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Become An Information Technology Assistant

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Working As An Information Technology Assistant

  • 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 An Information Technology Assistant 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 Information Technology Assistant

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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Information Technology Assistant jobs

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Information Technology Assistant Career Paths

Information Technology Assistant
Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Technology Specialist Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Systems Analyst Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technical Support Specialist Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Information Systems Technician Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Technology Officer 3.7 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Computer Assistant 2.2 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Student Technician 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 11.6%
Cashier 5.8%
Volunteer 4.8%
Assistant 3.5%
Server 2.9%
Manager 2.3%
Top Employers After
Internship 9.2%
Technician 3.4%

Information Technology Assistant Demographics

Gender

Male

68.2%

Female

28.6%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

71.8%

Asian

12.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.5%

Unknown

3.6%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.7%

French

10.7%

Chinese

5.5%

Mandarin

5.2%

German

4.6%

Arabic

4.6%

Cantonese

3.1%

Italian

2.8%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Russian

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Hindi

1.8%

Korean

1.8%

Dari

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Urdu

1.8%

Filipino

1.5%

Tagalog

1.2%

Persian

0.9%

Swedish

0.6%
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Information Technology Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.6%

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

7.4%

University of Houston

5.6%

George Mason University

5.3%

University of Maryland - University College

5.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.0%

Sinclair Community College

4.4%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.4%

University of Connecticut

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.1%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.1%

San Diego State University

4.1%

University of Alabama

3.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.8%

San Francisco State University

3.5%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.5%

Montgomery College

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

16.4%

Business

13.9%

Information Technology

13.3%

Computer Information Systems

9.6%

Computer Networking

4.9%

Computer Engineering

4.8%

Information Systems

3.8%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Psychology

3.5%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Communication

3.1%

Accounting

2.9%

Management Information Systems

2.9%

Finance

2.6%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Political Science

2.0%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Marketing

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

Management

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.1%

Other

18.0%

Associate

13.1%

Masters

13.1%

Certificate

3.3%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Information Technology Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
It/Engineering Assistant Custom Group, Inc. Woburn, MA Sep 22, 2010 $77,730
IT Assistant Sonangol USA Company Houston, TX Sep 09, 2013 $72,592 -
$74,807
IT Assistant Naturex Inc. South Hackensack, NJ Dec 06, 2012 $51,666
IT Assistant/Database Manager Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Jul 18, 2012 $50,000
IT Assistant The City University of New York New York, NY May 31, 2014 $46,704
Information Technology Engineering Assistant Casa Hindu Corporation El Paso, TX Sep 16, 2010 $42,000

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Top Skills for An Information Technology Assistant

ComputerHardwareComputerSystemsNetworkPrintersCompanyWebsiteDataEntryCustomerServicePhoneCallsTroubleshootDeskSupportTechnicalSupportSetupActiveDirectoryLaptopsComputerLabInternetSQLServerOfficeSuppliesWindowsXPTechnicalIssuesHelpdesk

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Top Information Technology Assistant Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Computer Systems
  3. Network Printers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Identified and resolved computer hardware and software problems and performed required installations within the computer.
  • Analyze system logs and identifying potential issues with computer systems.
  • Configure and assign internet protocol addresses on computers and network printers.
  • Maintained company databases on the Windows 2000 company servers along with the company website developing Visual Basic applications.
  • Provided customer service to faculty and student by answering phones and completing data entry.

Top Information Technology Assistant Employers

Information Technology Assistant Videos

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