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Become A Business Support Specialist

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Working As A Business Support Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Business 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 A Business 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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Business Support Specialist Career Paths

Business Support Specialist
Office Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Store Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Account Manager Business Development Manager
Business Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Project Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Supervisor Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Purchasing Manager Operations Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Store Manager Branch Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Service Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant General Manager Property Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Network Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Infrastructure Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Business Support Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Specialist 3.8 years
Senior Specialist 3.7 years
Specialist 2.6 years
Support Specialist 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Business Support Specialist
Cashier 6.1%
Internship 3.9%
Secretary 3.1%
Supervisor 3.1%
Specialist 2.9%
Manager 2.3%
Top Careers After Business Support Specialist
Cashier 4.8%
Consultant 4.3%
Specialist 3.5%
Owner 2.9%
Manager 2.9%

Do you work as a Business Support Specialist?

Business Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

59.0%

Male

31.3%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.6%

French

12.5%

Russian

7.1%

Chinese

5.4%

German

5.4%

Mandarin

3.6%

Polish

3.6%

Korean

3.6%

Portuguese

1.8%

Bulgarian

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.8%

Dutch

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Latvian

1.8%

Gujarati

1.8%

Croatian

1.8%
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Business Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

27.8%

Strayer University

7.2%

Kaplan University

6.7%

Indiana Wesleyan University

5.0%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

3.9%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.9%

Austin Community College

3.9%

University of North Texas

3.9%

Ashford University

3.3%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.3%

Walden University

3.3%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.3%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.3%

Montclair State University

3.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Iowa State University

3.3%

Michigan State University

2.8%

University of Connecticut

2.8%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

2.8%

University of Texas at Austin

2.8%
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Majors

Business

38.9%

Marketing

6.1%

Computer Science

5.9%

Accounting

5.4%

Management

5.3%

Health Care Administration

3.8%

Communication

3.7%

Finance

3.6%

Psychology

3.3%

Computer Information Systems

3.3%

Project Management

3.2%

General Studies

2.9%

Human Resources Management

2.2%

Education

2.0%

Political Science

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

Economics

1.7%

English

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Sociology

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.3%

Other

20.5%

Masters

15.7%

Associate

14.0%

Certificate

4.5%

Diploma

1.5%

License

0.2%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$57,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Business Support Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Business Support Specialist in the United States is $80,287 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $57,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $112,000.

Real Business Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Executive Business Support Specialist Microsoft Corporation Palo Alto, CA Nov 07, 2011 $105,840
Business Support-Sales Specialist Thomson Reuters U.S. Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2013 $97,210
Business Support Senior Specialist Sap America, Inc. Newtown, PA Dec 09, 2016 $92,667
Business Support Senior Specialist Sap America, Inc. Newtown, PA Jan 15, 2016 $90,052 -
$117,300
Business Support Specialist EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 04, 2010 $85,000
Business Support Specialist Sybase, Inc. Dublin, CA Apr 29, 2013 $80,562
Business Support Senior Specialist Sap America, Inc. Newtown, PA Aug 24, 2013 $75,000
Business Support Specialist Sap America, Inc. Newtown, PA Aug 24, 2016 $72,000
Business Support Specialist Sap America, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 18, 2016 $67,500 -
$114,660
Business Support Specialist Sap America, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Dec 30, 2016 $65,610 -
$111,330
R&M Business Support Specialist Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Oct 01, 2010 $60,000
Business Support Specialist HSBC Bank USA, N.A. New York, NY Sep 01, 2010 $55,680
Accounting & Business Support Specialist Vitrolife, Inc. Englewood, CO Jun 28, 2012 $55,000
Support Specialist-Business Intelligence (Cognos) The Ultimate Software Group Weston, FL Jan 18, 2010 $55,000
Financial Business Support Specialist Grady Development CO Nov 02, 2010 $51,716
Business & Techincal Support Specialist Key Items, Inc. New York, NY Oct 15, 2009 $51,215

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Top Skills for A Business Support Specialist

  1. Customer Service
  2. Procedures
  3. Financial Statements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Achieved high satisfaction percentage with a consultative, value-focused customer service approach.
  • Follow IT outage escalation procedures, ensuring timely escalation and communications of all major/severe outages.
  • Prepared adjusting and closing entries, statements, and analyzed financial statements as required.
  • Assisted the Business Support Manager in executing Merchandising and Merchandise planning functions.
  • Prepared Contracts for prospective timeshare owners using data entry software.

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Top 10 Best States for Business Support Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Alaska
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Jersey
  7. Colorado
  8. Connecticut
  9. Minnesota
  10. Virginia
  • (490 jobs)
  • (1,472 jobs)
  • (150 jobs)
  • (130 jobs)
  • (163 jobs)
  • (1,224 jobs)
  • (960 jobs)
  • (487 jobs)
  • (965 jobs)
  • (1,885 jobs)

Top Business Support Specialist Employers

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