What’s a Data Center Technician?

In the world of tech, software development gets a lot of attention, but there are many jobs in tech that don’t involve writing software. In previous Careers articles, we’ve looked at several non-development jobs in tech, such as community manager and IT support specialist

Here we’ll look at the duties and responsibilities related to another key tech role: data center technician.

What Does a Data Center Technician Do?

“Data center technicians provide an array of technical support,” says CompTIA. “They help ensure that the servers are consistently running smoothly, but when they’re not running smoothly, data center technicians help problem-solve and determine resolutions to avoid major downtime. With the virtual nature of data centers, security, reliability and availability are of utmost importance.”

A data center technician’s job responsibilities, says CompTIA, typically include the following:

  • Monitoring the health and performance of servers by performing routine assessments
  • Installing and updating server components based on diagnostic reports
  • Reacting and responding to potential network and server issues in a timely fashion
  • Documenting processes and managing activity logs

This article from TRG Datacenters describes some everyday duties of the role. For example, it says, a technician’s day starts with a debrief of the previous shift. A typical debrief will cover “if anything went wrong, if we answered any customer tickets, which tickets were solved, which were still in progress, and those that haven’t been worked on.” 

Other priorities include checking the activity logs and doing a complete walkthrough. “A walkthrough is essentially a check of every part of the facility to make sure everything is running fine,” the article explains. And it’s the data center technician’s job to notice anything outside the norm.

Skills and Salary

The recommended skills and experience for this role vary by employer, but according to Betterteam, typical job requirements include the following:

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or similar. CompTIA Server+, CompTIA Network, or CCNP certification would be advantageous.
  • In-depth knowledge of servers and network equipment
  • Extensive experience in installing, monitoring, and maintaining data center equipment
  • Exceptional ability to work as part of a team, provide IT support, and resolve errors
  • Proficiency in documenting network processes
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Willingness to respond to network and server errors after hours

A job listing for an Amazon Web Services data center technician also mentions: 

  • Hands-on technical troubleshooting experience and a proven ability solving complex problems
  • Strong technical knowledge of fiber optics, networking equipment, cabling, and TCP/IP networks
  • Excellent knowledge of server hardware
  • Excellent knowledge of Linux, UNIX administration
  • Excellent prioritization and time management

According to Comparably, the salary range for data center technicians in the United States is $47,460 to $124,090, with the average annual salary estimated at $66,771, per Glassdoor. Related job titles in this field include data center administrator, data center operator, rack and stack technician, and server technician.

If you enjoy the challenge of configuring and monitoring server hardware and troubleshooting issues, the job of data center technician may be right for you.

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