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Become An Engineering Support Specialist

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Working As An Engineering Support Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Engineering 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 An Engineering 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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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Support Analyst 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Engineering Support Specialist
Technician 4.5%
Volunteer 3.9%
Engineer 3.9%
Consultant 3.9%
Secretary 3.4%
Owner 3.4%
Top Careers After Engineering Support Specialist
Engineer 4.2%
Manager 4.2%
Owner 3.7%

Do you work as an Engineering Support Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$83,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$59,000
Min 10%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
DataDirect Networks
Highest Paying City
Cupertino, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.3 years
How much does an Engineering Support Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Engineering Support Specialist in the United States is $83,876 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $59,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $117,000.

Real Engineering Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Engineer Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company Fremont, CA Apr 13, 2015 $115,000 -
$127,558
Software Engineer Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company San Francisco, CA Nov 02, 2013 $113,610 -
$124,000
Software Engineering Support Specialist Hewlett Packard Company San Mateo, CA Nov 01, 2010 $109,878
Applications Engineering Support Specialist Niagara Bottling, LLC Ontario, CA Aug 14, 2015 $95,000
Software Engineering Support Specialist Open Text, Inc. Lexington, KY Sep 25, 2016 $91,252
Windows Enterprise Support Eng-Product Integ. Specialist Rackspace Us, Inc. San Antonio, TX Sep 14, 2015 $90,000
Software Engineering Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company Sunnyvale, CA Apr 15, 2014 $86,840
Tier 2 Specialist Support Engineer Box, Inc. Los Altos, CA Aug 20, 2014 $85,000 -
$92,000
Software Engineer Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company Lexington, KY Jan 08, 2015 $80,954 -
$89,000
Software Engineering Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company Lexington, KY May 16, 2012 $80,954 -
$85,000
Software Engineering Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company Lexington, KY Jul 15, 2015 $75,200 -
$102,580
Software Engineer Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company Lexington, KY Jun 06, 2014 $75,200 -
$84,355
Engineering Support Specialist TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company Round Rock, TX May 06, 2015 $70,000
Software Engineering Support Specialist Hewlett-Packard Company Cupertino, CA Oct 20, 2012 $64,252
Engineering Support Specialist Festo Corporation Livermore, CA Sep 15, 2011 $61,963 -
$81,963
SW ENG Support Specialist I Hewlett-Packard Company San Mateo, CA Jun 03, 2011 $60,000 -
$70,000
Engineering Support Specialist TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company Round Rock, TX Jan 10, 2016 $58,500
Office Engineer/Contract Support Specialist The Corradino Group Fort Lauderdale, FL Mar 19, 2008 $58,400
SW ENG Support Specialist I Hewlett-Packard Company Cupertino, CA Oct 20, 2011 $58,094 -
$59,276
Engineering Support Specialist Super Auto Forge, Inc. Novi, MI Oct 01, 2015 $58,000
Engine/After-Treatment Support Specialist Volt Management Corp Cedar Falls, IA Sep 14, 2015 $57,079 -
$77,219
Engine/Aftertreatment Support Specialist Volt Management Corp IA Nov 11, 2015 $57,079
Engine/Aftertreatment Support Specialist Volt Management Corp Cedar Falls, IA Nov 11, 2015 $57,079
Engine/Aftertreatment Support Specialist Volt Management Corp Cedar Falls, IA Mar 09, 2016 $57,079

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Top Skills for An Engineering Support Specialist

  1. Engineering Department
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Served as Production advocate within Engineering, and provided support for Production on behalf of the Engineering department.
  • Schedule computer hardware & software updates with Corporate Software group and test technicians.
  • Developed test procedures, executed Quality Control tests, maintained defect log and implemented Success Criteria changed.
  • Served as operating system expert, providing technical support for entire organization.
  • Maximized returns by generating 100% system functionality and authoring CAD software tests adapting capabilities to customer operational needs.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Engineering Support Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Alaska
  4. Delaware
  5. Connecticut
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Colorado
  8. Virginia
  9. New Jersey
  10. Minnesota
  • (447 jobs)
  • (1,618 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (166 jobs)
  • (562 jobs)
  • (177 jobs)
  • (1,102 jobs)
  • (2,458 jobs)
  • (1,238 jobs)
  • (1,045 jobs)

Engineering Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

57.5%

Female

32.4%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

17.2%

Black or African American

10.2%

Asian

9.0%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3%

Chinese

9.5%

French

9.5%

Russian

9.5%

Thai

9.5%

Swedish

4.8%

Romanian

4.8%

Hmong

4.8%

Carrier

4.8%

Mandarin

4.8%

Arabic

4.8%
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Engineering Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.7%

Purdue University

11.0%

Pennsylvania State University

6.8%

San Jose State University

5.5%

University of Washington

5.5%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

5.5%

Texas A&M University

5.5%

Davenport University

4.1%

Virginia College-Huntsville

4.1%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.1%

Michigan State University

4.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.1%

Wake Technical Community College

4.1%

Indiana Wesleyan University

4.1%

Central Washington University

2.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.7%

Ferris State University

2.7%

University of Maryland - University College

2.7%

Trinity College

2.7%
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Majors

Business

26.9%

Electrical Engineering

13.1%

Computer Science

8.3%

Computer Information Systems

6.4%

Information Technology

6.1%

Mechanical Engineering

5.8%

Drafting And Design

3.5%

Management

3.5%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Project Management

2.6%

Computer Networking

2.6%

Accounting

2.6%

Elementary Education

2.2%

Industrial Technology

1.9%

Communication

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.9%

General Studies

1.6%

English

1.6%

Criminal Justice

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.2%

Other

22.1%

Associate

17.6%

Masters

13.3%

Certificate

3.9%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.2%
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