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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
  • $66,639

    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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Do you work as a Support Associate?

Support Associate Jobs

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Support Associate Career Paths

Support Associate
Medical Assistant Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Chief Operating Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Specialist Security Officer Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Service Coordinator Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Access Representative Information Specialist Information Manager
Director Of Information
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Project Manager Information Technology Consultant
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Technician Systems Administrator
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Technical Support Specialist
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Account Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Account Representative Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Technical Analyst
Senior Technical Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Adjunct Faculty Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Specialist Technical Support Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operator Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Delivery Driver Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 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
Specialist 2.5 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Staff 2.0 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 12.1%
Internship 8.2%
Volunteer 3.6%
Associate 3.4%
Teller 3.3%
Server 2.7%
Manager 2.2%
Assistant 2.1%
Specialist 2.0%
Top Employers After
Cashier 7.0%
Internship 5.4%
Associate 4.8%
Specialist 3.3%
Teller 3.3%
Server 3.0%
Manager 2.7%

Do you work as a Support Associate?

Support Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

62.5%

Male

35.4%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

3.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.4%

French

11.9%

Chinese

4.3%

Japanese

3.6%

Arabic

3.2%

Mandarin

2.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

Italian

2.5%

German

2.2%

Gujarati

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Tagalog

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Hungarian

0.7%

Persian

0.7%

Swahili

0.4%

Turkish

0.4%

Marathi

0.4%
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Support Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.5%

Michigan State University

8.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

7.2%

Strayer University

6.5%

Liberty University

5.6%

Ashford University

4.7%

The Community College of Baltimore County

4.5%

West Virginia University

4.3%

University of Kentucky

4.0%

Grand Canyon University

4.0%

Kaplan University

3.8%

Temple University

3.4%

Lansing Community College

3.4%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.9%

University of North Dakota

2.9%

Community College of Philadelphia

2.9%

Illinois State University

2.9%

Florida International University

2.9%

Drexel University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

25.8%

Psychology

9.1%

Criminal Justice

5.6%

Health Care Administration

5.5%

Communication

5.3%

Accounting

5.0%

Nursing

4.4%

Computer Science

4.1%

Medical Assisting Services

3.9%

Finance

3.5%

General Studies

3.2%

Management

3.2%

Liberal Arts

3.2%

English

3.0%

Computer Information Systems

2.9%

Biology

2.6%

Social Work

2.5%

Human Resources Management

2.4%

Marketing

2.4%

Information Technology

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.5%

Other

25.2%

Associate

14.5%

Masters

12.9%

Certificate

4.9%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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
Associate, Systems Support Nomura America Services, LLC New York, NY Mar 05, 2016 $131,000
Business Support Associate Merrill Lynch New York, NY Feb 12, 2015 $125,000
Associate, Application Support Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Iselin, NJ Dec 20, 2014 $110,000
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
Portfolio Suuport Group Associate Berkshire Partners LLC Boston, MA Feb 09, 2016 $104,000
Portfolio Suuport Group Associate Berkshire Partners LLC Boston, MA Sep 02, 2016 $104,000
Associate, DAC Support Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Houston, TX Jan 06, 2016 $102,000
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
Business Support Associate Merrill Lynch New York, NY Dec 02, 2013 $90,000 -
$110,000
Production Support Associate Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Aug 02, 2010 $90,000
Clearvision Support Associate RBS Securities Inc. Chicago, IL Feb 24, 2012 $90,000
Production Support Associate Bank of America N.A. San Francisco, CA Mar 16, 2015 $90,000 -
$100,000
Web Support Associate Moody's Analytics, Inc. New York, NY Apr 23, 2012 $85,500
Product Support Associate Blackrock Capital Management, Inc. Wilmington, DE Jul 09, 2012 $84,781 -
$100,000
Associate, Application Support Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Houston, TX Jan 10, 2016 $82,000
Trade Support Associate Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2009 $65,000
Production Support Associate Developer The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $65,000
SR. Account Support Associate Visa U.S.A. Inc. Miami, FL Aug 01, 2015 $65,000 -
$77,856
Laboratory Support Associate Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA Jan 08, 2016 $58,644
Support Associate Sap America, Inc. Lake Mary, FL Jan 09, 2016 $57,000
Observatory Support Associate The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Jan 13, 2015 $56,513

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Top Skills for A Support Associate

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  1. New Merchandise
  2. Customer Service
  3. Sales Floor
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Check area for any required shifting/rearrangement of older merchandise before placing new merchandise.
  • Support associate customer service training and communication efforts through participating in morning rallies and utilizing the Service bulletin board.
  • Process merchandise to floor ready standards and assist the Merchandise Team Lead with the placement of merchandise on the sales floor.
  • Perform data entry and verify information for printing endorsements on passports.
  • Receive office telephone calls/answer questions concerning individual's records/files.

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Top Support Associate Employers

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