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Become A Project Support Specialist

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Working As A Project Support Specialist

  • 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 Project 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 A Project 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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Project Support Specialist jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
EDI Specialist 3.4 years
Project Analyst 3.0 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Project Specialist 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support 2.0 years
Project Consultant 1.9 years
Project Assistant 1.7 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 5.4%
Manager 3.4%
Secretary 3.0%
Cashier 3.0%
Top Employers After
Analyst 3.6%
Specialist 3.1%
Volunteer 2.6%
Consultant 2.6%

Project Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

65.5%

Male

32.4%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

78.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.2%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

2.0%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.2%

French

13.0%

Russian

8.7%

German

4.3%

Dutch

4.3%

Japanese

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Kazakh

4.3%

Italian

4.3%
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Project Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.9%

Towson University

9.5%

University of Maryland - University College

6.3%

Strayer University

6.3%

Liberty University

5.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.3%

Georgetown University

4.2%

Pennsylvania State University

4.2%

Wake Technical Community College

4.2%

Walden University

4.2%

University of Houston

3.2%

University of Alabama

3.2%

Saint Mary's University

3.2%

Prince George's Community College

3.2%

Johnson & Wales University

3.2%

College of Southern Maryland

3.2%

Webster University

3.2%

Robert Morris University

3.2%

Everest Institute

3.2%

LeTourneau University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

37.5%

Communication

6.7%

Project Management

5.0%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Accounting

4.7%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

Psychology

3.7%

Computer Science

3.3%

Economics

3.0%

Finance

3.0%

Information Technology

3.0%

Sociology

3.0%

Management

2.7%

Political Science

2.7%

General Studies

2.3%

Public Administration

2.3%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Human Resources Management

2.3%

Social Work

2.0%

Information Systems

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.7%

Masters

20.2%

Other

20.2%

Associate

9.7%

Certificate

4.8%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.8%

Diploma

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Project Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Support Specialist On Call Staffing Solutions, Inc. Dallas, TX Jan 18, 2013 $284,960
Senior Project Support Specialist Siemens Industry, Inc. New Kensington, PA Nov 01, 2010 $79,779
Project Support Specialist 3 Primetals Technologies USA LLC Alpharetta, GA Sep 10, 2015 $69,216
Project Support Specialist Audimation Services Inc. Houston, TX Sep 22, 2015 $60,091
Project Support Specialist Audimation Services, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 21, 2015 $60,091

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Top Skills for A Project Support Specialist

AccessDatabaseProjectSupportPersonnelProjectManagementEnsureComplianceFinancialReportsSharepointCompanyWebsiteLogisticsERPCustomerServiceDataEntryTechnicalSupportMeetingMinutesProjectPlansSafetyExpenseReportsStatusReportsSpecialProjectsAudit

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Top Project Support Specialist Skills

  1. Access Database
  2. Project Support
  3. Personnel
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Input labor hours into Access database, then analyze to ensure accurate time sheet reporting by project team members.
  • Provide project support to team - Track data clarification forms - Perform data entry of study data as needed
  • Created personnel, office and publication filing systems (paper and electronic).
  • Involved complete project management and establishing strong relationships with all internal and external clients.
  • Developed and implemented records management program to ensure compliance.

Top Project Support Specialist Employers

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Project Support Specialist Videos

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How To Become A Project Manager - Your Options

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