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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
  • $63,000

    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 Career Paths

Support Specialist/Trainer
Epic Credentialed Trainer Instructional Designer Training Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Epic Credentialed Trainer Instructional Designer Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Epic Credentialed Trainer Instructional Designer Consultant
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Training Specialist Training Manager General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Training Specialist Training Manager Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Training Specialist Project Manager
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Team Leader Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Support Team Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Support Team Leader Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Manager Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Training Consultant Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Training Consultant Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Training Consultant Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Technical Analyst
Senior Technical Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Analyst Manager Information Technology Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Chemist Quality Control Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Support Specialist/Trainer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Do you work as a Support Specialist/Trainer?

Average Yearly Salary
$63,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$108,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Damar Services
Highest Paying City
San Mateo, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Support Specialist/Trainer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Support Specialist/Trainer in the United States is $63,432 per year or $31 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $108,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Support Specialist/Trainer?

Have you worked as a Support Specialist/Trainer? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Support Specialist/Trainer.

Top Skills for A Support Specialist/Trainer

  1. Training Programs
  2. Procedures
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implement rotational training programs and maintain personnel qualifications and training requirements within Fuels Management Database.
  • Identify opportunities to optimize the implementation through communication with end-users; analysis of needs, and development of procedures.
  • Promoted to Senior Technical Trainer and later added Senior Technical Support Specialist
  • Trained clients on application designed submission, receipt, and processing of medical and pharmaceutical prior authorization requests for Medicaid providers.
  • Provided incentives to increase productivity by offering employees awards for best customer service.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Support Specialist/Trainers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Connecticut
  5. Alaska
  6. Rhode Island
  7. New Jersey
  8. Colorado
  9. Virginia
  10. Minnesota
  • (414 jobs)
  • (1,130 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (403 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (913 jobs)
  • (729 jobs)
  • (1,591 jobs)
  • (696 jobs)

Support Specialist/Trainer Demographics

Gender

Female

54.3%

Male

34.5%

Unknown

11.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

12.7%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.4%

French

7.8%

Chinese

5.2%

Mandarin

3.9%

Portuguese

3.9%

Hindi

2.6%

Korean

2.6%

Malay

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Hakka

2.6%

German

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%

Swahili

1.3%

Sami

1.3%

Turkish

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Carrier

1.3%

Italian

1.3%

Chamorro

1.3%
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Support Specialist/Trainer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

28.3%

Walden University

7.3%

Strayer University

7.3%

Kaplan University

5.9%

Ashford University

5.5%

Temple University

4.1%

Capella University

4.1%

University of Central Florida

3.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.2%

Life University

3.2%

Park University

2.7%

University of North Texas

2.7%

The Academy

2.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.7%

University of Maryland - University College

2.7%

Webster University

2.7%

Old Dominion University

2.7%

American InterContinental University

2.7%

Florida State University

2.7%

American University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

30.1%

Psychology

7.5%

Nursing

6.4%

Management

5.1%

Communication

4.7%

Health Care Administration

4.6%

Information Technology

4.5%

Computer Science

4.0%

Computer Information Systems

4.0%

Social Work

3.8%

Education

3.4%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Human Resources Management

2.7%

Elementary Education

2.5%

Human Services

2.5%

General Studies

2.2%

Medical Assisting Services

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

Biology

2.1%

Sociology

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.6%

Other

20.0%

Masters

19.5%

Associate

11.0%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

1.7%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.2%
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