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Become A Staff Specialist

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Working As A Staff Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $98,157

    Average Salary

What Does A Staff 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 Staff 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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Staff Specialist Jobs

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Staff Specialist Career Paths

Staff Specialist
Case Manager Assistant Director Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Product Manager Operations Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Contractor/Consultant Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Account Executive District Sales Manager
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Subject Matter Expert Information Technology Specialist
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Accountant Account Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Technical Support Specialist Technical Support Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Home Health Aid Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Specialist Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Senior Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Staff Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.1 years
Staff Specialist 4.0 years
Senior Specialist 3.7 years
MIS Specialist 3.2 years
Office Specialist 2.8 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Project Specialist 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.8%
Manager 6.2%
Supervisor 5.9%
Secretary 4.9%
Cashier 4.3%
Specialist 3.8%
Volunteer 2.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 8.3%
Manager 7.7%
Owner 5.1%
Supervisor 3.5%

Do you work as a Staff Specialist?

Staff Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

56.3%

Male

40.9%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

French

14.5%

German

10.9%

Carrier

7.3%

Japanese

3.6%

Hmong

3.6%

Russian

3.6%

Chinese

1.8%

Finnish

1.8%

Filipino

1.8%

Gujarati

1.8%

Marathi

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Korean

1.8%

Mandarin

1.8%

Italian

1.8%
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Staff Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

6.7%

University of Maryland - University College

5.9%

Pennsylvania State University

5.9%

American InterContinental University

5.2%

Colorado Technical University

5.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.2%

George Washington University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.4%

Strayer University

4.4%

Webster University

3.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.7%

Cornell University

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

Kaplan University

3.7%

North Carolina Central University

3.7%

Capella University

3.7%

Ohio University -

3.0%

Ashford University

3.0%

Montgomery College

3.0%
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Majors

Business

32.1%

Psychology

6.9%

Accounting

5.4%

Health Care Administration

4.6%

Criminal Justice

4.4%

Computer Science

4.2%

Finance

3.8%

Management

3.6%

Social Work

3.5%

Project Management

3.5%

Communication

3.5%

Human Resources Management

3.3%

Education

3.1%

Nursing

2.9%

General Studies

2.7%

Information Technology

2.7%

Computer Information Systems

2.7%

Marketing

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Political Science

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.1%

Masters

26.0%

Other

19.8%

Associate

8.0%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

2.7%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.3%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Staff Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Specialist J.P. Kenny, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 21, 2012 $153,421
Senior Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 03, 2015 $147,784
Staff Specialist (Topside & Fixed Platform) Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 14, 2014 $145,600
Senior Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 17, 2011 $141,000
Staff Specialist-Flow Assurance Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 06, 2015 $131,040
Senior Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 02, 2015 $130,990
Senior Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 11, 2013 $130,988
Senior Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 16, 2013 $130,000
Senior Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 07, 2011 $127,000
Senior Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 24, 2011 $126,000
Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX May 06, 2013 $126,000
Staff Specialist Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 12, 2016 $104,000 -
$149,500
Staff Specialist (Floating Structures) Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 27, 2015 $103,400
Staff Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 01, 2011 $103,270
Software Systems Staff Specialist University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Webster, TX Feb 18, 2014 $103,000
Staff Specialist Healthcare University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Jun 10, 2013 $101,000
Staff Specialist Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 10, 2011 $101,000
Staff Specialist Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 09, 2013 $100,583
MTS Specialist-Systems Engineering (Member Technical Staff) Verizon Data Services LLC Ashburn, VA May 21, 2016 $95,018
Software Systems Staff Specialist The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX Feb 01, 2014 $94,760
Staff Specialist Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. Lexington, MA Aug 18, 2014 $93,280
Staff Specialist Product Developer BMC Software, Inc. Lexington, MA May 26, 2015 $93,280
Staff Specialist (Floating Structures) Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 07, 2016 $93,070
Staff Specialist Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company Baltimore, MD Jan 23, 2012 $92,082
Software Systems Staff Specialist The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX Feb 01, 2012 $92,000

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Top Skills for A Staff Specialist

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  1. Procedures
  2. Data Entry
  3. Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented administrative policies and procedures based on agency and installation directives, command requirements and mission assigned.
  • Handled clerical responsibilities: data entry, filing, phones, faxes, e-mails and paper correspondence.
  • Supported HR Compliance Consultant with administrative tasks and in presenting orientation program aimed at more efficiently acclimating new personnel.
  • Dedicated to developing intelligent business practices, negotiating workable, win-win solutions, and delivering unparalleled customer service.
  • Provide administrative support of confidential and sensitive materials including student grades, Public Safety Incident Reports, performance evaluations and more.

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Top 10 Best States for Staff Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. New Jersey
  4. Delaware
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Virginia
  7. Minnesota
  8. Colorado
  9. Texas
  10. Connecticut
  • (645 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (1,111 jobs)
  • (132 jobs)
  • (144 jobs)
  • (1,980 jobs)
  • (932 jobs)
  • (872 jobs)
  • (2,727 jobs)
  • (427 jobs)

Top Staff Specialist Employers

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Jobs From Top Staff Specialist Employers

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