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Become A Senior Support Specialist

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Working As A Senior Support Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $58,920

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Support Specialist jobs

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Senior Support Specialist Career Paths

Senior Support Specialist
Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
Support Supervisor 3.4 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Help Desk Manager 3.3 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Help Desk Leader 3.0 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Desktop Engineer 2.6 years
Helpdesk Lead 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 3.7%
Internship 3.3%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.0%
Manager 2.8%

Senior Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

60.7%

Female

37.4%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

79.9%

Hispanic or Latino

9.4%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.1%

German

7.5%

Carrier

7.5%

French

5.7%

Arabic

5.7%

Italian

3.8%

Portuguese

1.9%

Greek

1.9%

Albanian

1.9%

Hebrew

1.9%

Amharic

1.9%

Gujarati

1.9%

Armenian

1.9%

Russian

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Croatian

1.9%

Ukrainian

1.9%
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Senior Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.4%

Strayer University

7.5%

American InterContinental University

5.0%

University of Washington

5.0%

University of South Alabama

5.0%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Houston Community College

4.5%

Northeastern University

4.5%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.5%

George Mason University

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

University of Houston

3.5%

New York University

3.0%

Saint John's University - New York

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%

University of Denver

3.0%

Boston University

3.0%

Liberty University

3.0%

Towson University

3.0%

Capella University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

26.8%

Computer Science

11.8%

Computer Information Systems

8.1%

Information Technology

7.5%

Computer Networking

4.5%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

Accounting

3.7%

Management

3.5%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Management Information Systems

2.8%

Communication

2.8%

Education

2.7%

Psychology

2.6%

Marketing

2.3%

Information Systems

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.0%

Computer Engineering

2.0%

Finance

1.9%

Project Management

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.6%

Other

23.1%

Associate

14.6%

Masters

14.2%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Consultant/Support Specialist Readsoft Us Solutions Lab, Inc. Morrisville, NC Sep 17, 2015 $132,339
Senior Director Global Support To Members & Representatives Worldventures Holdings, LLC Plano, TX Feb 09, 2016 $130,000 -
$150,000
Senior SAP Functional Support Specialist MTU America Inc. Novi, MI Sep 02, 2014 $112,500
Senior SAP Functional Support Specialist MTU America Inc. Novi, MI Sep 15, 2014 $110,000 -
$130,000
Senior Support Services Specialist Protegrity USA Stamford, CT Sep 13, 2011 $110,000
Senior-Network Support at&T Corp. Piscataway, NJ Aug 01, 2015 $109,884
Senior Specialist App/Prod Support (IT Senior Analyst 2, APP at&T Services, Inc. El Segundo, CA Dec 16, 2016 $108,170
Senior Support Specialist-Radiation Therapy Brainlab Inc. Westchester, IL Dec 17, 2014 $108,098
Senior SAP Functional Support Specialist Tognum America, Inc. Novi, MI Oct 01, 2012 $108,000
SR High Performance Computing Specialist Northwestern University Evanston, IL Oct 12, 2012 $106,635
Senior IP Video Support Specialist Industrial Video & Control Co. Newton, MA Mar 06, 2012 $104,624
SR High Performance Computing Specialist Northwestern University Evanston, IL Oct 12, 2012 $103,529
Senior Computer Specialist Korean Brothers, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Dec 20, 2010 $100,500
Senior Network Support at&T Services, Inc. Atlanta, GA May 29, 2015 $100,137
SR. High Performance Computing (HPC) Specialist New York University New York, NY Oct 21, 2013 $100,000
Computer Specialist/Sr. Consultant Excelacom Inc. Philadelphia, PA Nov 16, 2013 $99,000
Senior Network Support at&T Services, Inc. Durham, NC Oct 22, 2015 $98,608
Senior-Network Support at&T Services, Inc. Durham, NC Sep 21, 2015 $98,141
SR. Platform Support Specialist The United Illuminating Company Orange, CT Dec 29, 2015 $97,673
Senior Support Specialist Intersystems Corporation Cambridge, MA Mar 08, 2016 $89,000 -
$94,000
Senior Support Specialist Intersystems Corporation Cambridge, MA Nov 08, 2016 $89,000 -
$94,000
Senior-Network Support at&T Services, Inc. Atlanta, GA Sep 09, 2012 $88,371
Senior Specialist-App/Prod Support at&T Services, Inc. Bothell, WA Apr 16, 2013 $88,295
Senior SAP Functional Support Specialist MTU America Inc. Novi, MI Sep 30, 2015 $88,000 -
$110,000
Senior SAP Functional Support Specialist MTU America Novi, MI Dec 29, 2014 $88,000 -
$110,000
SR. Tech Support Analysis Network at&T Global Network Services LLC Piscataway, NJ Mar 18, 2011 $87,763

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Top Skills for A Senior Support Specialist

ComputerHardwareProceduresCustomerServiceRemoteSupportDataEntryTechnicalSupportDesktopSupportPhoneCallsActiveDirectoryTroubleshootSetupComplianceBackupWebSQLServerWindowsNTInternetExplorerVPNLaptopsLAN

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Top Senior Support Specialist Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Procedures
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided assistance with computer hardware, computer software, printing, program installation, word processing, email and operating systems.
  • Developed procedures for administration and development of programs using management system and the Intranet.
  • Excelled and achieved recognition and merit awards for providing consistent excellent customer service while promoting employee morale and team spirit.
  • Provided onsite support to 1500 users across the facility and remote support to users overseas.
  • Train employees on how to use the data entry on Company Laptops (80 users).

Top Senior Support Specialist Employers