Find The Best Computer Support Specialist Jobs For You

Where do you want to work?

0 selections

Working as a Computer Support Specialist

What Does a Computer 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.

How To Become a Computer 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.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary$64,924
Job Growth Rate10%

Computer Support Specialist Jobs

Computer Support Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Computer Support Specialist

Top Careers After Computer Support Specialist

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Computer Support Specialist

Computer Support Specialists in America make an average salary of $64,924 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $86,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $48,000 per year.
Average Salary
$64,924

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range68k - 100k$83k$83,158
Salary Range65k - 92k$78k$78,032
Salary Range62k - 87k$74k$74,235
Salary Range58k - 83k$70k$70,029
Salary Range57k - 84k$70k$69,646
Salary Range56k - 80k$67k$67,394
$33k
$100k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Computer Support Specialist
Computer Support Specialist
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
10/08/2020
10/08/2020
$37,56610/08/2020
$37,566
Temporary Instructor, Computer Support Specialist
Temporary Instructor, Computer Support Specialist
College of Western Idaho
College of Western Idaho
10/08/2020
10/08/2020
$48,80010/08/2020
$48,800
Computer Support Specialist
Computer Support Specialist
Goodtemps
Goodtemps
09/12/2020
09/12/2020
$56,14009/12/2020
$56,140
Computer Support Specialist
Computer Support Specialist
Katapult Network
Katapult Network
09/08/2020
09/08/2020
$35,00009/08/2020
$35,000
Computer Support Specialist II, Information Technology & Umonline)
Computer Support Specialist II, Information Technology & Umonline)
University of Montana
University of Montana
08/29/2020
08/29/2020
$40,25808/29/2020
$40,258
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Computer Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

male

75.2%

female

21.4%

unknown

3.4%

Ethnicity

White

62.2%

Asian

16.3%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Mandarin

6.3%

French

6.3%
See More Demographics

Computer Support Specialist Education

Degrees

Bachelors

41.2%

Associate

30.5%

Masters

10.2%

Top Colleges for Computer Support Specialists

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Tuition and fees
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Tuition and fees
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA

Tuition and fees
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

6. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY

Tuition and fees
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

Tuition and fees
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. Boston University

Boston, MA

Tuition and fees
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. New York University

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA

Tuition and fees
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Computer Support Specialist

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Computer Support Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.8% of computer support specialists listed hardware on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and writing skills are important as well.

Best States For a Computer Support Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a computer support specialist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Minnesota, North Dakota, and California. Computer support specialists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $78,212. Whereas in Minnesota and North Dakota, they would average $74,167 and $71,898, respectively. While computer support specialists would only make an average of $70,267 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Minnesota

Total Computer Support Specialist Jobs:
897
Highest 10% Earn:
$101,000
Location Quotient:
1.04
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. North Dakota

Total Computer Support Specialist Jobs:
117
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Wyoming

Total Computer Support Specialist Jobs:
73
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

Computer Support Specialist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a computer support specialist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless computer support specialist 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 Write a Computer Support Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless computer support specialist 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.

View Detailed Information

How Do Computer Support Specialist Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Computer Support Specialist? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a Computer Support Specialist?
Rate how you like work as Computer Support Specialist. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top Computer Support Specialist Employers

1. Microsoft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$124,093
Computer Support Specialists Hired: 
185+
2. Cisco Systems
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$113,155
Computer Support Specialists Hired: 
67+
3. Lockheed Martin
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$78,520
Computer Support Specialists Hired: 
44+
4. IBM
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$84,673
Computer Support Specialists Hired: 
34+
5. Wipro
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$75,841
Computer Support Specialists Hired: 
31+
6. TIBCO Software
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$105,952
Computer Support Specialists Hired: 
27+

Recently Added Computer Support Specialist Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020