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Become A Technical Advisor

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Working As A Technical Advisor

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $87,792

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical Advisor 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 Technical Advisor

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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Do you work as a Technical Advisor?

Technical Advisor Jobs

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Technical Advisor Career Paths

Technical Advisor
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Engineering Director Vice President Of Engineering
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Instructor Specialist Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Adjunct Instructor Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Plant Manager General Manager
Managing Partner
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Advisor Adjunct Professor Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Contractor/Consultant Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Analyst Engineer Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Advisor Sales Manager Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Security Officer Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Advisor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Advisor 2.7 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Technical Advisor 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 8.4%
Consultant 7.7%
Internship 6.9%
Manager 4.8%
Technician 3.9%
Supervisor 3.5%
Server 2.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 11.7%
Manager 6.8%
Director 4.4%
Technician 4.4%
Owner 3.7%
Instructor 3.7%
Internship 3.6%
Supervisor 3.2%
Specialist 2.9%

Do you work as a Technical Advisor?

Technical Advisor Demographics

Gender

Male

69.1%

Female

28.7%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

4.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.9%

French

17.9%

Portuguese

5.1%

Chinese

4.7%

German

4.7%

Arabic

4.7%

Mandarin

4.3%

Russian

3.0%

Italian

2.1%

Hindi

1.7%

Japanese

1.7%

Korean

1.3%

Croatian

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Carrier

1.3%

Swahili

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Tamil

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%

Amharic

0.9%
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Technical Advisor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.9%

George Washington University

5.8%

Arizona State University

5.3%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

Old Dominion University

5.0%

University of Houston

5.0%

University of Maryland - University College

4.7%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

University of Memphis

4.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.2%

Georgia State University

4.2%

New Mexico State University

4.2%

Wayne State University

4.0%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Florida

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

University of Oregon

3.4%

Boston University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

24.5%

Computer Science

10.2%

Electrical Engineering

6.6%

Mechanical Engineering

6.3%

Management

5.9%

Information Technology

5.5%

Computer Information Systems

5.2%

Psychology

4.5%

Communication

3.9%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Computer Networking

2.8%

Finance

2.5%

Education

2.5%

General Studies

2.4%

Accounting

2.4%

Chemical Engineering

2.3%

Public Health

2.2%

Elementary Education

2.2%

Project Management

2.2%

Management Information Systems

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.8%

Other

23.4%

Masters

20.7%

Associate

9.9%

Doctorate

4.6%

Certificate

4.0%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.2%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Technical Advisor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Adviser Protection/Rule of Law International Rescue Committee, Inc. New York, NY Mar 09, 2015 $85,000
Technical Adviser III United Grinding Technologies, Inc. Miamisburg, OH Oct 01, 2011 $80,766
Technical Adviser (Mechanical) Kasha Law LLC North Potomac, MD Dec 18, 2012 $64,217
IT Quality Control Adviser Ken Systems, Inc. Richmond, VA Oct 20, 2016 $60,000
Technical Adviser (Mechanical) Kasha Law LLC North Potomac, MD Dec 18, 2009 $59,166

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Top Skills for A Technical Advisor

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  1. Patent Applications
  2. Customer Service
  3. Computer
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Steered aerospace, electrical, and mechanical engineers in developing and formatting domestic and foreign patent applications for state-of-the-art inventions.
  • Trained incoming representatives in proper procedures and customer service by listening to their calls and providing coaching afterwards.
  • Provided computer technical support on an as-needed basis Provided GIS data entry services
  • Provided technical assistance to proposal manager and team members to correctly convey aircraft maintenance logistical procedures.
  • Enhanced customer experience by providing personalized service during non-technical support calls regarding customer accounts, repairs, purchases and refunds.

How Would You Rate Working As a Technical Advisor?

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Top Technical Advisor Employers

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