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Become A Customer Support Engineer

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Working As A Customer Support Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Customer Support Engineer 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 Customer Support Engineer

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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Customer Support Engineer Jobs

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Customer Support Engineer Career Paths

Customer Support Engineer
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Analyst
Analyst Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Director Marketing Operations Director
Director Of Sales, Marketing And Operations
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Information Technology Specialist
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Business Analyst Senior Consultant
Lead Consultant
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Technical Support Engineer Software Test Engineer
Lead Software Tester
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Administrator Network Engineer
Network Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Vice President
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Engineer Senior Software Engineer Quality Assurance Lead
Performance Test Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Project Manager Consultant/Project Manager
Professional Services Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Engineer Senior Project Manager
Project Manager & Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Project Coordinator Project Specialist
Project Team Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Engineer Application Engineer
Senior Applications Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Storage Engineer Professional Services Consultant
Senior Consultant, Professional Services
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Information Technology Analyst Securities Analyst
Senior Security Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Engineer Lead Technician Network Engineer
Senior Security Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist
Supervisor, Technical Support
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Lead Technician
Support Lead
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Customer Support Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Customer Support Engineer
Engineer 4.6%
Technician 3.6%
Consultant 3.3%
Top Careers After Customer Support Engineer
Engineer 4.7%
Consultant 4.6%

Do you work as a Customer Support Engineer?

Customer Support Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.9%

Female

15.3%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

52.3%

Asian

16.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

9.6%

Unknown

6.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.1%

Carrier

14.1%

French

9.0%

Russian

6.4%

Japanese

6.4%

Mandarin

5.1%

Arabic

3.8%

Hindi

2.6%

Korean

2.6%

Portuguese

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Hebrew

2.6%

Estonian

1.3%

Cherokee

1.3%

Italian

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Bengali

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Tamil

1.3%

Armenian

1.3%
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Customer Support Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.8%

Northeastern University

9.6%

Wichita State University

8.3%

San Jose State University

6.3%

George Washington University

5.4%

University of Texas at Austin

5.4%

Strayer University

5.0%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.6%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.2%

Community College of the Air Force

4.2%

Ohio State University

3.8%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.8%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.8%

Santa Clara University

3.3%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.3%

More Tech Institute

3.3%

Colorado Technical University

3.3%

Villanova University

2.9%

Wake Technical Community College

2.9%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

2.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

20.6%

Business

13.3%

Computer Science

12.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

7.2%

Computer Networking

6.1%

Information Technology

5.8%

Computer Information Systems

5.6%

Computer Engineering

5.3%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Computer Applications

2.8%

Management

2.7%

Project Management

2.6%

Engineering

1.9%

Management Information Systems

1.9%

Communication

1.8%

Computer Technical Support

1.7%

Information Systems

1.7%

Education

1.1%

Industrial Technology

1.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.0%

Masters

20.4%

Other

15.8%

Associate

11.7%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

3.6%

Doctorate

0.9%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Customer Support Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Customer Support Engineer Big Switch Networks, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 05, 2015 $130,000 -
$160,000
Principal Technical Customer Support Engineer Netscout Systems Inc. Westford, MA Dec 21, 2016 $125,000 -
$130,000
Customer Support Engineer Gainspeed, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Mar 28, 2016 $125,000
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Boxborough, MA Sep 27, 2016 $125,000 -
$151,400
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 26, 2016 $125,000 -
$135,000
Customer Support Engineer Viptela, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 09, 2016 $125,000
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Parkton, NC Sep 12, 2015 $122,757 -
$143,800
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 20, 2015 $121,016 -
$167,500
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Richardson, TX Jul 04, 2016 $120,400 -
$143,800
Customer Support Engineer Big Switch Networks, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jul 11, 2016 $120,099 -
$165,000
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 31, 2016 $120,000 -
$152,500
Customer Support Engineer Planet Labs Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 24, 2016 $120,000
Customer Support Engineer Gainspeed, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 10, 2016 $120,000
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 15, 2015 $117,720 -
$135,000
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Austin, TX Jan 07, 2016 $100,000 -
$112,800
Customer Support Engineer Dassault Systemes Biovia Corp. San Diego, CA Jun 30, 2016 $100,000
Customer Support Engineer Dassault Systemes Biovia Corp. San Diego, CA Oct 19, 2016 $100,000
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Boxborough, MA Jan 07, 2016 $99,424 -
$151,400
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Richardson, TX Jan 13, 2016 $97,968 -
$143,800
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Parkton, NC Feb 25, 2016 $97,790 -
$143,800
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Parkton, NC May 31, 2016 $97,273 -
$112,800
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 06, 2016 $97,200 -
$135,000
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Parkton, NC Jan 12, 2015 $87,500 -
$112,800
Customer Support Engineer AMAX Global Services Inc. Fremont, CA Apr 01, 2015 $87,402
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Richardson, TX Jan 13, 2016 $87,160 -
$112,800
Customer Support Engineer KLA-Tencor Corporation Hopewell Junction, NY Aug 12, 2015 $87,131
Customer Support Engineer KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Mar 19, 2015 $86,840 -
$90,840
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Aug 15, 2015 $86,736 -
$147,300
Customer Support Engineers Metaswitch Networks Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 12, 2016 $86,500
Customer Support Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. Richardson, TX Jan 07, 2016 $86,300 -
$143,800

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Customer Support Engineer

Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$60,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Salesforce
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Customer Support Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Customer Support Engineer in the United States is $79,648 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $60,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $104,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Customer Support Engineer?

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Top Skills for A Customer Support Engineer

  1. Technical Support
  2. Customer Service
  3. Trouble Shooting
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented monthly score cards to provide visual snapshot of infrastructure performance and technical support services.
  • Acquired additional information on incident tickets submitted via customer service representatives and escalated higher impact severity incidents to Tier II support.
  • Provided detail oriented maintenance and trouble shooting on equipment to ensure excellent operation.
  • Provided special assistance to support remote access in adherence to company standards
  • Support & maintenance of desktops, Laptops, Stand-alone & Network printers and miscellaneous hardware peripherals

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Top 10 Best States for Customer Support Engineers

  1. Maryland
  2. Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Texas
  5. New Hampshire
  6. North Carolina
  7. Washington
  8. Oregon
  9. California
  10. Connecticut
  • (1,960 jobs)
  • (3,526 jobs)
  • (673 jobs)
  • (3,689 jobs)
  • (308 jobs)
  • (1,514 jobs)
  • (1,368 jobs)
  • (568 jobs)
  • (6,350 jobs)
  • (546 jobs)

Top Customer Support Engineer Employers

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