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Become A Senior Information Specialist

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Working As A Senior Information Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $86,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Information 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 Senior Information 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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Average Length of Employment
Senior Specialist 3.7 years
Top Careers Before Senior Information Specialist
Consultant 6.4%
Internship 5.7%
Specialist 3.0%
Top Careers After Senior Information Specialist
Manager 8.1%
Consultant 6.9%
Volunteer 3.7%
Analyst 3.7%
Specialist 3.3%

Do you work as a Senior Information Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$86,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$63,000
Min 10%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
City of Albuquerque
Highest Paying City
Seaside, CA
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
4.5 years
How much does a Senior Information Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Information Specialist in the United States is $86,099 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $64,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $115,000.

Real Senior Information Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Nov 16, 2015 $137,966
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Feb 01, 2014 $115,000
SR. Information Specialist Novartis Services Inc. Fort Worth, TX Apr 01, 2016 $107,349
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Jan 28, 2016 $107,349
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Jan 14, 2014 $101,650 -
$105,000
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Jan 01, 2014 $101,650 -
$105,000
SR. Information Specialist Novartis Services Inc. Fort Worth, TX Apr 01, 2016 $99,985
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Dec 13, 2011 $93,000 -
$110,000
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Apr 12, 2010 $90,000 -
$105,000
Quality Systems SR. Information Specialist Alcon Research, Ltd. Fort Worth, TX Oct 14, 2015 $85,200
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Dec 01, 2011 $85,000 -
$105,000
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories Inc. Fort Worth, TX Oct 08, 2012 $85,000 -
$95,000
SR. Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Oct 07, 2015 $85,000 -
$100,000
Senior Information Specialist Swiss Re America Holding Corporation Armonk, NY Aug 26, 2013 $84,000 -
$95,000
Information Specialist Senior Saber Software, Inc. Trenton, NJ Aug 17, 2009 $84,000 -
$95,000
Senior Information Specialist Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Nov 30, 2014 $83,928 -
$99,552
SR Information Specialist Novartis Services Inc. Fort Worth, TX Apr 01, 2016 $82,320
Information Specialist (Senior) Electronic Data Systems, LLC (Eds, An Hp Company) Mountain View, CA Oct 19, 2009 $80,226 -
$151,200
Information Specialist Senior Saber Software, Inc. Rancho Cordova, CA Aug 31, 2009 $80,000 -
$95,000
Information Specialist Senior Saber Software, Inc. Olympia, WA Aug 10, 2009 $79,000 -
$95,000
Quality Systems, SR. Information Specialist Alcon Research, Ltd. Fort Worth, TX Nov 18, 2013 $78,686 -
$80,000
Infomation Specialist Senior Electronic Data Systems, LLC (Eds, An Hp Company) Washington, DC Feb 21, 2010 $78,042 -
$138,600
Information Specialist Senior Saber Software, Inc. Columbus, OH Aug 24, 2009 $78,000 -
$90,000
Information Specialist Senior Electronic Data Systems, LLC (Eds, An Hp Company) Seaside, CA Jan 16, 2010 $77,709 -
$138,600
Information Specialist Senior Saber Software, Inc. Columbus, OH Aug 03, 2009 $75,000 -
$85,000
Information Specialist Senior Saber Software, Inc. Columbus, OH Aug 10, 2009 $75,000 -
$85,000
Information Specialist Senior Saber Software, Inc. Olympia, WA Aug 10, 2009 $75,000 -
$95,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Information Specialist

  1. Data Entry
  2. Procedures
  3. Web Application
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed data entry, audited driving records into several computerized systems.
  • Developed and implemented computer operation procedures, inventories, logs, production, preventive maintenance schedules and related documentation.
  • Developed application framework that served as the cornerstone for a highly successful thin-client web applications strategy.
  • Provided project management review of a global solution development in Germany.
  • Fostered an environment of superior customer service where customers were welcomed warmly and assistance was provided with professionalism and efficiency.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Information Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Alaska
  6. New Jersey
  7. Minnesota
  8. Virginia
  9. Colorado
  10. Connecticut
  • (537 jobs)
  • (1,108 jobs)
  • (125 jobs)
  • (144 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (898 jobs)
  • (784 jobs)
  • (1,780 jobs)
  • (722 jobs)
  • (350 jobs)

Senior Information Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

46.8%

Male

43.7%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

58.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Black or African American

13.2%

Asian

10.0%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.8%

French

13.8%

Portuguese

6.9%

Chinese

6.9%

German

6.9%

Mandarin

6.9%

Italian

6.9%

Russian

3.4%

Polish

3.4%
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Senior Information Specialist Education

Schools

University of Texas at Arlington

8.7%

University of Phoenix

8.7%

Cornell University

8.7%

Strayer University

6.8%

University of Missouri - Columbia

6.8%

University of Maryland - University College

4.9%

University of Houston

4.9%

University of the Sciences

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

Tarrant County College District

3.9%

Creighton University

3.9%

Duquesne University

3.9%

New York University

3.9%

Drexel University

3.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.9%

Towson University

3.9%

Simmons College

3.9%

George Washington University

3.9%

Old Dominion University

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%
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Majors

Business

22.2%

Computer Science

11.8%

Pharmacy

7.2%

Information Technology

5.2%

Computer Information Systems

4.9%

Library Science

4.6%

Library Science And Administration

4.6%

English

4.3%

Communication

3.7%

Psychology

3.7%

Journalism

3.2%

Management Information Systems

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Electrical Engineering

2.9%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Accounting

2.9%

Legal Support Services

2.6%

Computer Programming

2.3%

Management

2.3%

Biology

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.9%

Masters

29.0%

Other

13.2%

Doctorate

6.2%

Associate

6.0%

Certificate

5.6%

Diploma

2.1%
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