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Become A Systems Support

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Working As A Systems Support

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $54,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems Support 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 Support

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 Support Career Paths

Systems Support
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Consultant Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Systems Technician Desktop Support Technician
Senior Desktop Support Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Systems Technician Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Systems Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Specialist Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Consultant Senior Programmer Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Engineer Technical Support Manager
Technical Support Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Senior System Administrator Help Desk Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Systems Support?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Support 3.0 years
Support Analyst 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Systems Support
Internship 4.3%
Consultant 3.4%
Technician 3.3%
Top Careers After Systems Support
Consultant 4.0%
Manager 2.9%

Do you work as a Systems Support?

Systems Support Demographics

Gender

Male

67.8%

Female

22.8%

Unknown

9.4%
Ethnicity

White

58.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

10.2%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.2%

Chinese

10.6%

French

8.5%

Russian

6.4%

Mandarin

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Hmong

2.1%

Hindi

2.1%

Korean

2.1%

Danish

2.1%

Bulgarian

2.1%

Malay

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Carrier

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

German

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Hebrew

2.1%

Urdu

2.1%
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Systems Support Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.9%

Strayer University

5.8%

Northeastern University

5.8%

George Mason University

5.3%

University of Houston

4.8%

Western Governors University

4.8%

Kaplan University

4.8%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.2%

Purdue University

3.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.7%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.7%

Davenport University

3.7%

Point Loma Nazarene University

3.2%

George Washington University

3.2%

University of Maryland - University College

3.2%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.2%

Community College of the Air Force

3.2%

University of Central Florida

3.2%

Colorado Technical University

3.2%

Prince George's Community College

2.6%
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Majors

Computer Science

19.9%

Business

14.9%

Information Technology

12.5%

Computer Information Systems

12.4%

Computer Networking

6.5%

Electrical Engineering

4.8%

Information Systems

3.0%

Computer Technical Support

2.8%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Management

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.4%

Communication

2.3%

Accounting

2.3%

Computer Systems Security

2.1%

Finance

1.7%

General Studies

1.5%

Computer Programming

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Project Management

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.4%

Other

21.9%

Associate

17.3%

Masters

13.4%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$54,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$35,000
Min 10%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Unisys
Highest Paying City
Naperville, IL
Highest Paying State
Illinois
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Systems Support make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Systems Support in the United States is $54,755 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $83,000.

Real Systems Support Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Tech & UX Developer Pappas Group LLC Arlington, VA Sep 26, 2016 $184,000
Systems Support Mastercard International Incorporated OFallon, MO Sep 23, 2013 $105,000
Creative Technologist-UX Developer Visa U.S.A. Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 15, 2016 $97,192 -
$115,390
Advanced Planning & Scheduling System Support SR. Hyundai Information Service North America, LLC West Point, GA Jan 23, 2014 $90,347
User Interface/Experience Technician Igate Technologies, Inc. Bridgewater, NJ Oct 05, 2016 $83,741
User Interface/Experience Technician Igate Technologies, Inc. Bridgewater, NJ Jun 29, 2016 $83,741
Systems & Applications Management & Support Specia Swift, Inc. Culpeper, VA Oct 01, 2014 $73,464
Manufacturing System Support Pentair Thermal Management LLC Redwood City, CA Jan 30, 2015 $72,675 -
$90,420
Financial Systems Support Comscore, Inc. Reston, VA Aug 01, 2010 $70,000
Manufacturing System Support TYCO Thermal Controls LLC Redwood City, CA Jan 30, 2012 $66,352 -
$70,000
Systems Services and Support Vastika, Inc. Durham, NC Jan 19, 2016 $64,875
Senior User Support Technician Gallaudet University Washington, DC Oct 04, 2009 $63,232
Computer User Support Technician Starshr, Inc. Reston, VA Sep 01, 2015 $54,262
Computer Systems/Web Support Zillion Technologies Inc. Schaumburg, IL Aug 20, 2014 $53,747
Computer Systems/Web Support Zillion Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2013 $53,747

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Top Skills for A Systems Support

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Technical Support
  3. Desktop
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Updated and maintained computer hardware and software on over 80 computers.
  • Provide Technical Support and Troubleshooting locally and remotely in a 10000+ End-User environment including Executive level employees.
  • Developed and implemented alternate methods of remotely troubleshooting and resolving desktop issues.
  • Repair, Ghost, install and configure workstation Computers, Laptops, Macs, Local Printers and Network Printers.
  • Evaluated Cisco AS5200/AS5300 and Cisco 804 equipment to determine feasibility of an ISDN infrastructure for Remote Access.

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Supports

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Colorado
  4. Alaska
  5. Connecticut
  6. New Jersey
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Virginia
  9. Delaware
  10. Washington
  • (617 jobs)
  • (1,338 jobs)
  • (1,328 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (476 jobs)
  • (1,049 jobs)
  • (146 jobs)
  • (3,321 jobs)
  • (116 jobs)
  • (1,046 jobs)

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