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Become A Data Support Specialist

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Working As A Data Support Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $64,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Data 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.

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How To Become A Data 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.

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Data Support Specialist Career Paths

Data Support Specialist
Office Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Project Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Vice President Chief Information Officer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Consultant Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Store Manager Operations Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Store Manager Service Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Store Manager Production Manager Material Manager
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Warehouse Manager Quality Control Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Department Manager Support Manager
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Support Manager Help Desk Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Data Support Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Data Specialist 2.6 years
Support Analyst 2.4 years
Support Specialist 2.4 years
Data Assistant 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Data Support Specialist
Cashier 6.0%
Internship 4.2%
Secretary 4.2%
Server 3.0%
Top Careers After Data Support Specialist
Cashier 3.7%
Technician 3.4%
Volunteer 3.0%

Do you work as a Data Support Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$64,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
Sunnyvale, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Data Support Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Data Support Specialist in the United States is $64,191 per year or $31 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $104,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Data Support Specialist?

Have you worked as a Data Support Specialist? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Data Support Specialist.

Top Skills for A Data Support Specialist

  1. Patient Care
  2. Data Entry
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed data entry activities as directed by data Administrative Coordinator, Lead Data Manager or Functional Manager.
  • Provide extraordinary customer service to internal and external customers.
  • Provided consistent outstanding business customer service for technical support on mobile devices.
  • Deliver checks/client correspondence to Regional office on a weekly basis Data Support Specialist
  • Typed procedures, audit summaries, memorandums and letters to regulatory agencies with responsibility for procedural and grammatical accuracy.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Data Support Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Alaska
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Jersey
  7. Minnesota
  8. Virginia
  9. Connecticut
  10. Colorado
  • (507 jobs)
  • (1,452 jobs)
  • (164 jobs)
  • (129 jobs)
  • (186 jobs)
  • (1,224 jobs)
  • (961 jobs)
  • (1,924 jobs)
  • (486 jobs)
  • (905 jobs)

Data Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

53.6%

Male

38.1%

Unknown

8.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.2%

French

15.4%

Carrier

11.5%

German

7.7%

Portuguese

3.8%

Indonesian

3.8%

Kurdish

3.8%

Dakota

3.8%

Arabic

3.8%
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Data Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.0%

Ashford University

5.0%

University of Washington

5.0%

Southern University and A & M College

5.0%

Tidewater Community College

5.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.0%

Jackson State University

5.0%

Bellevue College

4.0%

Walden University

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

DePaul University

4.0%

University of Houston

4.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.0%

Central Michigan University

4.0%

Strayer University

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

University of South Florida

3.0%

Lansing Community College

3.0%

California State University - East Bay

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

27.9%

Computer Information Systems

9.1%

Computer Science

8.1%

Accounting

5.8%

Information Technology

5.1%

Psychology

4.8%

Management

4.1%

Criminal Justice

3.8%

Communication

3.6%

Marketing

3.0%

Biology

2.8%

English

2.8%

Legal Support Services

2.8%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Economics

2.3%

Finance

2.3%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

General Studies

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Other

21.4%

Associate

14.4%

Masters

14.3%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.3%
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