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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
  • $67,000

    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 Career Paths

Project Support Specialist
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Operations Director
Operations Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Operations Manager
Senior Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounting Manager Manager
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Manager Service Manager
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Analyst Senior Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Analyst Manager Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Operations Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Service Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Production Manager
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Service Manager Service Delivery Manager
Delivery Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Warehouse Manager Material Manager
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Administrative Assistant Assistant Store Manager Support Manager
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Administrative Assistant Senior Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Project Support Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Specialist 3.8 years
Staff Analyst 3.8 years
Project Analyst 3.0 years
Project Specialist 2.6 years
Top Careers Before Project Support Specialist
Internship 5.5%
Secretary 3.4%
Cashier 3.4%
Manager 3.0%
Assistant 2.8%
Consultant 2.5%
Top Careers After Project Support Specialist
Specialist 3.8%
Analyst 3.4%
Manager 3.1%
Volunteer 2.8%
Consultant 2.8%

Do you work as a Project Support Specialist?

Project Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

60.7%

Male

29.9%

Unknown

9.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

14.3%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.5%

French

15.2%

Japanese

6.1%

Russian

6.1%

Italian

6.1%

Chinese

3.0%

German

3.0%

Dutch

3.0%

Arabic

3.0%

Kazakh

3.0%
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Project Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.0%

University of Maryland - University College

10.4%

Towson University

7.1%

Pennsylvania State University

6.5%

Strayer University

5.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

University of New Haven

3.9%

Liberty University

3.9%

Prince George's Community College

3.2%

Ashford University

3.2%

College of Southern Maryland

3.2%

Webster University

3.2%

University of Alabama

2.6%

Villanova University

2.6%

Wayne State University

2.6%

Wake Technical Community College

2.6%

Western Washington University

2.6%

George Washington University

2.6%

Le Moyne College

2.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.6%
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Majors

Business

34.6%

Communication

6.2%

Psychology

6.2%

Project Management

5.0%

Accounting

4.5%

Computer Information Systems

4.1%

Computer Science

3.5%

Management

3.5%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Sociology

3.3%

General Studies

3.1%

Political Science

3.1%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Marketing

2.9%

Finance

2.7%

Economics

2.3%

Public Administration

2.3%

Human Resources Management

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%

English

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.3%

Masters

20.6%

Other

17.1%

Associate

10.1%

Certificate

5.1%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$67,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$42,000
Min 10%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Ace Info Solutions
Highest Paying City
Union, NJ
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Project Support Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Project Support Specialist in the United States is $67,426 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $42,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $106,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Project Support Specialist?

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Top Skills for A Project Support Specialist

  1. Project Management
  2. Database
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide support to corporate responsibility project management teams to assist in management and processing of data supporting global working conditions training.
  • Compiled technical, financial and other project data using various database programs for inclusion in reports or presentation materials.
  • Implemented new departmental policies and procedures for more efficient documentation releases, equipment ordering/tracking/delivering and maintenance of configuration management tools.
  • Developed and implemented records management program to ensure compliance.
  • Analyze monthly financial statements to ensure financial stability.

How Would You Rate Working As a Project Support Specialist?

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Top Project Support Specialist Employers

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