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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
  • $90,640

    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
Human Resources Manager Program Manager General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Director Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Operations Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Associate Director Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Business Developer Business Development Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Project Manager Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Service Director Operations Director
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Service Manager General Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Consultant
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Principal Consultant Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Finance Analyst Senior Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Specialist E4 4.3 years
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Telecom Specialist 4.1 years
Staff Specialist 4.0 years
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
EDI Specialist 3.4 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Records Specialist 3.0 years
Office Specialist 2.8 years
Service Specialist 2.7 years
Product Specialist 2.6 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Project Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.0%
Manager 6.0%
Supervisor 5.7%
Secretary 4.3%
Cashier 4.1%
Specialist 3.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.6%
Manager 6.8%
Owner 4.5%
Supervisor 3.4%

Staff Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

56.1%

Male

41.4%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

80.8%

Hispanic or Latino

8.7%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.4%

French

15.4%

German

11.5%

Carrier

7.7%

Japanese

3.8%

Hmong

3.8%

Chinese

1.9%

Finnish

1.9%

Marathi

1.9%

Italian

1.9%

Gujarati

1.9%

Hindi

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Mandarin

1.9%

Russian

1.9%
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Staff Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.8%

George Washington University

6.2%

University of Maryland - University College

6.2%

Southern New Hampshire University

6.2%

Colorado Technical University

5.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.4%

Michigan State University

4.7%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

Strayer University

4.7%

American InterContinental University

4.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.9%

George Mason University

3.9%

North Carolina Central University

3.9%

Capella University

3.9%

Ashford University

3.1%

Radford University

3.1%

University of Northern Iowa

3.1%

Stanford University

3.1%

West Virginia University

3.1%

University of Iowa

3.1%
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Majors

Business

33.6%

Psychology

6.6%

Accounting

5.6%

Criminal Justice

4.4%

Health Care Administration

4.4%

Management

4.0%

Computer Science

3.8%

Project Management

3.6%

Communication

3.6%

Finance

3.6%

Education

3.2%

Human Resources Management

3.0%

Information Technology

3.0%

Social Work

2.8%

Nursing

2.6%

English

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

General Studies

2.2%

Electrical Engineering

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.6%

Masters

25.3%

Other

19.8%

Associate

8.8%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

2.6%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
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

ProceduresDataEntryFinancialCustomerServiceSafetyPayrollAssistanceMedicalStaffHospitalPoliciesMCIAdditionalWebSpecialProjectsProjectManagementStaffMembersTechnicalSupportResourceHREmergencyDuke

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Top Staff Specialist Skills

  1. Procedures
  2. Data Entry
  3. Financial
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented joint pole procedures and processes and advised on such issues in Southern California.
  • Included validation testing at data entry, and order processing to multiple MCI downstream systems.
  • Monitor monthly financial performance and submit monthly reports.
  • Managed vendor through design and implementation of new assessments for customer service and reservations agents.
  • Assist in improving patient safety, medical error reduction, cost effective patient care.

Top Staff Specialist Employers

Staff Specialist Videos

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