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Become A Senior Technical Support Specialist

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Working As A Senior Technical 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 Technical 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 Technical 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 Technical Support Specialist jobs

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Senior Technical Support Specialist Career Paths

Senior Technical Support Specialist
Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Quality Assurance Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Systems Architect Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Consultant Product Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer 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
Pc/Lan Analyst 3.3 years
Help Desk Manager 3.3 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Help Desk Leader 3.0 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
PC Analyst 2.7 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
Desktop Engineer 2.6 years
Helpdesk Lead 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Support 2.0 years
Help Desk Engineer 1.8 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Top Employers After
Consultant 2.7%

Senior Technical Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

81.6%

Female

16.4%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

75.1%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

2.6%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.4%

Portuguese

11.1%

Chinese

4.4%

German

4.4%

Japanese

4.4%

French

4.4%

Italian

4.4%

Russian

2.2%

Afrikaans

2.2%

Hindi

2.2%

Greek

2.2%

Serer

2.2%

Carrier

2.2%

Cheyenne

2.2%

Urdu

2.2%

Thai

2.2%

Mandarin

2.2%
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Senior Technical Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.2%

Strayer University

11.0%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.8%

Boston University

4.8%

Northeastern University

4.8%

National University

4.1%

Old Dominion University

4.1%

Eastern Michigan University

4.1%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

4.1%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

4.1%

New York University

3.4%

The Academy

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

University of Akron

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%

Kennesaw State University

3.4%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.4%

Michigan State University

2.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

2.7%
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Majors

Business

17.5%

Computer Science

15.9%

Computer Information Systems

12.3%

Information Technology

10.5%

Electrical Engineering

7.3%

Computer Networking

5.7%

Information Systems

4.1%

Management Information Systems

3.2%

Communication

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Management

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

English

1.6%

Computer Engineering

1.6%

Computer Technical Support

1.6%

Engineering

1.6%

Computer Systems Security

1.6%

Education

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.4%

Other

23.0%

Associate

16.9%

Masters

11.2%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

2.7%

Doctorate

1.0%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Technical Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Technical Support Specialist Apttus Corporation San Mateo, CA Jun 22, 2015 $125,429
Senior Technical Support Specialist Apttus Corporation San Mateo, CA Jul 27, 2016 $125,000
Senior Technical Support Specialist Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 09, 2016 $121,412
Senior Technical Support Specialist Walt Disney Attractions Technology LLC Lake Buena Vista, FL Jul 17, 2016 $121,412
Senior Technical Support Specialist Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. Lake Buena Vista, FL Dec 13, 2015 $118,220
Senior Technical Support Specialist Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, U.S. Lake Buena Vista, FL Dec 13, 2013 $115,000
Senior Specialist Tech Support Honeywell International Inc. Cincinnati, OH Sep 10, 2013 $110,000
Senior Specialist Tech Support Honeywell International Inc. Cincinnati, OH Sep 04, 2014 $110,000
Senior Technical Support Specialist Nokia Solutions and Networks Us LLC Irving, TX Aug 20, 2016 $108,722
Senior Associate, Technical Support Specialist MSCI, Inc. Berkeley, CA Aug 28, 2016 $102,003 -
$110,000
SR. Tech Sales Support Specialist Saviynt, Inc. Atlanta, GA Oct 17, 2016 $100,422
SR Technical Support Specialist Servicenow, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jan 29, 2016 $92,019
Senior Anesthesia Technical Support Specialist Mindray DS USA, Inc. Mahwah, NJ Aug 18, 2011 $89,595
Senior Technical Support Specialist Elster Solutions LLC Chicago, IL Sep 18, 2010 $89,000
SR. Technical Support Specialist Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Salem, NH Feb 11, 2016 $86,363
Senior Technical Support Specialist King's Hawaiian Holding Company Torrance, CA May 20, 2016 $85,500
Senior Technical Support Specialist Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Salem, NH Nov 01, 2010 $85,000
Senior Technical Support Specialist Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Wakefield, MA Dec 28, 2009 $85,000
Senior Technical Support Specialist Forcepoint LLC Austin, TX Feb 23, 2016 $84,079
Senior Technical Support Specialist Websense, Inc. Austin, TX Jun 20, 2014 $82,430
Senior Tech Support Specialist Websense, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 03, 2010 $75,005
Senior Tech Support Specialist Websense, Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 23, 2010 $75,005
Senior Technical Field Support Specialist Cybervision, Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Oct 11, 2011 $75,000
Specialist Technical Support Senior Honeywell International Inc. Houston, TX Sep 07, 2015 $73,687
SR. Technical Support Specialist, Latin America Hand Held Products, Inc. Fort Mill, SC Dec 08, 2012 $73,243
Senior Technology Support Specialist Health Care Service Corporation Downers Grove, IL Sep 30, 2010 $73,174 -
$115,000
Senior Technical Support Specialist Yaskawa America, Inc. Miamisburg, OH Aug 14, 2015 $70,054

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Top Skills for A Senior Technical Support Specialist

ComputerHardwareTechnicalSupportRemoteDesktopDesktopSupportActiveDirectoryCustomerServicePhoneCallsNetworkPrintersTroubleshootLaptopsWindowsXPSetupVPNWebInternetOSCitrixSQLHelpdeskTechnicalIssues

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Top Senior Technical Support Specialist Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Technical Support
  3. Remote Desktop
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Helped businesses trouble shoot technical problems and find technical information on products, ranging from computer hardware to networking hardware.
  • Supplied technical support to mission critical services and created problem tickets to resolve complex issues.
  • Resolved issues using remote desktop to connect and fix the problem.
  • Performed all day to day support functions of a Network Administrator/Desktop Support Specialist including managing email accounts in Microsoft Exchange environments.
  • Manage expansive Active Directory environment, including setup/deletion of user accounts and group permissions.

Top Senior Technical Support Specialist Employers

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