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Become A Program Technician

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Working As A Program Technician

  • 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 A Program 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 A Program 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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Program Technician jobs

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Program Technician Career Paths

Program Technician
Program Coordinator Program Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounts Payable Clerk Staff Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Office Manager Branch Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Specialist Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Business Developer Business Development Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Director Office Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Office Technician Staff Analyst Project Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Technician Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Security Officer Operations Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Technician Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Executive
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Program Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

60.6%

Male

37.4%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

79.3%

Hispanic or Latino

11.3%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.3%

French

10.0%

Russian

7.1%

German

5.7%

Italian

4.3%

Portuguese

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Irish

1.4%

Turkish

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Venetian

1.4%

Hmong

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Xiang

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%
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Program Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.6%

Ashford University

6.7%

Fresno City College

6.2%

University of Maryland - University College

6.2%

Liberty University

6.2%

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

5.2%

Kansas State University

4.7%

California State University - Sacramento

4.1%

University of Florida

4.1%

Wichita State University

4.1%

Walden University

4.1%

Sacramento City College

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

Northwest Missouri State University

3.6%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.6%

Capella University

3.6%

Arkansas State University

3.1%

Washburn University of Topeka

3.1%

George Washington University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

27.1%

Criminal Justice

8.0%

Psychology

5.8%

Computer Science

4.5%

Health Care Administration

4.3%

Computer Information Systems

4.3%

Accounting

4.2%

Nursing

4.1%

Agricultural Business

4.1%

Management

3.8%

Electrical Engineering

3.7%

Information Technology

3.5%

General Studies

3.2%

Communication

3.2%

Social Work

3.1%

Education

3.1%

Environmental Science

2.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Mechanical Engineering

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.2%

Other

25.0%

Masters

17.2%

Associate

11.4%

Certificate

5.6%

Doctorate

2.3%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Program Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Program Management Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 28, 2016 $168,635 -
$195,826
Advanced Programs Technologist Sabic Innovative Plastics Us LLC Exton, PA Aug 15, 2013 $90,000
Advanced Programs Technologist Sabic Innovative Plastics Us LLC Exton, PA Aug 21, 2013 $90,000
Advanced Programs Technologist Sabic Innovative Plastics Us LLC Exton, PA Aug 22, 2013 $90,000
Technical Program Management III Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. Austin, TX May 31, 2016 $78,562 -
$97,000
Open Innovation Program Technologist Flextronics International USA, Inc. Milpitas, CA Aug 20, 2015 $75,236
Technical Program Management II Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. Austin, TX Aug 25, 2015 $75,200 -
$112,800
Technical Program Management II Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. Tempe, AZ Jan 09, 2016 $63,100 -
$94,700
Clinical Program Technician CHDI Management, Inc. Princeton, NJ Aug 29, 2016 $55,000
Program Technician University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Jun 16, 2010 $43,772
Program Technician University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Jan 01, 2010 $41,058
Program Technician University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Dec 30, 2013 $36,500
Network and Programming Technician University of Idaho Moscow, ID Jun 25, 2010 $36,004
Program Technician University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Servi Little Rock, AR Aug 11, 2014 $34,736
Program Technician University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Nov 01, 2016 $32,198
Program Technician University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Jan 11, 2016 $32,198
Program Technician University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Dec 01, 2013 $30,741

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Top Skills for A Program Technician

CustomerServiceDataEntrySafeEnvironmentPhoneCallsFSAChildGISDisasterProgramsUsdaCRPFarmProgramsComputerSystemResourceSuperviseTemporaryLessonPlansFarmLoanLabAdditionalHealthInsurance

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Top Program Technician Skills

  1. Customer Service
  2. Data Entry
  3. Safe Environment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created, implemented and facilitated customer service initiative, building morale in the department and improving customer service.
  • Performed data entry and case management reporting.
  • Monitor clients to ensure a safe environment, record behaviors and issues through email/com log system.
  • Answered phone calls regarding order processing, faxed documents, typed correspondence and inventory control.
  • Assist farmers in reporting crops, land changes, and enrolling in FSA programs, and ensure their compliance.

Top Program Technician Employers

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