Ask friends to fix their computers, BEFORE you apply anywhere, some places will have on the job training (which baffles me because IT technicians are already supposed to know )
the place i work at did not want me to have any certifications, they wanted to know if i could apply my knowledge in the real world (eg, they broke a computer in several places (hardware and software) and i had to repair it with very little details about the machine (get used to that)).
Yes i did get frustrated and i guarantee you will as well (ask almost any IT Tech/ IT Consultant happens a lot)
but eventually i fixed it, and then several more ( about 15 more with different issues) before they even considered me.
Some people say to get an A+ cert. which with today's technology might be moot.
I'd also get educated in power (circuits, diodes, capacitors, etc.)
I would recommend a degree but they only teach certain things pertaining to the specific degree, almost every one of our customers said they preferred someone that had experience (18 years and counting for me) over someone who had a cert. because they felt like i could give them other options to repair a device.
and most of all, be HONEST, even if it makes you sound bad they customer would much rather have you be honest.
if i cant fix anything there is no charge and i recommend someone that might be able too.
Synopsis: Ask your friends if you can fix their machines to get more experience (ALWAYS make a backup before you attempt repairs)
talk to your LOCAL computer store owners/employees ( please don't ask people like the geek squad, they only know certain things and your local store will most likely know more 9/10 times)
(((Will add more if i think of anything atm, got a few customers heading in atm)))