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Become An On-Site Technician

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Working As An On-Site Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $75,330

    Average Salary

What Does An On-Site 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 An On-Site 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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On-Site Technician Videos

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On-Site Technician Jobs

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On-Site Technician Career Paths

On-Site Technician
Network Technician Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Analyst Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Information Technology Technician Technical Support Specialist
Help Desk Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Field Service Technician Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Manager Program Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Data Analyst Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Specialist Technical Analyst
Senior Technical Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Technician Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Administrator Systems Engineer Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Technician Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Network Technician 3.1 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
MIS Technician 2.6 years
On-Site Technician 2.0 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Top Careers Before On-Site Technician
Technician 10.1%
Internship 4.4%
Owner 3.4%
Top Careers After On-Site Technician
Technician 7.4%

Do you work as an On-Site Technician?

On-Site Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

84.4%

Female

14.8%

Unknown

0.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.5%

French

12.1%

Carrier

12.1%

Portuguese

9.1%

Vietnamese

6.1%

Chinese

3.0%

German

3.0%

Mandarin

3.0%

Italian

3.0%
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On-Site Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.1%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

9.4%

Community College of Rhode Island

8.2%

University of Mississippi

5.9%

University of Maryland - University College

4.7%

Community College of the Air Force

4.7%

Santa Monica College

4.7%

Strayer University

4.7%

Western Illinois University

4.7%

ECPI University

3.5%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.5%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.5%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

3.5%

Fox Valley Technical College

3.5%

The Academy

3.5%

Arizona State University

3.5%

Corning Community College

3.5%

American InterContinental University

3.5%

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

3.5%

Eastern Michigan University

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

14.9%

Computer Information Systems

11.8%

Business

11.3%

Computer Networking

10.1%

Information Technology

9.4%

Electrical Engineering

7.8%

Communication

3.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.5%

Education

3.3%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

General Studies

2.8%

Computer Technical Support

2.6%

Psychology

2.4%

Graphic Design

2.4%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Management

1.9%

English

1.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.9%

Political Science

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.0%

Other

26.2%

Associate

23.7%

Certificate

5.6%

Masters

5.0%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.1%
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On-Site Technician Videos

A Career as a Civil Engineering Technician (JTJS52010)

A Career as a Mechanical Engineering Technician (JTJS42009)

A Career as a Civil Laboratory Technician (JTS52010)

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Top Skills for An On-Site Technician

  1. Computer
  2. Technical Support
  3. Personal Computers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted customers with purchases of computer equipment and computer software by providing detailed information about computer and software specifications.
  • Provided technical support during installation, start-up, testing, system commissioning and performance monitoring.
  • Complete provisioning of all personal computers.
  • Manage over 30 network printers, queues, and IP Printing clients.
  • Assisted in administering Windows 2003 and Windows XP based including troubleshooting Active directory, Windows Server, and Windows XP.

How Would You Rate Working As an On-Site Technician?

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Top On-Site Technician Employers

Jobs From Top On-Site Technician Employers

On-Site Technician Videos

A Career as a Civil Engineering Technician (JTJS52010)

A Career as a Mechanical Engineering Technician (JTJS42009)

A Career as a Civil Laboratory Technician (JTS52010)

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