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Become A Technical Assistant

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Working As A Technical Assistant

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $54,553

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical Assistant 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 Assistant

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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Technical Assistant Jobs

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Technical Assistant Career Paths

Technical Assistant
Laboratory Technician Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Instructor General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Chief Operating Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Specialist Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Technician Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Service Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Assistant Medical Technologist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician
Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Human Resources Coordinator Technical Recruiter
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Assistant Technician Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Technical Trainer 3.1 years
Technical Clerk 3.1 years
Technical Aide 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 13.0%
Cashier 7.9%
Volunteer 5.4%
Assistant 5.0%
Technician 3.3%
Manager 2.8%
Teller 2.6%
Server 2.5%
Secretary 2.4%
Top Employers After
Internship 9.6%
Cashier 5.5%
Technician 5.4%
Volunteer 4.4%
Assistant 4.0%
Manager 3.5%
Teacher 3.0%
Server 2.9%
Consultant 2.9%

Do you work as a Technical Assistant?

Technical Assistant Demographics

Gender

Male

50.9%

Female

46.3%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

57.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.3%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

10.2%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.9%

French

9.7%

Chinese

5.8%

Mandarin

4.9%

German

4.0%

Japanese

3.1%

Italian

2.6%

Korean

2.4%

Hindi

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Portuguese

2.1%

Arabic

2.0%

Cantonese

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.8%

Urdu

1.5%

Tagalog

1.0%

Polish

0.8%

Gujarati

0.7%

Swedish

0.6%

Filipino

0.6%
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Technical Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.1%

Washington State University

11.6%

University of Houston

6.2%

George Mason University

5.0%

Iowa State University

5.0%

New York University

4.8%

Texas A&M University

4.4%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.1%

George Washington University

4.0%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.8%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.6%

University of Rochester

3.6%

Northeastern University

3.5%

Temple University

3.4%

University of Southern California

3.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

19.7%

Computer Science

8.8%

Biology

6.3%

Psychology

5.6%

Electrical Engineering

4.9%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Nursing

4.6%

Criminal Justice

4.5%

Communication

4.3%

Information Technology

4.3%

Medical Assisting Services

4.2%

Medical Technician

3.6%

Mechanical Engineering

3.6%

Health Care Administration

3.5%

Accounting

3.2%

Management

3.0%

Photography

2.9%

General Studies

2.8%

English

2.8%

Graphic Design

2.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.0%

Other

22.4%

Masters

14.5%

Associate

12.2%

Certificate

5.0%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Technical Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Special Technical Assistant To The CEO Glowforge Inc. Seattle, WA Jun 09, 2016 $130,000
Technical Assistant Wlto International Paper FL Apr 01, 2016 $93,500
Technical Assistant, Global Purchasing Xerox Corporation Webster, NY Oct 15, 2012 $80,500
Technical Assistant-Underwriting Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2013 $73,980
Site Technical Assistant Danieli Corporation Cranberry, PA Aug 15, 2012 $70,200
Technical Assistant Industrial Light & Magic, A Div of Lucasfilm Enter San Francisco, CA Sep 05, 2012 $65,490
Technical Assistant-Underwriting Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc. Miami, FL Oct 01, 2010 $65,000
Technical Assistant for Agriculture and Food Security Adventist Development and Relief Agency International Silver Spring, MD Jun 19, 2016 $64,958
Technical Assistant, Rendering Industrial Light &Magic, A Div of Lucasfilm Entert San Francisco, CA Sep 26, 2010 $63,716
Emergency Technical Assistant Adventist Development & Relief Agency Internationa Silver Spring, MD Oct 24, 2016 $60,128
Emergency Technical Assistant Adventist Development and Relief Agency International Silver Spring, MD Jul 14, 2015 $60,128
Technical Assistant The Jones Group Inc. New York, NY Jul 16, 2012 $60,000
HSE Technical Assistant AKZO Nobel Services Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2011 $60,000
CPP Program Technical Assistant/Manager Magnesita Refractories Company N.A. York, PA Nov 01, 2010 $59,960
Technical Assistant Global Agora, LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2010 $55,000
Technical Assistant Intellisurvey, Incorporated Ladera Ranch, CA Sep 01, 2014 $53,760
Technical Assistant Intellisurvey, Incorporated Ladera Ranch, CA Sep 10, 2014 $53,760
Technical Assistant Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Cambridge, MA Jan 01, 2010 $51,764
Technical Assistant II Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Cambridge, MA May 30, 2016 $51,250
Technical Assistant Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Cambridge, MA Jun 03, 2010 $49,294
Technical Assistant II University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Jan 05, 2016 $47,792
Technical Assistant II Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Cambridge, MA Jan 08, 2016 $47,150
Technical Assistant II Whitehead Institute Cambridge, MA Mar 27, 2009 $46,675
Technical Assistant II Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Cambridge, MA Jun 15, 2015 $46,000
Technical Assistant I Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Cambridge, MA Mar 17, 2010 $45,573
Senior Technical Assistant The University of Houston Houston, TX Jun 27, 2010 $44,096
Design, Development and Technical Assistant (Fashi Mas Design, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2011 $44,000
Design Development and Technical Assistant (Fashio Mas Design, Inc. New York, NY Sep 28, 2011 $44,000
Technical Assistant Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Cambridge, MA Mar 03, 2011 $43,911

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Top Skills for A Technical Assistant

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  1. Lab
  2. Computer
  3. Surgical Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Projected energy requirements based on forecast weather and the availability of generating plants and power contracts.
  • Use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, and robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.
  • Assisted physicians with in-office surgical procedures, from room preparation, surgical assistance to post-surgical sterile cleaning.
  • Coordinate and perform technical support operations for West Virginia National Guard Teleconferencing Facility.
  • Provided customer service by answering broad technical questions and directing others to appropriate resources.

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Top 10 Best States for Technical Assistants

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Colorado
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Minnesota
  6. Delaware
  7. New Jersey
  8. Massachusetts
  9. North Dakota
  10. Connecticut
  • (172 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (530 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (454 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (508 jobs)
  • (704 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (201 jobs)

Top Technical Assistant Employers

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Jobs From Top Technical Assistant Employers

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