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Become A Support Specialist/Trainer

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Working As A Support Specialist/Trainer

  • 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 Specialist/Trainer 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 Specialist/Trainer

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 Specialist/Trainer jobs

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Support Specialist/Trainer Career Paths

Support Specialist/Trainer
Business Analyst Senior Technician Specialist Shift Leader
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Epic Consultant Physician Assistant Professor
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Support Lead Systems Administrator Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Trainer Training Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Instructional Designer Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Applications Analyst Project Manager Senior Manager
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Epic Consultant Epic Credentialed Trainer Training Consultant
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instructional Designer Development Manager Information Technology Consultant
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Training Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Technician
Lead Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Trainer Office Manager Account Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Training Consultant Training Manager Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Physician Research Associate Software Engineer
Senior Systems Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Trainer Lead Business Analyst Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Physician Assistant Professor Program Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Applications Analyst Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Trainer 2.6 years
Software Trainer 2.6 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Support 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Trainer 11.5%
Support 4.9%
Analyst 4.3%
Consultant 3.4%
Physician 3.3%
Top Employers After
Trainer 9.2%
Support 6.8%
Consultant 5.9%
Physician 5.2%

Support Specialist/Trainer Demographics

Gender

Female

56.4%

Male

41.1%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

78.3%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

2.5%

Black or African American

2.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.8%

French

11.6%

Portuguese

4.7%

Carrier

4.7%

Italian

4.7%

Swedish

2.3%

Turkish

2.3%

German

2.3%

Chamorro

2.3%

Hebrew

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Greek

2.3%

Hindi

2.3%

Mandarin

2.3%

Korean

2.3%

Swahili

2.3%
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Support Specialist/Trainer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.0%

Walden University

9.0%

Strayer University

7.2%

Ashford University

6.3%

Kaplan University

6.3%

University of Maryland - University College

5.4%

George Washington University

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

Villanova University

3.6%

Wake Technical Community College

3.6%

Illinois State University

3.6%

University of Central Florida

3.6%

American InterContinental University

3.6%

Florida International University

3.6%

Liberty University

3.6%

Syracuse University

2.7%

University of South Florida

2.7%

Michigan State University

2.7%

Central Piedmont Community College

2.7%

ECPI University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

26.5%

Computer Information Systems

6.2%

Nursing

5.7%

Psychology

5.3%

Health Care Administration

5.3%

Information Technology

5.3%

Criminal Justice

4.8%

Computer Science

4.6%

Management

4.3%

Education

4.1%

Communication

4.1%

Social Work

3.7%

Human Resources Management

3.7%

Public Relations

2.7%

Sociology

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%

General Studies

2.3%

Elementary Education

2.3%

Project Management

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.7%

Masters

21.2%

Other

20.4%

Associate

10.0%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.3%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Support Specialist/Trainer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Cargowise Trainer & Sales Support Weiss Rohlig USA LLC Elk Grove Village, IL Jul 19, 2016 $97,000
Cargowise Trainer & Sales Support Weiss Rohlig USA LLC Elk Grove Village, IL Feb 12, 2015 $78,000
Cargowise Trainer & Sales Support Weiss Rohlig USA LLC Des Plaines, IL Feb 14, 2013 $78,000
Cargowise Trainer & Sales Support Weiss Rohlig USA LLC Des Plaines, IL Feb 14, 2011 $78,000
Transactional Support and Training Specialist The David J. Joseph Company Cincinnati, OH Oct 01, 2010 $74,381 -
$100,000
Training and Support Specialist Motive Systems Inc. Plano, TX Jan 04, 2010 $37,000

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Top Skills for A Support Specialist/Trainer

ClassRoomTrainingProvidersCpoeTrainingMaterialsElbowSupportTrainingProgramsCustomerServiceTechnicalSupportTroubleshootEndUserWindowsXPFrontDeskCernerTrainingSessionsCadencePreferenceListClassroomSettingEMRPowerchartClindoc

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Top Support Specialist/Trainer Skills

  1. Class Room Training
  2. Providers
  3. Cpoe
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided CPOE class room training for Physician and NP's.
  • Offer continued phone and desk side support to providers and staff to further increase effective product knowledge and usability.
  • Trained physicians CPOE and reviewing or adding medical problems in the problem list.
  • Worked together with unit managers to evaluate needs and create training materials.
  • Provided elbow support (Triage) for various physicians and nurses in ER departments.

Top Support Specialist/Trainer Employers

Support Specialist/Trainer Videos

Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 3.0: DAY 17

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