Where do you want to work?
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Field Specialist
Top Careers After Field Specialist
Hispanic or Latino12.0%
Black or African American0.9%
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University of Phoenix16.3%
University of Louisiana at Lafayette6.8%
West Virginia University6.3%
Michigan State University5.4%
Arizona State University5.0%
Texas A&M University5.0%
Texas Tech University4.5%
Community College of the Air Force4.5%
Louisiana Tech University4.5%
Universal Technical Institute4.5%
University of Oklahoma4.5%
University of Texas at Arlington4.1%
University of Texas at Austin4.1%
Columbia Southern University3.6%
Houston Community College3.6%
Western Michigan University3.6%
University of Maryland - University College3.2%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|MWD Field Specialist IV||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Broussard, LA||Oct 01, 2012||$114,500|
|SR. Mechanical Field Specialist||Midrex Technologies Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Jun 15, 2012||$113,475|
|Lead Field Team Specialist||Research In Motion Corporation||San Diego, CA||Jul 01, 2012||$104,813|
|Field Specialist Recruiter||Schlumberger Technology Corporation||Sugar Land, TX||Mar 21, 2011||$104,000|
|Field Specialist||Elite Pipeline Services Inc.||Wyoming, MI||Mar 11, 2013||$83,480|
|Field Specialist||Elite Pipeline Services LLC||Wyoming, MI||Apr 30, 2014||$83,480|
|Field Specialist Xpert||Schlumberger Technology Corporation||Minot, ND||Aug 13, 2015||$83,100|
|Field Specialist||Optasense Inc., A Qinetiq Company||Houston, TX||Apr 09, 2016||$82,056 -
|Senior Mechanical Field Specialist||Midrex Technologies Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Oct 01, 2009||$69,638 -
|Field Specialist||Elite Pipeline Services Inc.||Wyoming, MI||Mar 10, 2013||$67,828 -
|Senior Mechanical Field Specialist||Midrex Technologies Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Oct 01, 2009||$67,638 -
|Field Specialist II-LWD||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Bakersfield, CA||Feb 01, 2011||$66,976|
|Senior Field Specialist||SGS North America, Inc.||Spring, TX||Nov 15, 2009||$66,560 -
|Senior Field Specialist||SGS North America, Inc.||Spring, TX||Sep 16, 2010||$66,560 -
|Field Specialist Recruiter||Schlumberger Technology Corporation||Denver, CO||Nov 19, 2014||$66,206 -
|Field Specialist Recruiter||Schlumberger Technology Corporation||Von Ormy, TX||Jan 08, 2014||$59,634 -
|LWD Field Specialist II||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Mount Pleasant, PA||Sep 12, 2013||$56,722|
|Melon Field Specialist||Ready Pac Produce, Inc.||Irwindale, CA||Oct 01, 2009||$55,000|
|Melon Field Specialist||Ready Pac Foods, Inc.||Irwindale, CA||Oct 01, 2009||$55,000|
|Field Specialist||Elite Pipeline Services LLC||Wyoming, MI||Jan 26, 2013||$54,784|
|Field Specialist||Elite Pipeline Services Inc.||Wyoming, MI||Jan 26, 2013||$54,784|
|Field Specialist 1||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Liberty, TX||Sep 17, 2014||$54,219|
|LWD Field Specialist II||Baker Hughes Incorporated||Mount Pleasant, PA||Dec 01, 2011||$54,080|
|Entomology Field Specialist||South Dakota State University||Rapid City, SD||Sep 16, 2013||$54,000|
|Power Generation Field Specialist||Cummins Power Systems, LLC||Glen Burnie, MD||Sep 16, 2011||$53,000|
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