In this post I want to discuss how to get a data center technician job because I do meet people who want to get one of these jobs but aren’t sure how. This guide will work for individuals who already work in IT or are switching to a IT career. By following these steps and putting in the work you can land an entry-level data center technician job.
How To Get A Data Center Technician Job: Get Good At Hardware Installation & Troubleshooting
The first step on how to get a data center technician job is to learn hardware installation and troubleshooting, or improve that skill-set if you already have it. The reason this step is important because one of the daily tasks is to install hardware inside servers like hard drives or memory. Or you may have to upgrade a server’s hardware to fit a customer’s needs. Thus you need to know how to safely install and remove all types of hardware components.
A great way to learn this is to build a computer from scratch. Now I know this move requires individuals to spend money but learning isn’t free. To save some money I suggest buying a refurbished computer from a store or online and buying refurbished computer parts. Going this route can save a considerable amount. And if you mess up installing or removing hardware at least you did so on an older computer.
The second part of this step is to learn or improve your hardware troubleshooting skills. Depending on the location you may have to troubleshoot server troubles yourself and determine the faulty part. Or a senior technician may do the initial troubleshooting and leave the rest up to you. Either way I suggest interested individuals learn how to diagnose faulty hardware. YouTube videos cover this in detail, or you can read troubleshooting documentation from computer part manufacturers. I do consider hardware troubleshooting an art and it takes a good amount of time to become good at.
How To Get A Data Center Technician Job: Consider Certification
A good way to get your foot in the door is to consider getting an IT certification. I highly suggest an entry-level tech have the CompTIA A+ Certification. This entry-level certification is good for all types of jobs, including those in the data center. To get the certification one has to study and pass two exams. Each exam is currently $246 USD. Yes, I know that can be expensive for some but you must look at the return on that investment. If you spend let’s say $600 on the exams and study material and land a job paying you $10,000 more than your previous salary that’s a great return!
In addition to the A+ Certification I highly suggest individuals get the CompTIA Server+ Certification. I have this certification because CompTIA paid me to take the beta exam of the improved Server+ back in 2020. There is only one exam to take and the cost of $358 USD.
Final Step: Apply for Vendor-Neutral Data Centers
My final step on how to get a data center technician job is to apply for jobs at vendor-neutral data centers. These are properties not tied to a particular company like Google or Apple. The reason I suggest this because these jobs are easier to get than trying to get a position at a Google or Apple data center.
Also, getting a job at a vendor-neutral data center will broaden your experience. You’ll get to do more than swap faulty hardware all day. The team will give you tasks like running Ethernet or fiber cables between racks, going underneath elevated flooring to plug in Power Distribution Units (PDUs), and teach you how to monitor the health of the servers and the facility’s cooling (along with its generators).
So who are some vendor-neutral data centers you can consider? Here’s a short list: