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Become A Systems Specialist

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Working As A Systems Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $82,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems 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 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 Specialist Career Paths

Systems Specialist
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager
Delivery Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Manager Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Developer Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Registered Nurse Clinical Research Coordinator
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Service Desk Analyst Service Desk Supervisor
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Specialist Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Systems Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.0 years
Systems Support 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Systems Specialist
Consultant 4.8%
Internship 4.4%
Cashier 4.2%
Specialist 4.2%
Technician 4.1%
Manager 4.0%
Top Careers After Systems Specialist
Consultant 7.4%
Technician 4.8%
Manager 4.4%
Owner 4.0%
Specialist 3.6%

Do you work as a Systems Specialist?

Systems Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

67.3%

Female

24.6%

Unknown

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.1%

German

6.6%

French

5.7%

Carrier

4.8%

Mandarin

3.5%

Portuguese

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Russian

2.6%

Italian

2.6%

Korean

2.2%

Cantonese

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Swahili

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Bengali

0.9%

Persian

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Dutch

0.4%
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Systems Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.3%

Community College of the Air Force

18.3%

Strayer University

5.2%

University of Maryland - University College

4.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

The Academy

3.6%

Kaplan University

3.6%

Capella University

3.5%

American InterContinental University

3.3%

Ohio State University

3.0%

University of Houston

2.8%

George Washington University

2.8%

George Mason University

2.7%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

2.6%

Northeastern University

2.6%

Western Governors University

2.5%

Troy University

2.4%

Colorado Technical University

2.4%

Webster University

2.4%

Liberty University

2.3%
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Majors

Business

25.1%

Computer Science

11.1%

Electrical Engineering

9.0%

Computer Information Systems

7.6%

Information Technology

7.1%

Accounting

4.2%

Management

4.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.6%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Computer Networking

2.8%

Information Systems

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Project Management

2.4%

Communication

2.4%

Psychology

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

Finance

2.2%

General Studies

2.1%

Management Information Systems

2.0%

Nursing

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.0%

Other

22.1%

Masters

17.7%

Associate

14.5%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$82,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$58,000
Min 10%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Postmates
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does a Systems Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Systems Specialist in the United States is $82,094 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $58,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $115,000.

Real Systems Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Risk Systems Specialist IV Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Cranston, RI Nov 19, 2015 $147,243
Trading Systems Specialist Worldquant, LLC Old Greenwich, CT Dec 02, 2015 $145,000
Systems Specialist Osram Sylvania, Inc. Wilmington, MA Apr 20, 2016 $145,000
Manager, Systems Specialist Salesforce.com San Francisco, CA Oct 25, 2016 $142,463
Banking Systems Specialist DTS America Corporation New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $142,173
Trading Systems Specialist Worldquant, LLC Old Greenwich, CT Jun 26, 2015 $136,500
Trading Systems Specialist Worldquant, LLC Old Greenwich, CT Sep 01, 2015 $136,000
Systems Specialist-Peoplesoft Osram Sylvania, Inc. Wilmington, MA Dec 10, 2015 $134,449
Specialist, Global FP&A Systems & Reporting Sabic Innovative Plastics Us LLC Houston, TX Jan 08, 2016 $134,070
Middleware Systems Specialist MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Jersey City, NJ Feb 09, 2015 $130,000
Trading Systems Specialist Worldquant, LLC Old Greenwich, CT Sep 01, 2015 $130,000
Middleware and Database Systems Specialist Tata Technologies, Inc. Novi, MI Jul 22, 2016 $96,637
Programmer, Systems Specialist Antimicrobial Therapy, Inc. Sperryville, VA Mar 23, 2015 $96,000
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Detroit, MI Jul 13, 2015 $95,959
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Houston, TX Jul 07, 2015 $95,000
Systems Specialist Salesforce.com Inc. Austin, TX Nov 11, 2016 $94,765
Systems Specialist Fidessa Corporation San Francisco, CA Jul 31, 2016 $94,450
Systems Specialist, Finance Systems Salesforce.com Inc. Indianapolis, IN Apr 04, 2016 $94,328
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation San Francisco, CA Mar 20, 2015 $94,162
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Lone Tree, CO Nov 05, 2016 $86,133
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Lone Tree, CO Sep 13, 2016 $86,133
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Lone Tree, CO Sep 10, 2015 $86,133
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Dallas, TX Jul 25, 2016 $85,197
BI System Specialist Visual Bi Solutions Inc. Plano, TX Aug 26, 2016 $85,000
Embedded Systems Specialist KPIT Infosystems Incorporated Edison, NJ Jun 23, 2016 $85,000
Embedded Systems Specialist KPIT Infosystems Incorporated Novi, MI Sep 06, 2016 $85,000
Systems Specialist Mphasis Corporation Overland Park, KS Apr 29, 2016 $85,000

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Top Skills for A Systems Specialist

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Removal Procedures
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain and administer computer networks and related computing environments including computer hardware, systems software, applications software, and configurations.
  • Managed computer systems for operation to include cabling, installation and removal procedures.
  • Replaced manual receiving inspection application with automation improving data entry speed and improving data availability for quality and procurement.
  • Developed an automated refund project for customer refunds that resulted in an increased efficiency for Accounts Payable and Customer Service Departments.
  • Provided technical support and maintenance of the supermarket's network, POS, receiving, and payroll systems.

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Georgia
  3. Alaska
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Colorado
  6. Delaware
  7. Minnesota
  8. Connecticut
  9. New York
  10. Oregon
  • (853 jobs)
  • (1,337 jobs)
  • (124 jobs)
  • (160 jobs)
  • (1,206 jobs)
  • (132 jobs)
  • (979 jobs)
  • (470 jobs)
  • (1,977 jobs)
  • (486 jobs)

Top Systems Specialist Employers

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