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Become A Field Support Technician

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Working As A Field Support Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $87,792

    Average Salary

What Does A Field 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 Field 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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Field Support Technician Jobs

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Field Support Technician Career Paths

Field Support Technician
Desktop Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Field Service Technician Technical Support Specialist
Help Desk Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist
Information Technology Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Technical Support Specialist
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Infrastructure Analyst Desktop Support Analyst Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Help Desk Analyst Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Technical Support Technician
Senior Support Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Systems Engineer Technical Analyst
Senior Technical Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Network Administrator Technical Support Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Infrastructure Analyst Information Technology/Support Technician Network Administrator
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Field Support Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Support 2.6 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 3.5%
Consultant 2.5%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.3%

Do you work as a Field Support Technician?

Field Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

85.8%

Female

12.1%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Hispanic or Latino

18.0%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.8%

French

6.8%

Japanese

4.5%

Carrier

4.5%

Hmong

4.5%

Arabic

4.5%

Swahili

2.3%

Portuguese

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Vietnamese

2.3%

German

2.3%

Cheyenne

2.3%

Thai

2.3%

Italian

2.3%
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Field Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.1%

Strayer University

7.4%

More Tech Institute

6.5%

University of Maryland - University College

5.6%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.6%

Community College of the Air Force

4.6%

University of Central Florida

4.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.6%

George Washington University

3.7%

Valencia College

3.7%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

University of Texas at Austin

3.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.7%

Colorado Technical University

3.7%

ECPI University

2.8%

New York University

2.8%

University of North Texas

2.8%

University of Cincinnati

2.8%

Bowling Green State University

2.8%

Glendale Community College

2.8%
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Majors

Information Technology

14.0%

Electrical Engineering

11.6%

Computer Science

11.4%

Computer Information Systems

11.1%

Computer Networking

10.1%

Business

9.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.0%

Information Systems

3.5%

Computer Technical Support

3.2%

Computer Systems Security

2.6%

Management Information Systems

2.4%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Education

2.1%

Criminal Justice

2.1%

Computer Programming

1.8%

Management

1.7%

Project Management

1.5%

Finance

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.2%
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Degrees

Other

29.7%

Bachelors

29.7%

Associate

24.0%

Certificate

7.0%

Masters

6.0%

Diploma

3.4%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Field Support Technician

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  1. Computer
  2. Desk Support
  3. Network Printers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Fulfilled regular asset management responsibilities, including asset tracking of computers and peripherals.
  • Provided assistance for help-desk support via phone or in person to facilities staff.
  • Establish network connections, provide remote access, configure user accounts, map network printers and join to the domain.
  • Configured wireless and LAN settings on Macs, PCs and Printers, Desk Support.
  • Imaged desktops and laptops for deployment to various hospital personnel

How Would You Rate Working As a Field Support Technician?

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