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Become An Application Specialist

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Working As An Application Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $83,965

    Average Salary

What Does An Application Specialist Do

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Duties

Computer network support specialists typically do the following:

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the routine maintenance of their organization’s networks such as performing file backups on the network. Maintenance can be performed daily, weekly, or monthly and is important to an organization’s disaster recovery efforts. Solving an IT problem promptly is important because organizations depend on their network systems. Network support specialists may assist the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks.

Computer user support specialists typically do the following:

  • Pay attention to customers’ descriptions of their computer problems
  • Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
  • Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  • Train users to work with new computer hardware or software, such as printers, word-processing software, and email
  • Provide other team members and managers in the organization with information about what gives customers the most trouble and about other concerns customers have

Computer user support specialists, also called help-desk technicians, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. They can usually help users remotely, but they also may make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies or for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use business-specific programs such as an electronic health records program used in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Sometimes they work with other technicians to resolve problems.

Other help-desk technicians work in call centers, answering simpler questions from non-business customers. They may walk customers through basic steps in re-establishing an Internet connection or troubleshooting household IT products such as a Wi-Fi router.

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How To Become An Application Specialist

Because of the wide range of skills used in different computer support jobs, there are many paths into the occupation. A bachelor’s degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough for others.

Education

Education requirements for computer support specialists vary. Computer user support specialist jobs require some computer knowledge, but not necessarily a postsecondary degree. Applicants who have taken some computer-related classes are often qualified. For computer network support specialists, many employers accept applicants with an associate’s degree, although some prefer applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

Large software companies that provide support to business users who buy their products or services often require a bachelor’s degree. Positions that are more technical are likely to require a degree in a field such as computer science, engineering, or information science, but for others, the applicant’s field of study is less important.

To keep up with changes in technology, many computer support specialists continue their education throughout their careers.

Certification

Certification programs are generally offered by vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge of and best practices required by computer support specialists. Companies may require their computer support specialists to hold certifications in the products the companies use.

Advancement

Many computer support specialists advance to other information technology positions, such as network and computer systems administrators and software developers. Some become managers in the computer support services department. Some organizations provide paths for support specialists to move into other parts of the organization, such as sales. For more information, see the profiles on network and computer systems administrators and software developers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic. They must often help people who are frustrated with the software or hardware they are trying to use.

Listening skills. Support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions to clarify the situation.

Problem-solving skills. Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them.

Speaking skills. Support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand.

Writing skills. Strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as real-time web chat interactions.

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Application Specialist jobs

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Application Specialist Career Paths

Application Specialist
Account Executive Sales Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Specialist Product Manager Senior Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Applications Analyst Senior Applications Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Product Manager General Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Applications Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Regional Sales Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Product Specialist Project Manager Senior Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
EDI Specialist 3.4 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Field Specialist 2.7 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Project Specialist 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Technical Advisor 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.5%
Consultant 5.3%
Manager 4.2%
Cashier 3.8%
Specialist 3.4%
Top Employers After
Consultant 9.1%
Manager 4.3%

Application Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

53.5%

Female

44.5%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

77.8%

Hispanic or Latino

10.8%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

2.3%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.6%

French

12.4%

German

5.4%

Portuguese

4.3%

Chinese

3.8%

Arabic

3.2%

Italian

2.2%

Mandarin

1.6%

Swedish

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Dari

1.1%

Russian

1.1%

Filipino

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Tagalog

1.1%

Persian

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Telugu

0.5%
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Application Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.4%

Northeastern University

6.9%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

5.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.9%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

DePaul University

4.4%

Villanova University

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.9%

Wayne State University

3.6%

University of North Texas

3.6%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

3.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.6%

Liberty University

3.6%

Strayer University

3.6%

University of Rhode Island

3.1%

University of Washington

3.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.1%

Temple University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

27.1%

Computer Science

11.3%

Computer Information Systems

7.4%

Information Technology

5.0%

Medical Technician

4.6%

Health Care Administration

3.8%

Marketing

3.7%

Management

3.6%

Biology

3.5%

Psychology

3.3%

Communication

3.2%

Finance

3.0%

Information Systems

2.9%

Accounting

2.8%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Management Information Systems

