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Become An Application Support Specialist

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Working As An Application Support Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $123,076

    Average Salary

What Does An Application Support 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 Support 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 Support Specialist jobs

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Application Support Specialist Career Paths

Application Support Specialist
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Network Administrator Director Of Information
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Application Support Analyst Project Manager General Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Analyst Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Application Support Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Developer Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Developer Analyst Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Senior Consultant Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Help Desk Leader 3.0 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Production Support 2.7 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
MIS Assistant 2.7 years
Desktop Engineer 2.6 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Deployment Analyst 2.2 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Support 2.0 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 4.5%
Internship 3.2%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.6%

Application Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

61.3%

Female

36.4%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

78.0%

Hispanic or Latino

10.0%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

2.5%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.1%

Portuguese

5.5%

Chinese

5.5%

German

3.6%

Cantonese

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

French

3.6%

Italian

3.6%

Dutch

1.8%

Finnish

1.8%

Turkish

1.8%

Albanian

1.8%

Urdu

1.8%

Carrier

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Malayalam

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Mandarin

1.8%

Tamil

1.8%
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Application Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.3%

Strayer University

7.1%

Georgia State University

5.3%

Capella University

5.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

American InterContinental University

4.7%

University of Houston

4.7%

Western Governors University

4.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.1%

University of Maryland - University College

4.1%

Purdue University

4.1%

Northeastern University

4.1%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.6%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.6%

New York University

3.0%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.0%

Troy University

3.0%

University of Washington

3.0%
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Majors

Business

21.3%

Computer Science

13.8%

Computer Information Systems

11.6%

Information Technology

10.0%

Management Information Systems

5.0%

Computer Networking

4.2%

Information Systems

3.8%

Electrical Engineering

3.4%

Project Management

3.2%

Communication

2.9%

Political Science

2.7%

Computer Engineering

2.4%

Accounting

2.4%

Computer Programming

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Finance

2.0%

Marketing

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Management

1.8%

Mathematics

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.4%

Other

18.9%

Masters

16.2%

Associate

14.2%

Certificate

4.9%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

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

Real Application Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Nov 22, 2016 $165,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A New York, NY Jan 13, 2015 $150,000
Application Support Specialist Thomson Reuters Markets LLC New York, NY Feb 12, 2015 $150,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Nov 01, 2013 $150,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Oct 24, 2014 $150,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. New Castle, DE Dec 28, 2015 $145,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. New Castle, DE Aug 22, 2016 $145,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. Irving, TX Aug 22, 2016 $145,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Warren, NJ Oct 03, 2014 $144,500
Application Support Specialist HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 07, 2016 $140,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. Jersey City, NJ May 23, 2016 $136,578
Principal Application Support Specialist Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Marlborough, MA Jun 22, 2014 $133,900
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Tampa, FL May 24, 2013 $119,700
Application Support Specialist-Bi/Edw Titlemax of Georgia, Inc. Carrollton, TX Oct 19, 2016 $115,794
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Tampa, FL Jul 14, 2014 $115,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Tampa, FL Mar 31, 2015 $115,000
Application Support Specialist TMX Finance, LLC Carrollton, TX Jul 07, 2014 $115,000
Applications Support Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Sep 01, 2014 $115,000
Application Support Specialist Signature Commercial Solutions, LLC Libertyville, IL Feb 24, 2014 $114,670
Application Support Expert Vassit Services Us, Inc. Boston, MA Jan 10, 2016 $90,000
Application Support Specialist Tesla Motors, Inc. Fremont, CA Dec 09, 2016 $90,000 -
$100,000
Application Support Expert Amdocs Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 13, 2015 $90,000
Application Support Specialist BP America Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 01, 2015 $90,000
Applications Support Specialist II Liaison International LLC Watertown Town, MA Oct 26, 2016 $88,500 -
$103,500
Technical and Application Support Management Specialist II ADP Technology Services, Inc. Florham Park, NJ Mar 15, 2016 $87,298 -
$121,300
Application Support Specialist IBM India Private Limited San Francisco, CA Aug 24, 2014 $86,528 -
$95,181

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Top Skills for An Application Support Specialist

Pl/SqlProceduresApplicationSupportTechnicalSupportWebApplicationsCustomerServiceTroubleshootActiveDirectoryPCFinancialSetupEndUserSQLServerUnixSoftwareApplicationsCitrixManagementSystemSharepointCustomerSupportHelpdesk

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Top Application Support Specialist Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Procedures
  3. Application Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Researched and updated code using PL/SQL.
  • Contacted clients with open incidents in accordance with support procedures to provide incident status reports.
  • Contributed to Release Management Meetings from application support perspective.
  • Provide technical support for clients such as troubleshooting client issues connecting to the systems.
  • Perform Shake Outs (functional testing) for specified Web applications.

Top Application Support Specialist Employers

Application Support Specialist Videos

A Day in The Life - Applications Engineer

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