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Become A Support Associate

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Working As A Support Associate

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $47,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Support Associate 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 Associate

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 Associate Career Paths

Support Associate
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Substitute Teacher Consultant
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Specialist Account Executive
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Substitute Teacher Account Executive
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Specialist Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Analyst Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Coordinator Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Systems Administrator
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Lead Technician
Support Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Licensed Practical Nurse Clinical Research Coordinator
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Support Associate?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Support Clerk 3.0 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Support Specialist 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.4 years
Support Staff 2.1 years
Support Agent 2.0 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Support Associate
Cashier 14.1%
Internship 7.6%
Volunteer 3.8%
Associate 3.2%
Server 2.7%
Assistant 2.2%
Secretary 1.9%
Clerk 1.9%
Manager 1.8%
Top Careers After Support Associate
Cashier 9.5%
Associate 4.6%
Internship 4.2%
Server 3.0%
Assistant 2.9%
Specialist 2.7%
Manager 2.4%

Do you work as a Support Associate?

Support Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

55.3%

Male

31.0%

Unknown

13.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.2%

French

10.2%

Chinese

3.8%

Mandarin

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

German

2.6%

Italian

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Korean

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Hindi

0.7%

Greek

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Russian

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Hungarian

0.5%

Filipino

0.5%
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Support Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.9%

Michigan State University

9.5%

Strayer University

6.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.1%

Kaplan University

4.5%

Ashford University

4.4%

Miami Dade College

3.8%

Liberty University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Kentucky

3.6%

Nassau Community College

3.6%

Community College of Philadelphia

3.4%

Florida International University

3.4%

Capella University

3.2%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.2%

Temple University

3.1%

Kent State University

3.1%

West Virginia University

3.1%

Arizona State University

3.0%

The Community College of Baltimore County

3.0%
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Majors

Business

25.8%

Psychology

8.2%

Criminal Justice

6.1%

Health Care Administration

6.1%

Nursing

5.3%

Accounting

5.2%

Medical Assisting Services

5.0%

Communication

4.4%

Finance

3.7%

Computer Science

3.6%

General Studies

3.5%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

Management

3.1%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Marketing

2.5%

Social Work

2.4%

Information Technology

2.4%

Biology

2.4%

English

2.3%

Education

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.1%

Other

25.4%

Associate

15.2%

Masters

11.3%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

2.4%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$47,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
LinkedIn
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does a Support Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Support Associate in the United States is $47,394 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $84,000.

Real Support Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Associate Dirirector, Decision Support Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation New Haven, CT Oct 01, 2013 $159,827
Business Support Associate Merrill Lynch New York, NY Feb 12, 2015 $125,000
Production Support Associate Merrill Lynch Jersey City, NJ Apr 15, 2011 $108,000 -
$128,000
Production Support Associate Bank of America N.A. Concord, CA Jun 09, 2011 $105,477 -
$115,000
Production Support Associate Bank of America N.A. Charlotte, NC May 15, 2011 $100,755 -
$115,000
Application Support Associate II The Bank of New York Mellon Westport, CT Nov 28, 2011 $100,000
Application Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Oct 11, 2010 $98,446 -
$100,000
Application Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Dec 21, 2011 $98,000 -
$99,000
Critical Infrastructure Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Norwalk, CT Apr 08, 2014 $92,914 -
$100,000
Critical Infrastructure Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Norwalk, CT Aug 04, 2014 $92,914 -
$100,000
Web Support Associate Moody's Analytics, Inc. New York, NY Feb 20, 2015 $90,267
Web Support Associate Moody's Analytics, Inc. New York, NY Nov 26, 2014 $90,267
Clearvision Support Associate RBS Securities Inc. Chicago, IL Feb 24, 2012 $90,000
Network Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Norwalk, CT Aug 15, 2016 $81,598 -
$95,000
Client Support Associate Axioma, Inc. New York, NY Aug 20, 2016 $80,000 -
$95,000
Production Support Associate Bank of America N.A. San Francisco, CA May 07, 2012 $77,709 -
$95,000
Drug Safety Support Associate Unicon Pharma Inc. Florham Park, NJ Dec 23, 2016 $77,000
Production Support Associate Bank of America N.A. Charlotte, NC May 15, 2011 $75,000 -
$95,000
Production Support Associate Merrill Lynch Jersey City, NJ Jul 01, 2011 $75,000 -
$95,000
Lead Study Support Associate Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Cambridge, MA Mar 03, 2015 $73,000
Observatory Support Associate The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Jan 13, 2015 $56,513
Product Support Associate II Gen-Probe Incorporated San Diego, CA Jun 09, 2014 $56,000
Product Support Associate II Gen-Probe Incorporated San Diego, CA Sep 06, 2014 $56,000
Laboratory Support Associate Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA Aug 01, 2013 $55,254
Product Support Associate II Alere San Diego Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 07, 2016 $55,000 -
$67,000
Observatory Support Associate The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Jan 02, 2014 $54,263
Production Support Associate Developer The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America New York, NY Sep 15, 2013 $53,394 -
$65,000
Product Support Associate Gen-Probe Incorporated San Diego, CA Sep 02, 2015 $53,000

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Top Skills for A Support Associate

  1. Customer Service
  2. Sales Floor
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Support associate customer service training and communication efforts through participating in morning rallies and utilizing the Service bulletin board.
  • Organize and maintain merchandise in stock rooms, filling in the sales floor as needed.
  • Run stores opening/closing polling procedures, monitor stores financial activity to be communicated to all levels of management.
  • Performed data entry for insurance applications.
  • Accept inbound telephone calls from cardholders and financial institutions regarding suspicious credit/debit card transactions.

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Top 10 Best States for Support Associates

  1. Ohio
  2. Delaware
  3. Alaska
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Minnesota
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Texas
  8. New Jersey
  9. Colorado
  10. Connecticut
  • (1,901 jobs)
  • (164 jobs)
  • (109 jobs)
  • (347 jobs)
  • (1,059 jobs)
  • (1,299 jobs)
  • (3,555 jobs)
  • (1,121 jobs)
  • (935 jobs)
  • (471 jobs)

Top Support Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Support Associate Employers

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