2.6%

Project Management

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Chemistry

2.3%

Education

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.7%

Masters

19.9%

Other

18.8%

Associate

11.0%

Certificate

4.6%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Application Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Application Specialist Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Feb 09, 2015 $205,000
Application Specialist Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $200,000
Advisory Application Specialist Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Middletown, NJ Aug 22, 2016 $165,000
Applications Specialist, Saas M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Associates, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 21, 2015 $150,000
Package Application Enablement Specialist IBM Corporation Atlanta, GA Aug 15, 2016 $145,000
Separation Product and Application Specialist ALFA Laval Inc. Richmond, VA Feb 26, 2015 $144,498
Separation Product and Application Specialist ALFA Laval Inc. Richmond, VA Jul 24, 2015 $144,489
Application Specialist-News and Research Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Dec 22, 2015 $140,500
Lead Data Informatics Application Specialist Carefirst of Maryland Inc. Baltimore, MD Mar 15, 2016 $136,635
Application Specialist San Diego County Credit Union San Diego, CA Jan 10, 2016 $134,325
Applications Specialist Selective Insurance Company of America Branchville, NJ Feb 06, 2015 $131,629
Applications Specialist Google Inc. New York, NY Jan 26, 2016 $130,000
Applications Specialist 2 IMS Health Incorporated Bensalem, PA Nov 15, 2016 $125,629
Applications Specialist 2 IMS Health Incorporated Collegeville, PA Sep 26, 2015 $100,360
Applications Specialist 2 IMS Health Incorporated Collegeville, PA Jul 05, 2015 $100,360
Web Application Specialist Selective Insurance Company of America Glastonbury, CT Sep 26, 2015 $100,000
Applications Specialist Vision Research, Inc. Wayne, NJ Aug 07, 2016 $100,000 -
$125,000
Web Application Specialist Selective Insurance Company of America Glastonbury, CT Aug 09, 2015 $100,000
Applications Specialist 3 IMS Health Incorporated San Francisco, CA Jan 01, 2016 $100,000
Technical & Applications Management Specialist IV ADP Technology Services, Inc. Roseland, NJ Oct 08, 2016 $97,822 -
$146,900
Application Management Specialist II The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Sep 06, 2015 $84,157 -
$120,000
ERP Applications Specialist Ascom Network Testing Inc. Reston, VA Jul 10, 2016 $84,000 -
$96,000
Consultant 1-Application Specialist Unisys Corporation Chantilly, VA Aug 15, 2016 $83,929
Data and Application Specialist Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey Red Bank, NJ Apr 04, 2016 $83,741 -
$103,626
Data and Application Specialist Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey Red Bank, NJ Jan 07, 2016 $83,741 -
$103,626
Product and Application Specialist Spectrasensors, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 09, 2015 $83,593
Lead Application Specialist Forever 21, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 01, 2015 $83,000
Lead Applications Specialist Broken Hill Proprietary (USA), Inc. Houston, TX Jul 12, 2016 $82,826

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Top Skills for An Application Specialist

ProductDevelopmentProceduresTechnicalSupportWebSQLServerCustomerServiceFinancialWindowsXPLabTroubleshootSetupDataEntryPhoneCallsProjectManagementERPManagementSystemTechnicalIssuesCustomerSupportApplicationSupportSuite

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Top Application Specialist Skills

  1. Product Development
  2. Procedures
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Engineer new product development and customize improvements of existing standard products through the evaluation of customer applications/specifications.
  • Document installation and configuration procedures for supported systems and applications.
  • Provide Technical support in software installation, customization Provide sales support in giving software demonstrations and presentations
  • Managed state regulated budges for numerous grants, and maintained internal and external statewide websites
  • Developed project plan and oversaw implementation task and functions SQL server base application for firm wide installations.

Top Application Specialist Employers

Application Specialist Videos

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A Day in The Life - Applications Engineer

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