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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
  • $62,805

    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 jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 4.6%
Cashier 3.1%
Specialist 2.9%
Consultant 2.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.3%
Manager 4.3%
Owner 3.0%
Specialist 3.0%

Business Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

63.0%

Male

35.7%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

80.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.5%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.7%

French

17.8%

Russian

8.9%

Chinese

6.7%

German

6.7%

Mandarin

4.4%

Polish

4.4%

Korean

4.4%

Portuguese

2.2%

Vietnamese

2.2%

Czech

2.2%

Dutch

2.2%

Hindi

2.2%

Latvian

2.2%

Croatian

2.2%

Gujarati

2.2%

Italian

2.2%
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Business Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.2%

Kaplan University

8.9%

Middle Tennessee State University

5.4%

Strayer University

5.4%

Michigan State University

4.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

Indiana Institute of Technology

4.5%

George Washington University

3.6%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

3.6%

Colorado Technical University

3.6%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.6%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.6%

Walden University

3.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.6%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.6%

University of San Francisco

2.7%

Southern Connecticut State University

2.7%

University of North Texas

2.7%

Ashford University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

37.7%

Marketing

6.2%

Management

5.7%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Computer Science

4.4%

Psychology

4.2%

Accounting

4.2%

Communication

3.9%

Project Management

3.7%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Finance

3.4%

English

2.5%

General Studies

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Economics

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.0%

Graphic Design

2.0%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Human Resources Management

1.7%

Public Relations

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.5%

Other

21.6%

Masters

17.2%

Associate

13.1%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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

QualityCustomerServiceProceduresBusinessSupportDataEntryFinancialDataComplianceEmailPurchaseOrdersPayrollWebInternalDepartmentsPhoneCallsHumanResourcesProjectManagementExpenseReportsTechnicalSupportTroubleTicketsSpecialProjectsBusinessCustomersBusinessProcesses

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Top Business Support Specialist Skills

  1. Quality Customer Service
  2. Procedures
  3. Business Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Handled the Live Chat function for registration questions to ensure quality customer service one partner at a time.
  • Follow IT outage escalation procedures, ensuring timely escalation and communications of all major/severe outages.
  • Provided business support to 10 members of HIV Life Cycle Team in a global marketing capacity.
  • Coordinate and execute physical inventory counts for 25 warehouses, data entry, investigate and reconcile discrepancies.
  • Managed high volume of complex financial data that required a high volume of accurate data entry and reconciliation

Top Business Support Specialist Employers