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Become A Customer Support Technician

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Working As A Customer Support Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $75,632

    Average Salary

What Does A Customer Support 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 Customer Support 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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Customer Support Technician Jobs

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Customer Support Technician Career Paths

Customer Support Technician
Technical Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Specialist Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Vice President Chief Finance Officer
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Information Technology Technician Technical Support Specialist
Help Desk Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Help Desk Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Manager Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Information Technology Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Technician Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Desktop Support Specialist Technical Support Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Systems Analyst Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Customer Support Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Customer Support Technician
Cashier 5.8%
Teller 4.7%
Technician 3.5%
Internship 3.2%
Supervisor 2.6%
Server 2.4%
Top Careers After Customer Support Technician
Teller 4.2%
Technician 3.6%
Cashier 2.9%

Do you work as a Customer Support Technician?

Customer Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

63.3%

Female

34.3%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.1%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.8%

Portuguese

6.3%

French

5.5%

Mandarin

4.7%

Italian

3.9%

German

3.9%

Japanese

3.9%

Hindi

3.1%

Cantonese

3.1%

Korean

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Carrier

2.4%

Dutch

1.6%

Chinese

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Sami

0.8%

Turkish

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.8%
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Customer Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.5%

Kaplan University

6.3%

Strayer University

5.9%

American InterContinental University

5.4%

Full Sail University

5.4%

University of Maryland - University College

5.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.5%

Brigham Young University

4.1%

Community College of the Air Force

4.1%

University of Houston

4.1%

Austin Community College

4.1%

Boise State University

3.6%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.2%

Arizona State University

3.2%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.2%

Quinsigamond Community College

3.2%

Monroe Community College

3.2%

San Jose State University

3.2%

Utah Valley University

3.2%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

18.2%

Computer Science

13.9%

Computer Information Systems

10.0%

Information Technology

8.9%

Computer Networking

6.0%

Electrical Engineering

5.9%

Management

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Communication

3.4%

General Studies

3.1%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Accounting

2.7%

Education

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Psychology

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.4%

Information Systems

2.2%

Computer Engineering

2.1%

Computer Technical Support

2.0%

Management Information Systems

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.3%

Other

29.2%

Associate

18.3%

Masters

8.7%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Customer Support Technician Videos

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Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Customer Support Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
IT Customer Support Equifax Inc. Alpharetta, GA Nov 25, 2016 $113,693 -
$130,000
Customer Technical Support Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. Naperville, IL Aug 14, 2011 $100,400
R&D Americas Simulia Technical Customer Support EN Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp. Providence, RI Apr 01, 2012 $84,000
Internal Customer Tech Support-IT Oracle America, Inc. CA Feb 14, 2015 $83,451 -
$109,990
Internal Customer Technical Support Oracle America, Inc. Edison, NJ Nov 20, 2015 $82,440 -
$98,125
Internal Customer Tech Support-IT Oracle America, Inc. Edison, NJ Nov 08, 2014 $81,421 -
$109,990
Customer Support Technician Metasystems Group, Inc. Newton, MA Aug 22, 2015 $76,211 -
$93,725
Customer Support Technician Metasystems Group, Inc. Newton, MA Feb 17, 2016 $76,211 -
$79,900
Customer Technical Support ASEV Dispaly Labs. Irvine, CA Jun 12, 2008 $74,089
Customer Support Technician Metasystems Group, Inc. Newton, MA Sep 29, 2016 $74,048 -
$91,104
Customer Support Technical Lead Workshare Technology, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 26, 2012 $73,375
Customer Support Technical Lead Workshare Technology, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2009 $73,375
Customer Support Technician Metasystems Group, Inc. Waltham, MA Dec 19, 2011 $47,000 -
$67,000
Customer Support Technician Metasystems Group, Inc. Waltham, MA Aug 22, 2012 $47,000 -
$67,000

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Top Skills for A Customer Support Technician

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide outstanding technical support customer support and retention for Napster and Olympus cameras.
  • Enter alpha and numeric data via computer keyboard into an automated system accurately.
  • Cox Communications*Answer phone calls*Keep account information secure*Troubleshoot customer computer, internet and emails.
  • Combined project management, technical, sales and customer service experience to implement proprietary advertising solutions for large-scale enterprise clients.
  • Work from home position providing technical support for internet and telephone customers: Selling products and solutions to improve customer experiences.

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Top 10 Best States for Customer Support Technicians

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Massachusetts
  6. New Jersey
  7. Minnesota
  8. Virginia
  9. North Dakota
  10. New Hampshire
  • (355 jobs)
  • (113 jobs)
  • (1,179 jobs)
  • (530 jobs)
  • (1,271 jobs)
  • (1,164 jobs)
  • (983 jobs)
  • (1,765 jobs)
  • (177 jobs)
  • (345 jobs)

Top Customer Support Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Customer Support Technician Employers

Customer Support Technician Videos

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Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

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