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Working As an Information Technology Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $78,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Information Technology 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 Information Technology 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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Information Technology Specialist Career Paths

Information Technology Specialist
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Field Service Technician Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Help Desk Analyst Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Consultant Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Service Desk Analyst Service Desk Supervisor
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Help Desk Analyst Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Desktop Support Specialist Level Senior Technician
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Desktop Support Technician Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Information Technology Specialist
Internship 4.8%
Cashier 3.7%
Consultant 3.3%
Manager 3.1%
Technician 3.1%
Top Careers After Information Technology Specialist
Consultant 4.2%

Do you work as an Information Technology Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$78,000
Show Salaries
$60,000
Min 10%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Citi
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.4 years
How much does an Information Technology Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Information Technology Specialist in the United States is $78,494 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $60,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $101,000.

Real Information Technology Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
IT Specialist/Vp Goldman Sachs Services LLC Jersey City, NJ Jul 30, 2015 $179,400 -
$225,000
IT Specialist, VP Goldman Sachs Services LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 21, 2015 $174,900 -
$183,600
IT Business Technical Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. New York, NY Mar 25, 2016 $160,000
Consulting IT Specialist IBM Corporation Indianapolis, IN Jun 09, 2015 $155,000
IT Business Tech Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Warren, NJ Nov 20, 2016 $155,000
Consulting IT Specialist IBM Corporation Brookline, MA Jun 09, 2015 $155,000
Consulting IT Specialist IBM Corporation Hartford, CT Jun 09, 2015 $155,000
Consulting IT Specialist IBM Corporation Cambridge, MA Jul 07, 2015 $155,000
IT Specialist, Technology Solutions TD Securities (USA) LLC New York, NY Mar 15, 2016 $151,500
IT Business Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Sep 06, 2015 $150,000
IT Business Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. Jersey City, NJ Aug 20, 2015 $150,000
IT Business Technical Specialist Citibank, N.A. Warren, NJ Apr 29, 2015 $150,000
IT Quality Tech Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Feb 15, 2016 $150,000
IT Business Tech Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Warren, NJ Nov 16, 2015 $150,000
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Johns Creek, GA Apr 23, 2016 $82,039 -
$85,319
Specialist, IT Process Management Nationwide Insurance Des Moines, IA Aug 16, 2015 $82,000 -
$92,000
Specialist, IT Analysis Nationwide Insurance Des Moines, IA Jun 06, 2016 $82,000 -
$92,000
IT Architecture Specialist Sap America, Inc. Newtown, PA Jan 03, 2016 $82,000
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Houston, TX Aug 19, 2015 $81,869
IT Specialist IBM India Pvt. Ltd. Houston, TX Aug 17, 2015 $81,869
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Houston, TX Aug 11, 2015 $81,869
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Houston, TX Aug 02, 2015 $81,869
IT Specialist II Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Inc. Durham, NC Aug 09, 2016 $73,861 -
$88,000
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Indianapolis, IN Jul 29, 2015 $73,650
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Charlotte, NC Aug 18, 2015 $73,650 -
$78,218
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Columbus, OH Aug 18, 2015 $73,650
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Roanoke, VA May 19, 2015 $73,650
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Charlotte, NC Jul 16, 2015 $73,650 -
$78,218
IT Specialist IBM India Private Limited Columbus, OH Aug 16, 2015 $73,650

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Top Skills for An Information Technology Specialist

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Customer Service
  3. Network Printers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency concerning installations and repairs of new and modified computer hardware and software to increase overall reliability.
  • Provide exceptional customer service while managing all procedures related to the identification, prioritization, and resolution of end-user technical issues.
  • Trained and managed ten users on network printers/plotters and achieved significant improvements in their productivity.
  • Provided first-level technical support to end-users on proprietary software and applications including installation basic usage and appropriate service level to warranty.
  • Administered entire environment to all Security and distribution groups in Active Directory for various File share access and special permission modifications.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Information Technology Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Alaska
  4. Delaware
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Virginia
  7. New Jersey
  8. California
  9. Washington
  10. North Dakota
  • (705 jobs)
  • (1,436 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (142 jobs)
  • (158 jobs)
  • (2,228 jobs)
  • (1,123 jobs)
  • (4,386 jobs)
  • (794 jobs)
  • (136 jobs)

Information Technology Specialist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 36,272 Information Technology Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Information Technology Specialist Resume

View Resume Examples

Information Technology Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

69.9%

Female

21.7%

Unknown

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

58.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

9.4%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.7%

French

10.7%

Arabic

6.2%

German

5.2%

Chinese

4.4%

Russian

4.2%

Mandarin

3.0%

Italian

3.0%

Japanese

3.0%

Korean

2.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

Hindi

1.3%

Cantonese

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Turkish

0.9%

Polish

0.7%

Hebrew

0.6%

Albanian

0.6%
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Information Technology Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.6%

University of Maryland - University College

13.3%

Strayer University

9.1%

Western Governors University

5.1%

George Mason University

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.3%

Community College of the Air Force

4.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.7%

American InterContinental University

3.6%

Capella University

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

Colorado Technical University

3.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.9%

Central Texas College

2.9%

George Washington University

2.8%

University of Houston

2.8%

American University

2.6%

Webster University

2.6%

The Academy

2.4%

ECPI University

2.2%
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Majors

Computer Science

17.5%

Information Technology

16.2%

Business

14.8%

Computer Information Systems

12.5%

Computer Networking

5.5%

Information Systems

4.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.8%

Management Information Systems

3.1%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Computer Engineering

2.9%

Computer Systems Security

2.5%

Management

2.2%

Communication

1.7%

Project Management

1.7%

Accounting

1.7%

General Studies

1.5%

Psychology

1.4%

Finance

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Education

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.4%

Other

19.3%

Masters

16.5%

Associate

15.3%

Certificate

4.1%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.1%
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