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Become A Systems Support Specialist

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Working As A Systems Support Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $62,993

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems Support 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 Support 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 Support Specialist Videos

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Systems Support Specialist Career Paths

Systems Support Specialist
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Administrator Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Implementation Specialist Medical Record Consultant Medical Records Director
Director Of Information
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Information Technology Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Support Analyst Technical Support Technician Technical Support Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Help Desk Specialist Network Administrator
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Systems Support Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Support 2.6 years
Top Careers Before Systems Support Specialist
Consultant 3.7%
Top Careers After Systems Support Specialist
Consultant 4.0%

Do you work as a Systems Support Specialist?

Systems Support Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

70.8%

Female

27.2%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.7%

French

8.2%

Mandarin

6.2%

Carrier

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

German

3.1%

Arabic

3.1%

Russian

2.1%

Albanian

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Turkish

1.0%

Hmong

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Catalan

1.0%

Serer

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Italian

1.0%

Chinese

1.0%

Interlingua

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%
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Systems Support Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.3%

Strayer University

8.1%

University of Maryland - University College

6.3%

Illinois State University

5.4%

Austin Community College

4.8%

Iowa State University

4.8%

Kaplan University

4.5%

Central Texas College

3.9%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

Northern Illinois University

3.3%

Liberty University

3.3%

Northeastern University

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.0%

Texas State University

3.0%

Western Governors University

3.0%

Colorado Technical University

3.0%

Capella University

3.0%

American InterContinental University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

19.5%

Computer Information Systems

14.8%

Computer Science

12.8%

Information Technology

11.1%

Computer Networking

5.5%

Electrical Engineering

4.9%

Management Information Systems

4.3%

Information Systems

3.8%

Criminal Justice

2.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Management

2.3%

Communication

2.3%

Education

2.0%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Computer Systems Security

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

General Studies

1.8%

Computer Programming

1.6%

Project Management

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.9%

Other

21.7%

Associate

17.7%

Masters

12.7%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Systems Support Specialist Videos

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Real Systems Support Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Trading Systems Support Specialist Jane Street Holding LLC New York, NY Apr 07, 2012 $135,000
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Fairfax, VA Mar 16, 2016 $127,379
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Fairfax, VA Feb 05, 2016 $127,379
Trading Systems Support Specialist Jane Street Group LLC New York, NY Apr 08, 2015 $125,000 -
$150,000
Business Systems Support Specialist Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio, TX Oct 24, 2015 $110,032
Business Systems Support Specialist-SAP HCM Valero Energy Corp San Antonio, TX Aug 07, 2016 $109,054
Business Systems Support Specialist Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio, TX Jun 08, 2015 $104,800
IT Engineering Systems Support Specialist Parsons Construction Group Inc. Westminster, CO Oct 26, 2016 $103,020
Systems Support Specialist Compucom Systems, Inc. Wauwatosa, WI Jan 03, 2011 $100,000
Systems Support Specialist Compucom Systems, Inc. Delta, OH Jan 03, 2011 $95,000
System Support Specialist FCA Us LLC Auburn Hills, MI Nov 21, 2016 $91,624
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Reston, VA Sep 30, 2013 $90,000
IT Engineering Systems Support Specialist Parsons Construction Group Inc. QSSS Westminster, CO Sep 15, 2015 $90,000 -
$110,000
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Fairfax, VA Aug 25, 2014 $74,402 -
$89,200
System Specialist Support-Billing Berkley Technology Services, LLC Urbandale, IA May 07, 2012 $73,507 -
$79,000
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Columbia, SC Jan 15, 2013 $73,000
Systems Support SR Specialist Compucom Systems, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Jan 02, 2012 $72,800 -
$80,000
Systems Support Senior Specialist Compucom Systems, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Sep 01, 2012 $72,800 -
$80,000
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Jersey City, NJ Nov 11, 2013 $71,510
System Support Specialist Data Glove Inc. Princeton, NJ Aug 24, 2016 $71,000
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Columbus, OH Jul 08, 2013 $61,630
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Columbus, OH Jun 24, 2013 $61,630
Systems Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Strongsville, OH Aug 07, 2014 $61,235 -
$89,000
Systems Support Specialist II Active Network, LLC Dallas, TX Sep 02, 2015 $61,000
System Support Expert CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. Columbia, SC Nov 30, 2011 $61,000
Systems Support Specialist JTB USA, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Mar 16, 2016 $60,112
Systems Support Specialist Data Glove Inc. Bellevue, WA Sep 21, 2013 $60,000

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Top Skills for A Systems Support Specialist

  1. Computer
  2. Technical Support
  3. Remote Access
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided customer support to database users and installing computer applications, software, operating systems and/or network equipment.
  • Promoted from the retail environment to corporate operations, bring people and process management skills into delivering comprehensive technical support processes.
  • Recognized as Point-of-Contact for industry users on all remote access operations.
  • Served as a customer service representative with internal organizational coordination of multiple departments to ensure 100% customer satisfaction.
  • Prepare qualified PC for migration from Windows XP to Windows 7: software inventory, port speed and SNMP data.

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Support Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Delaware
  5. Alaska
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Colorado
  8. Connecticut
  9. Minnesota
  10. Texas
  • (671 jobs)
  • (2,423 jobs)
  • (1,534 jobs)
  • (170 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (178 jobs)
  • (1,051 jobs)
  • (536 jobs)
  • (1,039 jobs)
  • (3,336 jobs)

Top Systems Support Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Systems Support Specialist Employers

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