Computer technicians work in a variety of settings, encompassing both the public and private sectors. Because of the relatively brief existence of the profession, institutions offer certificate and degree programs designed to prepare new technicians, but computer repairs are frequently performed by experienced and certified technicians who have little formal training in the field like private sectors 
Private sector computer repair technicians can work in corporate information technology departments, central service centers or in retail computer sales environments. Public sector computer repair technicians might work in the military, national security or law enforcement communities, health or public safety field, or an educational institution. Despite the vast variety of work environments, all computer repair technicians perform similar physical and investigative processes, including technical support and often customer service. Experienced computer repair technicians might specialize in fields such as data recovery, system administration, networking or information systems. Some computer repair technicians are self-employed or own a firm that provides services in a regional area. Some are subcontracted as freelancers or consultants. This type of computer repair technician ranges from hobbyists and enthusiasts to those who work professionally in the field.
Computer malfunctions can range from a minor setting that is incorrect, to spyware, viruses, and as far as replacing hardware and an entire operating system. Some technicians provide on-site services, usually at an hourly rate. Others can provide services off-site, where the client can drop their computers and other devices off at the repair shop. Some have pickup and drop off services for convenience. Some technicians may also take back old equipment for recycling. This is required in the EU, under WEEE rules.