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Working As A Computer Consultant

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $97,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer Consultant 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 Computer Consultant

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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Computer Consultant Career Paths

Computer Consultant
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Team Leader Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Analyst Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Test Engineer Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Desktop Support Technician
Senior Desktop Support Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Business Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Service Desk Analyst Service Desk Supervisor
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Level Senior Technician
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Desktop Support Technician Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Computer Analyst 3.4 years
Computer Engineer 3.2 years
Computer Assistant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Computer Consultant
Consultant 6.6%
Internship 5.8%
Programmer 4.6%
Cashier 3.6%
Top Careers After Computer Consultant
Consultant 11.6%
Internship 3.8%
Owner 3.4%

Do you work as a Computer Consultant?

Average Yearly Salary
$97,000
Show Salaries
$81,000
Min 10%
$97,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Baha Industries
Highest Paying City
Oakland, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Computer Consultant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Computer Consultant in the United States is $97,633 per year or $47 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $81,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $116,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Computer Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Computer Consultant Software Guidance and Assistance, Inc. Jun 01, 2016 $190,000
SR. Computer Consultant-Enterprise Apps (Erp/Crm) (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Dec 20, 2016 $116,709 -
$145,000
Assoc. Computer Consultant-Java/J2Ee (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Aug 11, 2016 $116,709 -
$120,000
SR. Computer Consultant-Java/J2Ee (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Aug 11, 2016 $116,709 -
$145,000
SR. Computer Consultant-Data Warehousing (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Aug 11, 2016 $116,709 -
$145,000
Assoc. Computer Consultant-Enterprise Apps (Erp/Crm) (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Sep 11, 2016 $116,709 -
$120,000
Assoc. Computer Consultant-TIS (Tech. & Infra. Svcs) (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Oct 11, 2016 $116,709 -
$120,000
SR. Computer Consultant-Data Warehousing (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Nov 15, 2016 $116,709 -
$145,000
Senior Computer Consultant-Enterprise Applications (ERP, CRM) (Mult. Openings) Wipro Limited Oct 12, 2015 $105,518 -
$110,000
Senior Computer Consultant-Domain (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Oct 12, 2015 $105,518 -
$110,000
Assoc. Comp. Consultant-Enterprise Applications (ERP, CRM) (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Nov 12, 2015 $105,518 -
$110,000
Senior Computer Consultant-Java, J2Ee (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Nov 12, 2015 $105,518 -
$110,000
Computer Consultant DR Technologies Inc. Sep 14, 2016 $103,000
Computer Consultant-Java/J2Ee (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Dec 20, 2016 $101,400 -
$120,000
Computer Consultant-Data Warehousing (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Dec 12, 2016 $101,400 -
$120,000
Computer Consultant-TIS (Tech. & Infra. Svcs) (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Dec 13, 2016 $101,400 -
$120,000
Computer Consultant-Testing (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Nov 15, 2016 $101,400 -
$120,000
Computer Consultant-EDS (Engineering Design Svcs) (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited Nov 15, 2016 $101,400 -
$120,000

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Top Skills for A Computer Consultant

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Hardware Issues
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Create websites and database design-Sales/Service of residential computer hardware & software-Manage daily operations of business
  • Introduced remote management tools to the 3-Help Desk enabling desktop people to concentrate on hardware issues.
  • Spearheaded non-profit organization in redefining and re-organization of staff, policies, procedures, and technical support.
  • Designed, developed and programmed SQL database, applications in accordance with customer business requirements, timeliness and budget constraints.
  • Provide hardware, software and network support to all AIS employees and upgraded all stations to Windows XP and Office 2000.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Computer Consultants

  1. North Dakota
  2. California
  3. Oregon
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Washington
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Hawaii
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Minnesota
  10. Alaska
  • (52 jobs)
  • (1,612 jobs)
  • (133 jobs)
  • (140 jobs)
  • (276 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (375 jobs)
  • (267 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)

Computer Consultant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 6,408 Computer Consultant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Computer Consultant Resume

View Resume Examples

Computer Consultant Demographics

Gender

Male

73.6%

Female

21.6%

Unknown

4.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

10.6%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.6%

Mandarin

11.1%

Chinese

8.6%

French

6.4%

German

6.4%

Cantonese

5.7%

Japanese

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Hindi

2.5%

Korean

2.5%

Russian

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Urdu

2.1%

Indonesian

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Greek

1.1%

Cheyenne

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.7%
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Computer Consultant Education

Schools

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

12.6%

University of California - Davis

10.2%

University of Pittsburgh -

6.0%

University of New Mexico

6.0%

University of California - Berkeley

5.6%

Purdue University

5.6%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

5.3%

Illinois State University

5.3%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.9%

San Francisco State University

4.6%

State University of New York Stony Brook

4.6%

Western Carolina University

4.2%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.5%

Syracuse University

3.2%

George Washington University

3.2%

University of Illinois University Administration

3.2%

Cornell University

3.2%

Eastern Michigan University

3.2%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

3.2%

University of South Florida

2.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

23.9%

Business

12.6%

Information Technology

7.6%

Electrical Engineering

7.4%

Computer Systems Security

6.7%

Computer Networking

4.7%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Management Information Systems

4.5%

Psychology

3.5%

Computer Engineering

3.5%

Computer Engineering Technology

2.8%

Computer Programming

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering

2.3%

Accounting

2.3%

Communication

1.9%

Management

1.9%

Political Science

1.9%

General Studies

1.8%

Chemistry

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.5%

Associate

17.0%

Masters

13.3%

Certificate

6.2%

High School Diploma

5.0%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

1.5%

License

0.2%
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Top Computer Consultant Employers

Jobs From Top Computer Consultant Employers

Computer Consultant Videos

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Updated May 18, 2020