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Become A Senior Customer Support Engineer

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Working As A Senior Customer Support Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $96,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Customer Support Engineer 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 Senior Customer Support Engineer

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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Senior Customer Support Engineer Career Paths

Senior Customer Support Engineer
Team Leader Project Manager Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Supervisor Manager
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Senior Engineer Technical Support Manager Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Senior Engineer Technical Support Manager Information Technology Manager
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Senior Engineer Technical Support Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Customer Support Manager Manager Vice President
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Customer Support Manager Operations Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Customer Support Manager Account Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Senior Network Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Account Manager Business Development Manager Consultant/Project Manager
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Account Manager Support Manager Help Desk Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Account Manager Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Deputy Program Manager Manager Of Systems And Programming
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Field Engineer Senior Network Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Field Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Field Engineer Network Manager Help Desk Manager
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Customer Support Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Senior Customer Support Engineer
Consultant 4.2%
Engineer 3.9%
Top Careers After Senior Customer Support Engineer
Consultant 6.3%
Manager 4.2%

Do you work as a Senior Customer Support Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$96,000
Show Salaries
$75,000
Min 10%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$123,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Alstom
Highest Paying City
Mountain View, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.7 years
How much does a Senior Customer Support Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Customer Support Engineer in the United States is $96,882 per year or $47 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $75,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $123,000.

Real Senior Customer Support Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Customer Support Engineer Velocloud Networks, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 29, 2016 $180,000
SR. Customer Support Engineer Big Switch Networks, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 16, 2014 $140,000 -
$150,000
Senior Customer Support Engineer AZUL Systems, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 08, 2015 $130,000
Senior Customer Support Engineer AZUL Systems, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 31, 2016 $130,000
SR. Customer Support Engineer Oclaro Technology, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 23, 2012 $127,671
Senior Principal Customer Support Engineer Schneider Electric Software LLC Lake Forest, CA Jan 09, 2016 $126,630 -
$129,920
Senior Customer Support Engineer Alstom Grid Inc. Houston, TX May 20, 2011 $126,464
Senior Customer Support Engineer Altiscale, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 08, 2016 $120,349 -
$142,376
Senior Customer Support Engineer Areva T&D Inc. Houston, TX Aug 25, 2010 $120,000 -
$130,000
Senior Principal Customer Support Engineer Schneider Electric Software LLC Lake Forest, CA Oct 08, 2016 $119,725 -
$147,183
Senior Technical Customer Support Engineer Netscout Systems Inc. Westford, MA Oct 25, 2016 $119,413 -
$124,413
SR. Customer Support Engineer Liveops, Inc. Redwood City, CA Sep 13, 2013 $115,000
Senior Customer Support Engineer Netscout Systems, Inc. Reston, VA Nov 01, 2012 $112,000
Senior Customer Support Engineer Netscout Systems, Inc. Reston, VA Oct 15, 2012 $112,000
SR. Customer Support Engineer Meridium, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 15, 2016 $111,657
SR. Customer Support Engineer RGB Networks Sunnyvale, CA Aug 10, 2015 $111,509
Customer Support Engineer Senior Operations SES Engineering (U.S.), Inc. VA Nov 01, 2009 $100,000
Customer Support Engineer Senior Operations SES Engineering (U.S.), Inc. VA Oct 01, 2009 $100,000
Senior Engineer Customer Support Wisair, Inc. Campbell, CA Jan 01, 2010 $96,300
Senior Advance Customer Support Engineer Saba Software, Inc. CA Aug 21, 2010 $92,872
Customer Support Engineer, SR. Tier 2 Blue Jeans Network, Inc. Mountain View, CA Feb 06, 2016 $92,290 -
$130,000
Senior Advance Customer Support Engineer Saba Software, Inc. CA Aug 09, 2010 $90,896
Senior Engineer, Customer Support Pros Revenue Management, LP Houston, TX Feb 20, 2012 $90,000
SR Customer Support Equipment Engineer Cymer LLC San Diego, CA Nov 10, 2016 $88,982 -
$117,600
Senior Customer Support Engineer AMAX Global Services Inc. Fremont, CA Feb 27, 2015 $87,402
Senior Customer Support Engineer Inquira, Inc. San Bruno, CA Mar 29, 2010 $86,757 -
$98,231
Senior Engineer Customer Support, Sales Kulicke & Soffa Industries, Inc. Fort Washington, PA Aug 09, 2016 $85,000
Customer Support Engineer Senior SES Engineering (U.S.), Inc. VA Sep 10, 2012 $85,000 -
$120,000
Customer Support Engineer Senior SES Engineering (U.S.), Inc. VA Oct 31, 2012 $85,000 -
$120,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Customer Support Engineer

  1. Windows XP
  2. New Product Development
  3. Computer Hardware
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained and serviced stock of embedded computer hardware and debugging hardware.
  • Provided technical support once products were deployed into customer production networks.
  • Work with company and customer staff to continuously improve customer service and develop and maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction.
  • Initiated development and further enhancement of customer billing system used by clients to retrieve database information for billing purposes.
  • Provided detailed reports concerning testing activities and bug discoveries/resolutions.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Customer Support Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Colorado
  3. Alaska
  4. Oregon
  5. California
  6. Idaho
  7. Wyoming
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Georgia
  10. North Dakota
  • (1,140 jobs)
  • (1,187 jobs)
  • (64 jobs)
  • (439 jobs)
  • (5,427 jobs)
  • (123 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (568 jobs)
  • (1,086 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)

Senior Customer Support Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.5%

Female

12.3%

Unknown

9.2%
Ethnicity

White

54.5%

Asian

15.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

5.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.7%

Arabic

26.7%

French

13.3%

Hebrew

6.7%

Carrier

6.7%
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Senior Customer Support Engineer Education

Schools

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

10.0%

Northeastern University

10.0%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

More Tech Institute

7.1%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

5.7%

New York University

5.7%

Santa Clara University

5.7%

University of Akron

5.7%

State University of New York Albany

4.3%

Community College of the Air Force

4.3%

Colorado Technical University

4.3%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

4.3%

University of Texas at Austin

4.3%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.9%

Salem State University

2.9%

Miami University

2.9%

Monmouth University

2.9%

Western Governors University

2.9%

San Jose State University

2.9%

Boston University

2.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

24.0%

Business

15.1%

Computer Science

14.8%

Computer Information Systems

4.9%

Computer Networking

4.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.9%

Computer Engineering

3.9%

Information Technology

3.6%

Computer Technical Support

3.6%

Project Management

3.3%

Management

2.6%

Education

2.3%

Engineering

2.0%

Political Science

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering

1.6%

Information Systems

1.6%

Communication

1.6%

Criminal Justice

1.6%

Management Information Systems

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.1%

Masters

21.5%

Other

17.1%

Associate

10.9%

Certificate

5.2%

Diploma

4.5%

Doctorate

0.7%
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