems or answers users’ questions.
A computer lab assistant provides lab users with assistance on hardware issues, installing and using software programs, printing documents and understanding and using certain operating systems.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Computer Lab Assistant
•Offers general consultations for people who are working or studying in the lab.
•Provides instruction to all lab users on proper use of all equipment.
•Consults supervisors on more difficult issues.
•Ensures that computer lab equipment is being cared for properly by users.
•Makes sure food and beverages are not consumed in close proximity to computers.
•Monitors files and programs that are downloaded on to the computers to make sure spyware, malware and other dangerous programs are not downloaded.
•Diagnoses hardware problems and fixes them or contacts the appropriate engineer to correct the problem.
•Files all reports required by the employer.
•Supplies reference materials to help users learn how to use particular programs.
•Conducts regular maintenance on the computers in the lab.
•Maintains inventory of supplies, places orders and records of maintenance activities.
•Performs regular software backups.
•Changes toner in printers, adds paper and otherwise ensures proper functioning of all printers in the lab.
•Sets up and shuts down the lab according to work hours.
•Guides lab users to safety in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Knowledge of computer systems, hardware and various types of software.
•Must have the ability to effectively provide instruction to lab users.
•Knowledge of how to operate, maintain and care for printers, projectors, scanners, speakers and other equipment used in conjunction with computers.
•Knowledge of tests that must be performed on computers to maintain optimal function.
•Must have excellent communication skills.
•Must have excellent reading comprehension skills.
•Must have exceptional complex problem solving skills.
•Must have strong organizational skills as well as effective time management abilities.
•Must have active listening skills.
•Must have excellent troubleshooting skills.
•Must be detail oriented.
•Must have excellent interpersonal skills.
Education and Experience
•High School diploma.
•Associate’s degree in Computer Technology from a technical or vocational school.
•Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or a related field.
•On-the-job training in the specific place of employment.
•Certification required by the employer.
•Time is spent primarily in a climate controlled lab setting.
•Time is spent looking at computer screens and operating a keyboard.
•Must have dexterity to manipulate a mouse and perform routine maintenance on computers and related equipment.
•Must be able to lift heavy objects like computer monitors, printers and hard drives.
•Must be able to work well in a fast-paced environment with occasional high levels of stress.
•Salaries range from $20,000 to $40,000 depending on the size of the lab and the complexity of the equipment.
•Salaries may exceed $40,000 depending on the level of education and the specific responsibilities.