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Become An Automation Specialist

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Working As An Automation Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $83,775

    Average Salary

What Does An Automation 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 Automation 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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Automation Specialist Jobs

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Automation Specialist Career Paths

Automation Specialist
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Consultant Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Engineer Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Specialist Field Service Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Senior Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Lead
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Automation Engineer Quality Assurance Lead Senior Consultant
Senior Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Specialist Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Owner Estimator Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Specialist Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Automation Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.1 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Senior Specialist 3.7 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 5.0%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.8%
Owner 6.0%
Supervisor 3.6%

Do you work as an Automation Specialist?

Automation Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

74.3%

Female

23.8%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.3%

Russian

11.1%

Bulgarian

8.9%

French

8.9%

Portuguese

4.4%

Carrier

4.4%

Vietnamese

2.2%

German

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%
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Automation Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.9%

Florida State University

7.9%

Wayne State University

5.9%

University of Houston

5.9%

Arizona State University

5.0%

Bristol Community College

5.0%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

American InterContinental University

5.0%

University of Memphis

5.0%

University of Alabama

4.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.0%

Madison Area Technical College

4.0%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

4.0%

Johnson & Wales University

4.0%

A-Technical College

4.0%

DePaul University

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

3.0%

Angelo State University

3.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Bayamon

3.0%
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Majors

Business

21.2%

Electrical Engineering

20.4%

Computer Science

8.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.2%

Mechanical Engineering

4.9%

Marketing

4.9%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Management

3.5%

Information Technology

3.3%

Industrial Technology

2.9%

Mechatronics And Robotics

2.5%

Education

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Music

2.1%

General Studies

1.9%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Finance

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.9%

Chemical Engineering

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.4%

Other

23.1%

Associate

15.6%

Masters

14.5%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Automation Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Port Automation Specialist Moffatt & Nichol Long Beach, CA Sep 17, 2014 $180,000 -
$220,000
Principal Project Automation Specialist Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Sep 09, 2016 $170,456
PD&P Automation Specialist Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 10, 2016 $168,000
Principal Project Automation Specialist Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Jun 23, 2014 $142,000
PD&P Automation Specialist Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 09, 2015 $138,000 -
$202,200
Practice Automation Specialist Cooley LLP Palo Alto, CA Apr 04, 2016 $128,267 -
$146,090
Automation Specialist Triad Control Systems, LLC Baton Rouge, LA Apr 01, 2014 $125,000
Automation Specialist Triad Control Systems LLC Baton Rouge, LA Jul 05, 2016 $125,000
Construction Automation Specialist Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 02, 2015 $117,756
Marketing Automation Specialist Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Sep 19, 2016 $110,000
Software Automation Specialist Crown Equipment Corporation New Bremen, OH Jul 03, 2016 $102,300 -
$153,500
Marketing Automation Specialist Xylem, Inc. Rye Brook, NY Sep 22, 2015 $95,000
Automation Specialist High Sierra Pools Inc. Arlington, VA Sep 18, 2016 $81,915
Automation Specialist High Sierra Pools Inc. Arlington, VA Feb 05, 2016 $81,915
Marketing Automation Specialist Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA Apr 15, 2015 $80,746 -
$90,746
Automation Specialist II Prime Controls, L.P. Houston, TX Aug 06, 2015 $80,000
Automation Specialist II Prime Controls, L.P. Houston, TX Jun 08, 2015 $80,000
Automation Specialist Datarealm Solutions Inc. Detroit, MI Sep 25, 2015 $80,000
Test Automation Specialist IBM India Private Limited Middletown, NJ Jul 04, 2013 $69,742
Test Automation Specialist IBM India Private Limited Southfield, MI Jul 27, 2016 $68,702
Test Automation Specialist IBM India Private Limited Middletown, NJ May 07, 2014 $68,557 -
$70,554
Test Automation Specialist Tata Consultancy Services Limited Cleveland, OH Sep 25, 2016 $67,700
Practice Automation Specialist Cooley LLP Palo Alto, CA Jan 04, 2016 $67,642 -
$80,000
Test Automation Specialist IBM India Private Limited Cary, NC Jun 03, 2015 $67,371
Automation Specialist AES Corporation Chandler, AZ Oct 01, 2011 $67,100

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Top Skills for An Automation Specialist

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  1. PLC
  2. Computer
  3. HMI
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Help locate bottlenecks and engineer out restrictions using PLC programming changes to increase manufacturing productivity.
  • Provided technical support for installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of computer network and associated assemblies.
  • Design, order, assemble, and wire all electrical components for the electrical cabinet, HMI, and interfacing equipment.
  • Provide loss data analysis for catastrophe teams & projected departmental technology budget.
  • Provided technical support for manufacturing operations and served as shift computer technician in support of manufacturing operations.

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Top 10 Best States for Automation Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Alaska
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Minnesota
  7. Virginia
  8. Colorado
  9. Connecticut
  10. Texas
  • (550 jobs)
  • (1,145 jobs)
  • (118 jobs)
  • (102 jobs)
  • (139 jobs)
  • (782 jobs)
  • (1,873 jobs)
  • (719 jobs)
  • (342 jobs)
  • (2,417 jobs)

Top Automation Specialist Employers

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