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Become An Operations Support Specialist

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Working As An Operations Support Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Operations Support 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 Operations Support 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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Operations Support Specialist Career Paths

Operations Support Specialist
Assistant Manager Manager Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Manager
Senior Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Supervisor Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Manager
Delivery Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Store Manager Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Store Manager General Manager Property Manager
Asset Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Store Manager Product Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Consultant Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Administrator
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Account Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Case Manager Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Systems Analyst Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Operations Support Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Specialist 3.8 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Support Specialist 2.4 years
Support 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Operations Support Specialist
Cashier 7.2%
Internship 4.9%
Teller 3.0%
Supervisor 2.9%
Specialist 2.7%
Secretary 2.4%
Top Careers After Operations Support Specialist
Cashier 4.7%
Manager 3.8%
Supervisor 3.6%
Specialist 3.5%
Analyst 3.4%
Owner 3.0%

Do you work as an Operations Support Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$51,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
Sunnyvale, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does an Operations Support Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Operations Support Specialist in the United States is $76,973 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $51,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $114,000.

Real Operations Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Business Operations Support Specialist Basehealth, Inc. Redwood City, CA May 08, 2016 $90,355
Business Operations Support Specialist Basehealth Redwood City, CA May 24, 2016 $90,355
Operations Support Specialist Bunge North America (OPD West), Inc. Emporia, KS Sep 01, 2014 $83,000
Operations Support Specialist Exelon Generation Company, LLC TX Apr 18, 2011 $83,000
Operations Support Specialist Activehealth Management Chicago, IL Feb 08, 2016 $80,000
Business Operations Support Specialist Basehealth, Inc. Redwood City, CA Jun 23, 2015 $76,918
Operations Support Specialist/Linux Administrator Dizer Corp Palo Alto, CA Jul 12, 2016 $71,500
Specialist-Business Operations Support Verizon Corporate Services Corporation Ridgefield, NJ Apr 15, 2011 $67,725
IT Operations Support Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN May 12, 2016 $64,002 -
$90,000
Operations Support Specialist Active Health Management Chicago, IL Aug 15, 2016 $64,000
Operation Support Specialist Insurance Services Office, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 20, 2011 $62,500
IT Operations Support Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Aug 23, 2016 $61,600 -
$84,700
Support OPS Specialist Symantec Corporation Springfield, OR Dec 05, 2011 $53,706 -
$61,200
Operations Support Specialist Insurance Services Office, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jan 15, 2010 $52,000 -
$55,500
Operation Support Specialist Bay Area Compliance Labs Corp Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2012 $46,665
Business Operations Support Specialist West Side Institutional Synagogue New York, NY Jan 05, 2011 $45,392
Business Operations Support Specialist Parag Diamonds Inc. New York, NY Feb 19, 2013 $45,000
Business Operations Support Specialist Clinton Housing Development Company New York, NY Jun 04, 2012 $45,000

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Top Skills for An Operations Support Specialist

  1. Operational Procedures
  2. Customer Service
  3. Operations Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Identified and implemented process improvements based on client's standard operational procedures to further assist consumer issues.
  • Performed quantitative analysis of current operating plans, provided district management with cost control, productivity and customer service improvements.
  • Perform management/supervisory responsibilities upon the absence of the Operations Support Manager and Site Services Manager with full delegation of authority.
  • Execute operational support tasks such as data entry, transaction processing/re-processing, investigation and administrative tasks.
  • Scheduled appointments with staff using Microsoft Outlook, maintained personnel files and provided technical support to assigned personnel.

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Top 10 Best States for Operations Support Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Alaska
  5. New Jersey
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Colorado
  8. Virginia
  9. Minnesota
  10. Connecticut
  • (619 jobs)
  • (1,716 jobs)
  • (204 jobs)
  • (150 jobs)
  • (1,433 jobs)
  • (205 jobs)
  • (1,142 jobs)
  • (2,192 jobs)
  • (1,098 jobs)
  • (539 jobs)

Operations Support 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 3,957 Operations Support 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 Operations Support Specialist Resume

View Resume Examples

Operations Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

51.6%

Male

38.7%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.9%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.4%

French

6.8%

Portuguese

3.8%

Chinese

3.8%

Russian

3.0%

Mandarin

2.3%

Korean

2.3%

German

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Swedish

0.8%

Turkish

0.8%

Azerbaijani

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Hmong

0.8%

Danish

0.8%

Indonesian

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%
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Operations Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

29.6%

Strayer University

9.6%

University of Maryland - University College

5.2%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.4%

Delaware Technical and Community College

4.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.4%

Ashford University

4.1%

Georgia State University

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.3%

American InterContinental University

3.3%

Illinois State University

3.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.0%

Colorado Technical University

3.0%

Tennessee State University

2.7%

Pennsylvania State University

2.7%

Community College of the Air Force

2.7%

Front Range Community College

2.7%

University of Louisville

2.7%

University of Memphis

2.7%

Western Governors University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

35.0%

Accounting

6.9%

Computer Science

6.2%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Computer Information Systems

4.4%

Psychology

4.0%

Finance

4.0%

Information Technology

4.0%

Management

3.8%

Health Care Administration

3.8%

Communication

3.5%

General Studies

3.0%

Human Resources Management

2.6%

Political Science

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

English

2.0%

Legal Support Services

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Nursing

1.9%

Electrical Engineering

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Other

23.3%

Associate

14.8%

Masters

11.9%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.2%
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