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Become A Software Support Specialist

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Working As A Software 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 Software 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 Software 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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Software Support Specialist jobs

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Software Support Specialist Career Paths

Software Support Specialist
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Project Manager Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Senior Software Engineer Product Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Software Trainer 2.6 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support 2.0 years
Software Installer 1.9 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Tier 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 3.3%
Manager 3.1%
Internship 2.5%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.0%

Software Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

61.0%

Female

37.7%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

80.4%

Hispanic or Latino

9.6%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

2.0%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.1%

French

7.1%

Chinese

7.1%

Japanese

7.1%

Mandarin

3.6%

Russian

3.6%

Italian

3.6%

German

3.6%

Hindi

3.6%

Swahili

1.8%

Cherokee

1.8%

Hmong

1.8%

Cheyenne

1.8%

Dutch

1.8%

Korean

1.8%

Ukrainian

1.8%

Dari

1.8%

Albanian

1.8%

Urdu

1.8%

Burmese

1.8%
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Software Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.2%

American InterContinental University

6.3%

Drexel University

6.3%

Strayer University

5.4%

DePaul University

5.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.4%

Northeastern University

5.4%

Southeast Community College Area

4.5%

Temple University

4.5%

Texas State University

4.5%

Austin Community College

4.5%

Florida Atlantic University

4.5%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Montgomery College

3.6%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.6%

Fox Valley Technical College

3.6%

Texas Tech University

3.6%

Regis University

3.6%

Union County College

3.6%

Kent State University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

20.5%

Computer Science

15.5%

Information Technology

10.8%

Computer Information Systems

9.5%

Accounting

4.2%

Computer Networking

3.9%

Information Systems

3.6%

Management Information Systems

3.5%

Computer Programming

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.0%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Psychology

2.7%

Education

2.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.4%

English

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Management

2.1%

Computer Applications

2.1%

Computer Technical Support

1.8%

Elementary Education

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.5%

Other

22.0%

Associate

18.1%

Masters

11.6%

Certificate

5.9%

Diploma

0.5%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Software Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR Software Support Specialist Active Health Management New York, NY May 13, 2013 $120,000
Software Support Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 15, 2016 $110,000
Software Support Specialist Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Sep 18, 2016 $91,850
Geomechanics Support Software Specialist Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Aug 19, 2013 $90,000
C&G Software Support Specialist Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Jan 10, 2015 $89,900
C&G Software Support Specialist Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $89,900
Software Support Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Richardson, TX Sep 01, 2015 $89,695
Software Support Specialist Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Dec 14, 2014 $89,496
Software Specialist/Computer Support Retrieve Technologies, Inc. Henniker, NH Dec 02, 2011 $89,149
Software Support Specialist Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Jun 06, 2016 $87,100
Software Support Specialist Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Nov 08, 2016 $85,883
Software Support Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Champaign, IL Sep 09, 2016 $85,690
Software Support Specialist Amdocs Inc. Champaign, IL Sep 19, 2016 $85,624
Global Software Support Specialist Leica Biosystems Imaging, Inc. Vista, CA Apr 13, 2015 $85,000
Software Support Specialist Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Aug 20, 2015 $85,000
Software Support Specialist Amdocs Inc. Champaign, IL Apr 15, 2016 $83,945
Software Support Specialist Ignite Management Consultants LLC Champaign, IL Sep 03, 2016 $83,480
Software Support Specialist Ignite Management Consultants LLC Champaign, IL Mar 09, 2016 $83,480
Software Support Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Richardson, TX Sep 09, 2015 $81,810
Software Support Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Champaign, IL Sep 01, 2015 $80,000
Software Support Specialist Orpine, Inc. Chesterfield, MO Sep 15, 2016 $61,485
Software Support Specialist Apttus Corporation Bozeman, MT Aug 15, 2016 $60,486 -
$70,385
Senior Software Support Specialist Chamber It, Inc. Mettawa, IL Oct 01, 2012 $58,843
Senior Software Support Specialist Chamber It Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 12, 2015 $57,949
Software Support Specialist Cenzic, Inc. Campbell, CA Oct 01, 2011 $57,866 -
$60,000
Software Support and Infrastructure Specialist MIC Logistics Corporation Southfield, MI Sep 30, 2015 $55,000
Labor Management Software Support Specialist Zambion Corporation New York, NY Dec 01, 2014 $52,000
Software Support Specialist The Cool Trader Company Oceanside, CA Jan 28, 2015 $50,378

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Top Skills for A Software Support Specialist

HardwareSupportSoftwareSupportDatabaseSQLServerRemoteAccessTechnicalSupportTroubleshootWebPhoneCallsDesktopSupportCustomerServiceSetupCustomerSupportSoftwareIssuesInternetSuiteSoftwareApplicationsNewSoftwareHelpdeskSupportActiveDirectory

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Top Software Support Specialist Skills

  1. Hardware Support
  2. Software Support
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide software and hardware support for business management/marketing software for service industry.
  • Assist the sales team - provide software support resulting in software maintenance renewals, etc.
  • Created and modified databases and server objects for over 40 clients.
  • Deliver custom software solutions utilizing SQL Server, Crystal Reports, Visual Studio, Excel and other tools.
  • Performed service on client laptops for remote access, and desktop support.

Top Software Support Specialist Employers

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