Information technology (IT) administrator

What they do

Information Technology (IT) administrators manage an organisation's IT systems to ensure they operate effectively and efficiently. They may look after all parts of a system including hardware, software and network connections, or they may specialise in one area. IT administrators are generally responsible for updating software and equipment, running regular data backups, establishing system access and security procedures, testing new equipment and training other staff members. They troubleshoot and provide service support in diagnosing, resolving and repairing any faults they find in IT hardware and software to minimise the risk of major system failures and data loss.

Working conditions

IT administrators often work in offices. Many IT administrators are able to access the systems they administer, remotely - meaning they do not have to be alongside a system and may even be able to work from home. Computer systems are used by organisations operating in all industries throughout Western Australia. The majority of these workers are based in the Perth metropolitan region. However, there are still employment opportunities throughout the state. Hours of work can vary significantly, depending on the employer, however evening and weekend work is common, so that major system upgrades can take place without disrupting normal business operations.

Tools and technologies

IT administrators work with a variety of computer hardware and software. They need to be familiar with the various programs commonly used on the computer systems they look after. They also need to use Internet security software, such as firewalls, and maintain the system security by conducting regular scans using a number of anti-virus programs. In addition to personal computers, IT administrators will also work with an organisation’s server, printers and any other equipment connected to the IT system. They may also use external hard drives to back up data, minimising data loss in cases of system failure.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an IT administrator, you usually need to gain a qualification in information technology networking or computer systems technology.

However, it is possible to work as an IT administrator without a formal qualification. You will generally require at least five years of relevant work experience and/or relevant vendor certification that may substitute for a formal qualification.

The Diploma of Information Technology Networking and Diploma of Information Technology are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.

You can undertake a traineeship in information technology. The information technology (networking) (level 4) traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

You can also study a degree in information technology or computer science, or a degree in commerce with a major in business information systems or business information technology. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.