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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
  • $48,620

    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
Systems Administrator Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Consultant Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Systems Engineer Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Network Technician 3.1 years
Data Technician 2.7 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
Technician 2.6 years
On-Site Technician 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Computer Assistant 2.2 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support 2.0 years
Support Agent 1.9 years
POS Technician 1.9 years
Phone Technician 1.8 years
Customer Associate 1.8 years
Tier 1.6 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Student Technician 1.6 years
Help Desk Agent 1.5 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 5.4%
Technician 4.0%
Internship 3.3%
Server 2.8%
Supervisor 2.4%
Manager 2.4%
Top Employers After
Technician 4.0%
Consultant 3.2%

Customer Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

63.4%

Female

34.3%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

78.5%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.3%

Portuguese

7.0%

French

6.1%

Italian

4.3%

Mandarin

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Hindi

2.6%

Korean

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Carrier

2.6%

German

2.6%

Russian

1.7%

Filipino

1.7%

Chinese

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%

Sami

0.9%

Turkish

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Bengali

0.9%
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Customer Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.9%

University of Maryland - University College

5.8%

Strayer University

5.8%

Community College of the Air Force

4.8%

Kaplan University

4.8%

Brigham Young University

4.2%

American InterContinental University

4.2%

Full Sail University

4.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.2%

Ashford University

3.7%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.7%

Boise State University

3.7%

University of Houston

3.7%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.2%

University of Texas at San Antonio

3.2%

Texas State University

3.2%

Pennsylvania State University

3.2%

Quinsigamond Community College

3.2%

Utah Valley University

3.2%

Broward College

3.2%
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Majors

Business

18.9%

Computer Science

13.6%

Computer Information Systems

10.4%

Information Technology

8.3%

Computer Networking

6.7%

Electrical Engineering

6.3%

Management

3.4%

Communication

3.4%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

General Studies

3.1%

Accounting

2.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Education

2.5%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Computer Engineering

2.2%

Management Information Systems

2.1%

Psychology

2.0%

English

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.1%

Other

28.7%

Associate

19.2%

Masters

8.5%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.1%
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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

TechnicalSupportComputerHardwareCustomerServiceSkillsCustomerSupportInternetTroubleShootingEmailSupportTelephonePhoneCallsRemoteAccessDataEntryTechnicalIssuesWebCustomerIssuesEnsureCustomerSatisfactionSetupSoftwareIssuesMacCustomerInquiriesPhoneSupport

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Top Customer Support Technician Skills

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Customer Service Skills
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Recruited to perform customer and technical support; for Indian Casinos in the United States, and Mexico.
  • Acted as primary contact for computer hardware and software problems, as well as network emergencies.
  • Remain informed and trained in current technology and demonstrated excellent customer service skills.
  • Provided timely and courteous customer support to external patrons, resolving technical and administrative issues.
  • Work from home position providing technical support for internet and telephone customers: Selling products and solutions to improve customer experiences.

Top Customer Support Technician Employers

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