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Become A Support Agent

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Working As A Support Agent

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Support Agent 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 Support Agent

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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Support Agent Career Paths

Support Agent
Technical Support Agent Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Agent Technical Support Specialist
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Agent Technical Support Specialist Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Agent Account Executive Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Agent Account Executive Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Agent Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Help Desk Analyst Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Specialist Customer Service Supervisor
Supervisor, Technical Support
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Support Specialist Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Information Technology Analyst Information Technology Administrator
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Support Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Information Technology/Support Technician Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Support Agent?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Support 2.7 years
Agent 2.1 years
Customer Agent 2.0 years
Support Agent 2.0 years
Support 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Support Agent
Cashier 12.0%
Internship 4.4%
Agent 3.4%
Server 2.7%
Manager 2.6%
Supervisor 2.3%
Top Careers After Support Agent
Cashier 6.7%
Agent 5.8%
Supervisor 3.3%
Specialist 3.1%
Manager 2.9%

Do you work as a Support Agent?

Average Yearly Salary
$39,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Pinterest
Highest Paying City
Newport, RI
Highest Paying State
Connecticut
Avg Experience Level
1.9 years
How much does a Support Agent make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Support Agent in the United States is $39,616 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $62,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Support Agent?

Have you worked as a Support Agent? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Support Agent.

Top Skills for A Support Agent

  1. Customer Service
  2. Technical Support
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal and written customer service.
  • Provided second level technical support to first level technicians as well as escalation management.
  • Answered telephone calls and returned calls as professionally needed
  • Corrected account issues per conversations with developers by phone/email; accordingly escalated necessary issues to appropriate teams.
  • Manage all foster care referrals, provide information and updates to DSS concerning children in custody with child support cases.

Support Agent Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 4,806 Support Agent resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Support Agent Resume

View Resume Examples

Support Agent Demographics

Gender

Female

48.2%

Male

40.0%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.3%

French

8.4%

Arabic

5.2%

Russian

3.2%

Portuguese

3.2%

German

3.2%

Korean

2.6%

Italian

1.9%

Hindi

1.3%

Mandarin

1.3%

Bengali

1.3%

Thai

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Swedish

0.6%

Hmong

0.6%

Akan

0.6%

Greek

0.6%

Tagalog

0.6%

Irish

0.6%

Chinese

0.6%
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Support Agent Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.7%

Strayer University

5.8%

Ashford University

5.3%

Utah Valley University

5.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.3%

Kaplan University

4.3%

Capella University

4.3%

Brigham Young University

4.0%

Liberty University

4.0%

American InterContinental University

3.8%

Miami Dade College

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.5%

Colorado Technical University

3.5%

Salt Lake Community College

3.3%

Youngstown State University

3.3%

University of North Texas

3.0%

Walden University

3.0%

Full Sail University

3.0%

Western Governors University

3.0%

Ohio State University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

25.9%

Criminal Justice

7.7%

Computer Science

6.5%

Information Technology

6.5%

Psychology

6.4%

Accounting

5.2%

Health Care Administration

4.3%

Computer Information Systems

4.2%

General Studies

4.0%

Communication

3.8%

Computer Networking

3.0%

Medical Assisting Services

3.0%

Management

2.9%

Sociology

2.6%

Political Science

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

Nursing

2.5%

Hospitality Management

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.1%

Human Resources Management

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.2%

Other

27.6%

Associate

17.4%

Masters

8.3%

Certificate

5.0%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Top Support Agent Employers

Jobs From Top Support Agent Employers

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