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Become A Support Representative

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Working As A Support Representative

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $48,620

    Average Salary

What Does A Support Representative 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 Representative

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 Representative jobs

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Support Representative Career Paths

Support Representative
Business Analyst Product Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Assistant Vice President Human Resources Coordinator
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Senior Manager Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Systems Administrator Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Specialist Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Production Support 2.7 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Technical Advisor 2.4 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Representative 2.1 years
Support 2.0 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support Agent 1.9 years
Tier 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 5.9%
Internship 3.8%
Teller 2.2%
Manager 2.2%
Top Employers After
Specialist 3.3%
Consultant 3.3%

Support Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

54.8%

Male

43.2%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

79.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.4%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.3%

French

8.1%

Portuguese

5.1%

German

3.8%

Korean

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Vietnamese

1.7%

Russian

1.7%

Carrier

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Hindi

0.9%

Cantonese

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Dakota

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Hmong

0.9%

Telugu

0.4%

Gujarati

0.4%

Dutch

0.4%
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Support Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

29.1%

Strayer University

9.1%

University of South Alabama

5.1%

Brigham Young University

4.8%

Capella University

4.0%

Kaplan University

3.8%

American InterContinental University

3.8%

Tennessee State University

3.7%

Texas State University

3.5%

Georgia State University

3.5%

Auburn University

3.1%

Liberty University

3.1%

University of North Texas

3.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.9%

Ashford University

2.9%

University of Texas at Austin

2.9%

University of Maryland - University College

2.9%

University of Central Florida

2.7%

University of Alabama

2.7%
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Majors

Business

28.9%

Computer Science

6.2%

Information Technology

5.8%

Computer Information Systems

5.5%

Communication

5.1%

Health Care Administration

5.0%

Psychology

4.9%

Criminal Justice

4.8%

Accounting

4.5%

Management

3.8%

Marketing

3.5%

General Studies

2.8%

Human Resources Management

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

English

2.6%

Computer Networking

2.5%

Finance

2.3%

Electrical Engineering

2.3%

Nursing

2.0%

Information Systems

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.5%

Other

26.6%

Associate

14.5%

Masters

11.1%

Certificate

4.9%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Support Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Data Visualization (Tier 2) Support Representative Datawatch Corporation Chelmsford, MA Mar 16, 2015 $125,000
Director Global Support To Members and Representatives Worldventures Holdings, LLC Plano, TX Sep 02, 2015 $120,000 -
$140,000
Mining Support Representative Caterpillar Inc. Peoria, IL Oct 01, 2010 $89,000
Cognos Support Representative The Ultimate Software Group Jacksonville, FL Aug 20, 2011 $77,388
User Support Representative Thomson Reuters (Tax & Accounting) Inc. Hoboken, NJ Nov 21, 2016 $74,117
Cognos Support Representative The Ultimate Software Group Weston, FL May 13, 2011 $70,200
AIM Service Support Representative Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Mar 09, 2015 $70,000
GIS Support Representative Petroleum GEO-Services, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 21, 2013 $61,500
Network Support Representative Slashsupport, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 18, 2014 $59,800
GIS Support Representative Petroleum GEO-Services, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 21, 2010 $50,014
GIS Support Representative Petroleum GEO-Services, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 05, 2010 $40,019

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Top Skills for A Support Representative

CustomerServiceProceduresEmailTechnicalSupportHardwarePhoneCallsTroubleshootInternalCustomersFinancialRemoteSupportDataEntryWebInboundCallsCustomerSatisfactionCustomerSupportSetupTechnicalIssuesCustomerIssuesOutboundCallsCustomerInquiries

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Top Support Representative Skills

  1. Customer Service
  2. Procedures
  3. Email
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Helped to innovate methods to drive positive change in both global support and customer service operations.
  • Evaluated compliance of procedures and processes related to the Corrective Action Program.
  • Worked with customers via telephone and email to resolve application and hardware issues.
  • Provided administrative and technical support for Audit Team and the Risk Control Information team.
  • Gained extensive experience troubleshooting hardware & software conflicts.

Top Support Representative Employers

Support Representative Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Electrical Engineer by Allan H (Full Version)

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