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Become A Computer System Technician

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Working As A Computer System Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $70,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer System Technician 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 System Technician

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 System Technician Career Paths

Computer System Technician
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Team Leader Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Developer Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Senior System Administrator
Systems Administrator Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Business Development Manager Consultant/Project Manager
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Department Manager Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Infrastructure Analyst Desktop Support Analyst
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Help Desk Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Systems Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Systems Analyst Information Systems Analyst Desktop Support Analyst
Senior Desktop Support Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Systems Analyst Technical Analyst Desktop Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Support Manager Help Desk Manager
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Computer System Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Support 2.7 years
Junior Technician 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Computer System Technician
Technician 5.7%
Internship 3.0%
Top Careers After Computer System Technician
Manager 3.3%

Do you work as a Computer System Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$70,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$47,000
Min 10%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$103,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Faculte
Highest Paying City
Sunnyvale, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Computer System Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Computer System Technician in the United States is $70,511 per year or $34 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $47,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $103,000.

Real Computer System Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Computer Systems Analyts Allianz Global Investors of America, L.P. Newport Beach, CA Dec 08, 2011 $125,000
Computer Systems Analyts Asar America, Inc. Bellevue, WA Nov 04, 2014 $120,000
Computer Systems Analysis Goldman Sachs Services LLC Jersey City, NJ May 05, 2014 $120,000
Computer Systems Anlayst Storsimple Santa Clara, CA May 17, 2011 $115,000 -
$120,000
Computer Systems Anaylst Dglogik, Inc. Oakland, CA Jan 09, 2016 $115,000
Computer Systems Anaylst Alpha Net Consulting LLC. Santa Clara, CA Jun 13, 2011 $110,032
Computer Systems Anaylst Alpha Net Consulting LLC. Santa Clara, CA Aug 24, 2011 $110,032
Computer Systems Analys We-Do-It Inc. Bellevue, WA Jan 09, 2012 $105,000
Computer Systems Anaylst Everge Group Plano, TX Aug 29, 2011 $100,672
Computer Systems Anaylsts Edifecs, Inc. Bellevue, WA Nov 16, 2011 $98,946 -
$133,000
Computer Systems Analys The Insurance House Marietta, GA Aug 29, 2012 $98,883 -
$103,096
Computer System Analysis Cherisse S. Loo DDS Vista, CA Jul 20, 2015 $96,616
Computer Systems Analyts Oracle America, Inc. CA Aug 29, 2012 $96,016 -
$137,231
Computer Systems Analsyt Webject Systems, Inc. Berkeley Heights, NJ Jul 14, 2014 $96,000
Computer Systems Analsyts Dynpro, Inc. New York, NY Feb 04, 2014 $77,626 -
$115,000
Computer Systems Analsyts Dynpro, Inc. New York, NY Apr 02, 2014 $77,626 -
$115,000
Computer Systems Anlayst IBM India Pvt. Ltd. Boise, ID Jan 13, 2011 $77,100
Computer Systems Anlayst Synergy Global Technologies Inc. Somerset, NJ Jun 02, 2014 $77,000
Computer System Analys Nithin Inc. Orlando, FL Sep 02, 2014 $76,000
Computer Systems Analys T(Applications System Engineer) Yashraj Technologies Inc. San Bruno, CA Feb 15, 2015 $75,046
Computer Systems Analsyt Ispace, Inc. Princeton, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $75,000 -
$98,000
Computer Systems Analsyt Energy Solutions International, Inc. Houston, TX May 31, 2014 $74,641
Computer Systems Analsyt W3Global Inc. Irving, TX Jun 19, 2012 $67,200 -
$77,000
Computer Systems Anlaysts Technozant LLC Austin, TX Mar 01, 2015 $66,435
Computer Systems Anaylst IGT Solutions, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jun 21, 2015 $66,150
Computer Systems Analys Acwiron Global Solutions LLC Livonia, MI Aug 09, 2016 $65,400
Computer Systems Questpay, Inc. Metuchen, NJ Sep 17, 2015 $65,100
Computer Systems Anlayst Tanisha Systems Inc. Minneapolis, MN Feb 25, 2015 $65,000 -
$75,000
Computer Systems Architechs SVT Inc. Lincolnshire, IL May 11, 2015 $65,000
Computer Systems Analsyt Tupoin, Inc. Herndon, VA Sep 14, 2016 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Computer System Technician

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Communications-Computer Systems
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Installed and interfaced computer hardware including multimedia, memory and video components and systems.
  • Installed, configured, and monitored hardware and software for communications-computer systems.
  • Exhibited good time management skills, independent decision making capability; focus on customer service.
  • Performed remote troubleshooting of laptops and desktops using TeamViewer.
  • Diagnosed and troubleshoot desktop/laptops which involved upgrading memory, backing/replacing faulty systems throughout the military.

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Top 10 Best States for Computer System Technicians

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Connecticut
  3. Colorado
  4. Alaska
  5. Virginia
  6. Massachusetts
  7. North Dakota
  8. Minnesota
  9. California
  10. Rhode Island
  • (285 jobs)
  • (339 jobs)
  • (672 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (1,454 jobs)
  • (755 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (560 jobs)
  • (2,900 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)

Computer System Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

78.4%

Female

13.1%

Unknown

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

77.3%

Carrier

9.1%

Cayuga

4.5%

Dari

4.5%

Korean

4.5%
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Computer System Technician Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

19.8%

University of Phoenix

16.0%

Strayer University

8.6%

University of Maryland - University College

7.4%

The Academy

4.9%

United Education Institute - Huntington Park Campus

3.7%

Saint Leo University

3.7%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

3.1%

Texas A&M University

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

More Tech Institute

3.1%

Florida State University

3.1%

Colorado Technical University

3.1%

ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino

2.5%

Park University

2.5%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

2.5%

San Jose State University

2.5%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

2.5%

National University

2.5%

Western Governors University

2.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

13.6%

Computer Information Systems

13.6%

Information Technology

11.6%

Business

11.2%

Electrical Engineering

7.9%

Computer Networking

7.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.7%

Information Systems

3.4%

Computer Engineering Technology

3.4%

Computer Engineering

3.3%

Computer Systems Security

2.4%

Computer Technical Support

2.2%

Education

2.1%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

General Studies

1.7%

Management

1.7%

Management Information Systems

1.7%

Project Management

1.7%

Finance

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.6%

Associate

22.6%

Other

22.2%

Masters

10.5%

Certificate

6.1%

Diploma

2.2%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.1%
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