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Become A Technical Specialist

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Working As A Technical Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $82,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical 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 Technical 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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Technical Specialist Jobs

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Technical Specialist Career Paths

Technical Specialist
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Project Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Senior Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Licensed Practical Nurse Clinical Research Coordinator
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Service Desk Analyst Service Desk Supervisor
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Support Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Technical Specialist
Cashier 6.0%
Internship 5.9%
Technician 5.7%
Consultant 4.9%
Manager 4.0%
Supervisor 3.8%
Specialist 3.7%
Top Careers After Technical Specialist
Consultant 7.9%
Manager 5.3%
Technician 4.9%
Owner 4.0%
Specialist 3.9%
Supervisor 3.3%
Cashier 3.3%

Do you work as a Technical Specialist?

Technical Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

64.2%

Female

27.4%

Unknown

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

10.0%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.3%

French

8.9%

German

7.0%

Carrier

3.2%

Chinese

3.2%

Japanese

3.2%

Russian

2.9%

Portuguese

2.7%

Italian

2.5%

Mandarin

1.8%

Hindi

1.6%

Arabic

1.4%

Korean

1.2%

Urdu

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Gujarati

0.5%

Braille

0.5%

Persian

0.5%
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Technical Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.5%

Pennsylvania State University

5.6%

University of Houston

5.4%

Strayer University

5.3%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

Northeastern University

4.5%

Purdue University

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.2%

George Mason University

4.2%

More Tech Institute

3.9%

New York University

3.8%

DePaul University

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.5%

Liberty University

3.3%

Ohio State University

3.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.2%

George Washington University

3.2%

Capella University

3.2%

Colorado Technical University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

20.7%

Computer Science

13.4%

Electrical Engineering

8.5%

Information Technology

7.6%

Computer Information Systems

7.0%

Computer Networking

3.9%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Management

3.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.4%

Communication

3.3%

Psychology

3.1%

Biology

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Information Systems

2.6%

Accounting

2.6%

Education

2.5%

General Studies

2.4%

Management Information Systems

2.1%

Finance

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.1%

Other

20.7%

Masters

17.7%

Associate

13.1%

Certificate

4.3%

Doctorate

2.4%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$82,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$55,000
Min 10%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$123,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
DCP Midstream
Highest Paying City
Mountain View, CA
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Technical Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Technical Specialist in the United States is $82,592 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $123,000.

Real Technical Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Specialist Finnegan Washington, DC Jul 02, 2015 $185,000
Technical Specialist Finnegan Washington, DC May 02, 2015 $170,000
Technical Specialist Finnegan Washington, DC Feb 05, 2015 $170,000
Technical Specialist-Chemical Arts Finnegan Washington, DC Aug 17, 2015 $160,000
Technical Specialist-Chemical Arts Finnegan Washington, DC Aug 10, 2015 $160,000
Technical Specialist II Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Jun 27, 2016 $152,337
Technical Specialist III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Aug 03, 2015 $150,000
Technical Specialist III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Aug 11, 2015 $148,000
Technical Specialist III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Jul 08, 2015 $148,000
Technical Specialist III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Aug 24, 2015 $148,000
Technical Specialist III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Aug 07, 2015 $148,000
Specialist Technology Synechron, Inc. New York, NY Sep 14, 2015 $145,000
Technology Specialist UST Global Inc. Bellevue, WA Dec 23, 2015 $145,000
IS Tech Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Mar 21, 2016 $145,000
Technology Specialist Amdocs Inc. Champaign, IL Aug 19, 2015 $99,960
Technology Specialist Amdocs Inc. Champaign, IL Jun 20, 2016 $99,960
Technical Specialist New York Global Consultants Inc. Uniondale, NY Oct 19, 2015 $99,674
Technical Specialist New York Global Consultants Inc. Uniondale, NY Sep 24, 2015 $99,674
Technical Specialist Headstrong Services LLC Princeton, NJ Feb 29, 2016 $99,026
Technical Specialist I Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Sep 17, 2015 $98,135
Technical Specialist, Simulia Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp. Raymond, OH Oct 16, 2016 $98,108
WSA Technology Specialist Haldor Topsoe, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 09, 2016 $98,100
Technical Specialist Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Sep 05, 2015 $80,136
Technical Specialist II Michael Baker Jr., Inc. Alexandria, VA Sep 08, 2015 $80,059
Technical Specialist Niche Software Solutions Inc. Macon, GA Aug 15, 2015 $80,000
Controls and Diagnostics Technical Specialist Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Feb 18, 2015 $80,000 -
$97,300
Technical Specialist Cummins Emission Solutions Inc. Columbus, IN Sep 18, 2015 $80,000 -
$97,300
Technical Specialist Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Apr 13, 2015 $80,000 -
$97,300
Intellectual Property Technical Specialist King & Spalding LLP Atlanta, GA Sep 13, 2015 $80,000

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Top Skills for A Technical Specialist

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Procedures
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administered day-to-day network/computer problem solving, application maintenance, upgrading, and computer hardware diagnostics and repair and upgrading.
  • Conducted research to draft/revise, procedures/forms/guidelines/manuals/directives.
  • Provided first-level technical support to end-users on proprietary software and applications including installation basic usage and appropriate service level to warranty.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage information, and utilize exceptional customer service skills when interfacing with clients, peers and management.
  • Completed data entry associated with downloading, including confirmation of test signals.

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Top 10 Best States for Technical Specialists

  1. Georgia
  2. Delaware
  3. Ohio
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Alaska
  6. Colorado
  7. North Carolina
  8. Michigan
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (1,067 jobs)
  • (118 jobs)
  • (1,157 jobs)
  • (552 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (826 jobs)
  • (1,239 jobs)
  • (897 jobs)
  • (124 jobs)
  • (1,346 jobs)

Top Technical Specialist Employers

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