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Become A Technical Consultant

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Working As A Technical Consultant

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $91,513

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical Consultant 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 Consultant

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 Consultant?

Technical Consultant Jobs

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Technical Consultant Career Paths

Technical Consultant
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Analyst Network Engineer 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
Senior Technical Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Functional Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Systems Engineer Technical Analyst
Senior Technical Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Administrator Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Human Resources Coordinator Technical Recruiter
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Instructor Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Consultant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Consultant 2.9 years
Technical Analyst 2.7 years
Consultant 2.4 years
Oracle Consultant 2.2 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 10.9%
Internship 3.9%
Programmer 3.9%
Developer 3.6%
Top Employers After
Consultant 12.7%

Do you work as a Technical Consultant?

Technical Consultant Demographics

Gender

Male

75.7%

Female

21.3%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

54.1%

Asian

16.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

5.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.0%

French

12.9%

German

8.0%

Mandarin

5.8%

Chinese

5.8%

Carrier

4.4%

Portuguese

4.0%

Russian

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Italian

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Hindi

2.4%

Cantonese

1.5%

Dutch

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Greek

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Korean

0.7%

Tamil

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%
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Technical Consultant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.7%

More Tech Institute

5.6%

Northeastern University

5.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.3%

George Mason University

5.1%

University of Texas at Austin

5.1%

Strayer University

4.6%

DePaul University

4.5%

New York University

4.5%

University of Houston

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

Purdue University

4.1%

Texas A&M University

4.0%

University of Maryland - University College

3.9%

University of Florida

3.8%

George Washington University

3.7%

University of Arizona

3.6%

University of Washington

3.6%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.6%
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Majors

Computer Science

19.1%

Business

17.5%

Computer Information Systems

8.4%

Electrical Engineering

8.1%

Information Technology

7.0%

Computer Engineering

4.3%

Information Systems

3.8%

Management Information Systems

3.4%

Management

3.1%

Computer Networking

3.1%

Finance

2.8%

Computer Applications

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.4%

Engineering

2.3%

Project Management

2.3%

Communication

2.2%

Marketing

2.0%

Mathematics

1.9%

Psychology

1.8%

Education

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.7%

Masters

25.3%

Other

16.7%

Associate

7.4%

Certificate

3.3%

Doctorate

3.1%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Technical Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Consulting Mts-Technology Verizon Corporate Resources Group LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 07, 2013 $117,000
Consulting Mts-Technology Verizon Corporate Resources Group LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 22, 2013 $116,000
Consulting Mts-Technology Verizon Services Corporation Ashburn, VA Mar 03, 2014 $115,000
Consulting MTS-Technology Verizon Data Services LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 10, 2014 $95,000
Consulting Mts-Technology Verizon Services Corporation Ashburn, VA Dec 09, 2013 $86,000
Technical Consultant Dimension Consulting Ashburn, VA Jul 09, 2016 $83,782
Technical Consultant Intellipoint Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2014 $83,000 -
$93,000
Technical Consultant American Consulting Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 28, 2014 $80,000
Technical Consultant Us Software & Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2015 $68,000
Technical Consultant Us Software & Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2015 $65,000
Technical Consultant Sum All Data Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 05, 2015 $58,125

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Top Skills for A Technical Consultant

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  1. Windows XP
  2. Computer
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created Windows XP OS Build images for clients of Eli Lilly and Company in the United Kingdom and Southern Eastern Europe.
  • Repaired and handled return material authorization for all network devices and computers.
  • Formulated database design, data structure and procedures designed for efficiency, third-party data interaction and high-level decision support.
  • Gathered requirements from Clients to design and develop application database enhancements through PL/SQL stored procedures.
  • Developed web enabled online panels for data entry and submission for process using process scheduler Manager.

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