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Become A Support

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Working As A Support

  • 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 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

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 Jobs

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Support Career Paths

Support
Team Leader Supervisor Manager
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Manager Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Epic Consultant Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Epic Consultant Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Epic Consultant Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Epic Credentialed Trainer Physician Clinical Research Coordinator
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Trainer Technical Support Technician
Senior Support Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Infrastructure Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Technical Support Specialist Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Support?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Support 2.7 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Support Specialist 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.4 years
Support Associate 2.1 years
Support Agent 2.0 years
Support 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Support
Cashier 15.8%
Internship 5.6%
Server 3.5%
Manager 3.4%
Volunteer 3.2%
Consultant 2.5%
Assistant 2.3%
Top Careers After Support
Cashier 11.7%
Consultant 4.4%
Internship 4.3%
Manager 3.4%
Volunteer 3.1%
Server 3.0%
Technician 2.8%

Do you work as a Support?

Support Demographics

Gender

Male

43.6%

Female

42.9%

Unknown

13.5%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.6%

French

7.0%

German

4.5%

Japanese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.4%

Portuguese

3.4%

Chinese

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Korean

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Carrier

1.8%

Italian

1.6%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Hmong

0.9%

Cantonese

0.9%

Thai

0.7%

Romanian

0.5%

Samoan

0.5%

Hindi

0.5%

Ukrainian

0.5%
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Support Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.1%

Kaplan University

5.9%

Strayer University

5.8%

Ashford University

5.2%

Miami Dade College

4.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

University of Central Florida

4.2%

Pennsylvania State University

4.2%

American InterContinental University

4.2%

Texas State University

3.9%

University of North Texas

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.4%

University of Houston

3.3%

Liberty University

3.3%

Georgia State University

3.3%

Houston Community College

3.1%

Baker College

3.1%

University of Texas at Austin

3.1%

Boise State University

3.1%

The Academy

3.0%
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Majors

Business

25.0%

Accounting

6.6%

Computer Science

6.5%

Psychology

5.8%

Information Technology

5.2%

Criminal Justice

5.0%

Health Care Administration

4.8%

Computer Information Systems

4.4%

Nursing

4.3%

General Studies

3.7%

Electrical Engineering

3.5%

Medical Assisting Services

3.5%

Communication

3.5%

Education

3.0%

Management

2.9%

Finance

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Graphic Design

2.5%

Marketing

2.3%

English

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.9%

Other

28.4%

Associate

15.1%

Masters

10.2%

Certificate

5.9%

Diploma

2.4%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$39,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$22,000
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%
$70,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Alstom
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
1.9 years
How much does a Support make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Support in the United States is $39,733 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $70,000.

Real Support Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
PP Planing Support Strategic Staffing Solutions, L.C. Creve Coeur, MO Nov 01, 2013 $166,960
Phoenix Environment Support Judge Technical Staffing, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jul 27, 2012 $146,090
Phoenix Environment Support Judge Technical Services, Inc. Jersey City, NJ May 20, 2013 $131,481
Process Support Rhodia Inc. Cranbury, NJ Nov 20, 2012 $124,000
Sp3D Support SME Kelly Services, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 15, 2016 $114,785
Sp3D Support SME Kelly Services, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 12, 2014 $114,785
MQ Series Support Bering Straits Information Technology, LLC Kansas City, MO Oct 22, 2016 $110,000
Process Support Rhodia Inc. Cranbury, NJ Mar 01, 2010 $110,000
Support Consutlant IV Sap America, Inc. Bellevue, WA Feb 22, 2012 $110,000
MQ Series Support Bering Straits Information Technology, LLC Kansas City, MO Jun 10, 2015 $110,000
IOT (Inter Operability Testing) Protocol/Support Anite Telecoms Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 18, 2014 $110,000
Global GTM, SME & OCM Support Bunge Global Markets, Inc. Saint Louis, MO Jan 20, 2013 $100,000
Ctso Support Telecommunication Systems, Inc. Annapolis, MD Mar 15, 2010 $95,000
I.S. Process Support Rhodia Inc. Cranbury, NJ Oct 01, 2011 $92,000
World Class Manufacturing Plant Support CNH America LLC Wichita, KS Nov 01, 2010 $80,000
Gprs Support Enigneer Nexius Solutions Inc. Allen, TX Jan 02, 2011 $80,000
World Class Manufacturing Plant Support CNH Industrial America LLC Wichita, KS Oct 01, 2014 $74,000
Reporting Process Support Rhodia Inc. Cranbury, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $72,512
LCA Support Nexius Solutions Inc. Reston, VA Jul 16, 2010 $72,000
LAC Support Nexius, Inc. Herndon, VA Mar 15, 2010 $72,000
Design Support Hornberger+Worstell, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2015 $64,551
Configuration Support Genesis Software Solutions, Inc. Brentwood, TN Aug 03, 2015 $62,088
Accounting Support EBAY Enterprise, Inc. King of Prussia, PA Aug 03, 2016 $62,067
Accounting Support 5 EBAY Enterprise, Inc. King of Prussia, PA Jul 16, 2015 $61,299
Design Support Hornberger + Worstell, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 13, 2016 $60,899
VPI Manufacturing Lane Support Cummins Filtration, Inc. Cookeville, TN Jan 21, 2013 $60,800 -
$72,200
Database Support LGBS Software, Inc. Mahwah, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $60,000

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Top Skills for A Support

  1. Customer Service
  2. Sales Floor
  3. New Merchandise
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain and enhance client/supplier relationships and provide exceptional customer service, price negotiation, problem solving, and order accuracy.
  • Process merchandise to floor ready standards and assist the Merchandise Team Lead with the placement of merchandise on the sales floor.
  • Unload and unpack new merchandise shipments, and prepare them for the selling floor by folding, hanging, or stacking.
  • Answer customer telephone calls regarding existing accounts.
  • Helped develop practice exercises for clerical employees making transition from keypunch operation to computer data entry.

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Top 10 Best States for Supports

  1. Delaware
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Minnesota
  4. Alaska
  5. Massachusetts
  6. New Jersey
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Colorado
  9. Connecticut
  10. New York
  • (232 jobs)
  • (493 jobs)
  • (1,960 jobs)
  • (149 jobs)
  • (2,005 jobs)
  • (1,705 jobs)
  • (3,088 jobs)
  • (1,399 jobs)
  • (695 jobs)
  • (3,463 jobs)

Top Support Employers

Jobs From Top Support Employers

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