IT Solutions Technician (Hardware) Overview
Apprentices develop into the role of an IT Hardware Solutions Technician, supporting the successful development, implementation and maintenance of complete IT solutions such as servers and networks (fixed or mobile)
Apprentices will be taught to apply a professional methodology or framework to gather and analyse requirements; to design, develop, test, and implement IT solutions and to provide ongoing support both directly to end users and for the underlying IT services.
The specific tasks undertaken vary depending on what needs to be achieved by the team at any particular time. Some tasks may be very technical, others may be more analytical, business or user focused.
Successful IT Solutions Technician (Hardware) apprentices go on into roles such as IT Solutions Technician, Technical Analyst, Junior Support Analyst, IT Support Analyst, Systems Analyst, IT Technical Support, IT Systems Support Technician, Junior DevOps Professional, IT Service Desk or Technical Service Support (at 2nd, 3rd or 4th line support)
Upon completion of their IT Software Solutions Technician apprenticeship, individuals will be able to:
- Apply a professional methodology or framework in their work tasks.
- Execute appropriate due diligence, including formal testing or validation
- Apply a range of technical IT skills, including: accessing remote systems; file manipulation; file editing, changing system or application settings; system administration; setting up and upgrading components (infrastructure or software);
- Operate in line with organisational polices, standards, legislation, security requirements, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality; and understands escalation policies.
- Create and maintains documentation in accordance with best practice, organisational guidance and legislation.
- Identify appropriate technical solutions using both logical and creative thinking.
- Diagnose and understands client requirements and problems using sound analytical and problem solving skills
- Communicate effectively in a variety of situations including formal and informally both within their team and externally.
- Operate securely across all their areas of responsibility, in line with organisational guidance and legislation
- Work at any stage of the hardware solution lifecycle.
- Undertake maintenance of a range of contemporary or legacy hardware solutions to required levels of service.
- Install and configures basic hardware system components, networks and devices (including servers, end-user computers, and mobile devices, whether physical or virtual) as required.
- Demonstrate safe application of the concepts of Electro Static Discharge (ESD) and meets appropriate health and safety standards when working with hardware
Technical Knowledge and Understanding
Upon completion of their IT Software Solutions Technician apprenticeship, individuals focusing on the technical side will be able to understand:
- the stages within the overall solution lifecycle.
- the main principals, features, differences and benefits of Waterfall and Agile type methodologies and the function of service management frameworks.
- the aims and benefits of DevOps approaches; including the benefits of automation, the ideas behind continuous integration and monitoring.
- the principles of Solution Architecture including the importance of re-use.
- why testing is necessary, the need for both functional and non-functional testing, the different types of testing available, including unit testing, integration testing, user acceptance testing and performance testing.
- planning and delivery within their role and how this contributes to the wider team and the organisation.
- how the end-user context influences the solution.
- the key features of, and where to find, organisational requirements in relation to policies, standards, legislation, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality.
- the main legislation, policies and standards that apply to IT solutions.
- the concepts of networking including the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) and TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) network stacks, Ethernet LANs (Local Area Networks), IP addressing, Port numbers, DNS (Domain Name System), DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), and the principals of routing between LANs and WANs (Wide Area Networks).
- the different types of network devices, routers and network switches, their relationship to the stack model and the use of firewalls.
- the main components within an IT Solution including how hardware and software components work together
- the main components of a computer system and their purpose, including servers, end-user computers, and mobile devices (both physical and virtual), user interfaces, CPUs, storage and connectivity.
- the purpose of an Operating System.
- the concepts of Cloud, Cloud Services and storage.
- how their work contributes to business performance, continuity and resilience.
- the main trends in emerging technologies - including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and automation - and the potential implications for digital activities.
- the necessary numerical skills including Binary and Hexadecimal.
- why cyber security is essential as part of the delivery of any solution
- the importance of working securely and the main classifications of types of threats and common mitigation practices.
- the meaning of risk in the context of security and can explain the relationship between levels of risk, impact, and designed level of protection in IT Solutions.
- the role of configuration management and version control systems and when they should be used.
- the concepts of virtualisation.
- the use of different platforms (including web, mobile, or desktop applications).
- the concepts of relational databases, non-relational structured and unstructured databases.
- the concepts of solutions development to a given set of requirements, including the use of standard approaches for web and cloud-based solutions.
- the benefits of and requirements for vendor support including commercial cloud offerings
- the principles of Solution Architecture as applied to hardware.
- the advantages and disadvantages of different types of hardware configurations.
- a range of cabling and connectivity.
- the concepts of standard builds.
- the concepts of mobile data, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G and wifi and the security implications of such solutions.
- different types of storage including locally attached, SAN (storage area network) and networked, and the concepts of RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Discs) and knowledge of RAID levels.
- requirements when working with electro static sensitive equipment (including personal grounding devices) and when working in a server room or data centre and when handling equipment.
- how to install, configure and test hardware components, networks and devices – including servers, end-user computers and mobile devices.
- the need to follow a logical approach and how to ensure connectivity within solutions.
Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours
- Works professionally and independently, taking responsibility and initiative as appropriate
- Demonstrates standard business courtesies and professional ethics in how they work
- Demonstrates a productive and organised approach to their work
- Works effectively with customers, clients and users.
This is a level 3 apprenticeship
The duration of this Firebrand apprenticeship is 16 months. Because this period involves both training and the final End Point Assessment (some of which must be carried out in the workplace), employers need to ensure the apprentice’s contract covers the full programme duration.