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Become An Operations Support Technician

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Working As An Operations Support Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $61,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Operations 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 An Operations 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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Operations Support Technician Career Paths

Operations Support Technician
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Consultant Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Project Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Team Leader Vice President
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Network Technician Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Network Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Technical Support Engineer Technical Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Systems Analyst Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Service Desk Analyst Service Desk Supervisor
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Technician Technical Analyst Application Support Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Operations Support Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Junior Technician 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Operations Support Technician
Internship 6.4%
Technician 4.9%
Cashier 4.9%
Assistant 3.2%
Manager 3.0%
Supervisor 2.4%
Top Careers After Operations Support Technician
Technician 7.0%
Owner 4.2%
Manager 4.2%
Server 4.2%
Internship 3.3%
Cashier 3.3%

Do you work as an Operations Support Technician?

Operations Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

57.7%

Female

31.9%

Unknown

10.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.1%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

9.0%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

12.5%

Portuguese

5.0%

Swedish

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

Filipino

2.5%

Vietnamese

2.5%

German

2.5%

Albanian

2.5%

Japanese

2.5%

Mandarin

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Tagalog

2.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Russian

2.5%

Croatian

2.5%
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Operations Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.2%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

17.6%

Kent State University

4.6%

More Tech Institute

4.6%

University of Maryland - University College

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

Strayer University

3.9%

University of Houston

3.3%

Florida International University

3.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

College of Southern Nevada

3.3%

Northeastern University

3.3%

Cerritos College

2.6%

Arapahoe Community College

2.6%

California State University - East Bay

2.6%

Webster University

2.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.6%

Houston Community College

2.6%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

2.6%

Kaplan University

2.6%
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Majors

Business

22.6%

Computer Science

10.7%

Computer Information Systems

9.4%

Information Technology

7.8%

Computer Networking

5.3%

Electrical Engineering

5.2%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

Communication

3.6%

Management

3.0%

Liberal Arts

3.0%

Accounting

3.0%

Education

2.8%

English

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Psychology

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Marketing

2.3%

General Studies

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.2%

Other

27.1%

Associate

17.9%

Masters

9.6%

Certificate

3.5%

Diploma

2.1%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Internship
Temporary

Highest Operations Support Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Central America Technical Support Operations Direc Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. Miramar, FL Jan 29, 2010 $90,727
Operations/Support Developer, Platform Tech Solutions Moody's Analytics New York, NY Dec 12, 2014 $89,378
Operations/Technical Support Depaul University Chicago, IL Aug 20, 2010 $55,994 -
$75,994
Technical Operations Support Resourcesoft Inc. New York, NY Oct 13, 2010 $55,000
Operations Support Technician Realnetworks, Inc. Reston, VA Sep 20, 2011 $43,305 -
$55,827

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Top Skills for An Operations Support Technician

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided technical support to computer users; identified and repaired problems; monitored computer configurations, installed hardware and software.
  • Configure and install computer hardware including installation of operating systems and applications and supporting Microsoft Windows 10 system upgrades.
  • Contributed to the development and implementation of processes and procedures to increase operational efficiency.
  • Improved and advanced customer service by developing 2 organizations chartered to support customer service process gaps and streamline customer interactions.
  • Trouble shooting hardware, software, and provide technical support for the users based on their operating system issue.

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