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Become A Systems Application Specialist

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Working As A Systems Application Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $86,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems Application Specialist 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 Systems Application Specialist

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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Systems Application Specialist Career Paths

Systems Application Specialist
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Analyst Chemist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Manager
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Leader Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Research And Development Engineer Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Systems Application Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Top Careers Before Systems Application Specialist
Programmer 3.6%
Top Careers After Systems Application Specialist
Consultant 8.9%
Engineer 4.1%

Do you work as a Systems Application Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$86,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$58,000
Min 10%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$128,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
UMass Memorial Health Care
Highest Paying City
Hoboken, NJ
Highest Paying State
Connecticut
Avg Experience Level
5.0 years
How much does a Systems Application Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Systems Application Specialist in the United States is $86,770 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $58,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $128,000.

Real Systems Application Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Application Specialist, Global Planning & Scheduling Systems Cabot Corporation Billerica, MA Aug 09, 2016 $116,472
Rocs Application Systems Specialist Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Washington, DC Sep 21, 2014 $106,233
Applications/Systems Specialist Umass Memorial Medical Center, Inc. Worcester, MA Aug 22, 2016 $102,523
Application System Specialist Umass Memorial Medical Center, Inc. Worcester, MA May 11, 2015 $100,000
Inkjet System Application Specialist AGFA Corporation Alpharetta, GA Sep 16, 2013 $97,869
Inkjet System Application Specialist AGFA Corporation Duluth, GA Sep 05, 2012 $97,869
Systems Specialist-Architecture Applications Berkley Technology Services, LLC Urbandale, IA Jan 04, 2016 $95,848
Systems Specialist-Architecture Applications Berkley Technology Services, LLC Urbandale, IA Apr 15, 2013 $95,000
Inkjet System Application Specialist AGFA Corporation Wilmington, MA Oct 01, 2010 $95,000
Application Specialist II-Outpatient Systems Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles, CA Mar 08, 2010 $93,300
System Simulation and Application Specialist Danfoss LLC Baltimore, MD Mar 29, 2015 $92,893
System Simulation and Application Specialist Danfoss, LLC Baltimore, MD Jan 01, 2013 $91,250
Systems Specialist-Architecture Applications Berkley Technology Services, LLC Urbandale, IA Apr 01, 2013 $90,000
Developer/Systems Applications Specialist Amplifier Research Corporation Souderton, PA Sep 17, 2014 $88,234
Application Systems Specialist Umass Memorial Medical Center, Inc. Worcester, MA Oct 14, 2013 $88,000
Rocs Application Systems Specialist Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Washington, DC Sep 20, 2011 $85,217
Applications Systems Specialist Umass Memorial Medical Center, Inc. Worcester, MA Nov 05, 2012 $72,000
Systems Applications Specialist Amplifier Research Corporation Souderton, PA Sep 17, 2011 $70,554
Membership System Application Specialist AAA Mid-Atlantic Wilmington, DE Feb 13, 2015 $59,954
Membership System Application Specialist AAA Mid-Atlantic Wilmington, DE Feb 13, 2012 $57,500
System Application Specialist (MES) Mestech Services LLC Kalamazoo, MI Sep 06, 2011 $55,500
Information System Application Specialist Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Oklahoma City, OK Jul 01, 2010 $55,276
Application Specialist-Business Systems Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Ltd. Edinburg, TX Sep 30, 2010 $55,000

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Top Skills for A Systems Application Specialist

  1. Customer Service
  2. Data Integrity
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed effective relationships and maintained high customer service through outstanding communication and technical support.
  • Help maintain data integrity in systems by running queries and analyzing data.
  • Provided technical support through Interactive Video Services for videoconferencing meetings between on and off campus entities.
  • Received Avaya Certified Associate credential.
  • Demonstrated ability to troubleshoot complex problems and manage the needs of customers Security Systems Administrator.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Application Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Alaska
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Colorado
  6. New Jersey
  7. Delaware
  8. Virginia
  9. Minnesota
  10. Connecticut
  • (567 jobs)
  • (1,085 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (135 jobs)
  • (810 jobs)
  • (893 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (2,197 jobs)
  • (719 jobs)
  • (333 jobs)

Systems Application Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

64.8%

Female

30.7%

Unknown

4.5%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

10.1%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

Italian

13.3%

Portuguese

6.7%

Chinese

6.7%

French

6.7%

Tagalog

6.7%
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Systems Application Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.7%

Aims Community College

6.6%

Colorado State University

6.6%

University of Central Florida

4.9%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

4.9%

University of Houston

4.9%

Regis University

4.9%

University of Texas at Austin

4.9%

Pace University - New York

4.9%

Community College of Denver

4.9%

University of Florida

3.3%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

Ohio University -

3.3%

North Carolina State University

3.3%

Kansas City Art Institute

3.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.3%

Temple University

3.3%

University of Central Oklahoma

3.3%

Old Dominion University

3.3%

Duquesne University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

20.7%

Computer Science

12.8%

Electrical Engineering

8.9%

Computer Information Systems

6.9%

Accounting

6.9%

Information Technology

5.9%

Computer Networking

5.4%

Management

3.9%

Management Information Systems

3.9%

Information Systems

3.9%

Human Resources Management

3.0%

Project Management

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Computer Engineering

2.0%

Computer Technical Support

2.0%

Military Applied Sciences

2.0%

Psychology

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%

Pharmacy

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.4%

Masters

19.5%

Other

19.5%

Associate

16.6%

Certificate

7.0%

Doctorate

1.3%

License

0.7%
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