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Become A Technical Support Assistant

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Working As A Technical Support Assistant

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical Support 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 Support 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 Support Assistant Career Paths

Technical Support Assistant
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Team Leader Vice President
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Consultant Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Help Desk Analyst
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Technician Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Field Engineer Help Desk Specialist
Senior Support Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Desktop Support Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Desktop Support Technician Level Senior Technician
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Desktop Support Technician Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Support Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Support 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Technical Support Assistant
Cashier 8.9%
Internship 8.7%
Volunteer 4.4%
Assistant 2.5%
Technician 2.5%
Manager 2.4%
Top Careers After Technical Support Assistant
Internship 6.0%
Cashier 5.4%
Manager 2.9%
Volunteer 2.9%
Consultant 2.9%

Do you work as a Technical Support Assistant?

Technical Support Assistant Demographics

Gender

Male

52.7%

Female

35.0%

Unknown

12.2%
Ethnicity

White

55.8%

Hispanic or Latino

16.2%

Asian

11.8%

Black or African American

11.5%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.4%

French

10.0%

Mandarin

7.6%

Chinese

7.6%

Korean

4.1%

Russian

4.1%

Japanese

4.1%

Cantonese

3.5%

Portuguese

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

German

2.4%

Urdu

2.4%

Dutch

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.2%

Turkish

0.6%

Romanian

0.6%

Italian

0.6%

Azerbaijani

0.6%

Hindi

0.6%

Indonesian

0.6%
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Technical Support Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.6%

Johnson & Wales University

13.3%

Strayer University

6.1%

University of Maryland - University College

5.5%

Northwest Missouri State University

5.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

American InterContinental University

4.5%

University of Central Florida

4.5%

New York University

4.2%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.2%

George Mason University

4.2%

University of Houston

3.9%

The Academy

3.6%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

3.6%

Kaplan University

3.6%

Ashland University

3.2%

Everest Institute

2.9%

Montgomery College

2.9%

Walden University

2.9%

Ball State University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

18.1%

Computer Science

16.3%

Information Technology

11.7%

Computer Information Systems

11.2%

Electrical Engineering

5.1%

Computer Networking

4.0%

Computer Engineering

3.5%

Accounting

3.3%

Psychology

2.9%

Information Systems

2.9%

Communication

2.8%

Management Information Systems

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Management

2.2%

English

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.8%

Nursing

1.7%

Graphic Design

1.7%

Computer Systems Security

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.1%

Other

19.8%

Masters

14.6%

Associate

14.6%

Certificate

3.9%

Diploma

1.9%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$40,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$23,000
Min 10%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Carlmont High School
Highest Paying City
Boston, MA
Highest Paying State
New Hampshire
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Technical Support Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Technical Support Assistant in the United States is $40,176 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $23,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $69,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Technical Support Assistant?

Have you worked as a Technical Support Assistant? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Technical Support Assistant.

Top Skills for A Technical Support Assistant

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Technical Support
  3. Network Printers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Install and configure computer hardware, software, systems, networks, printers, scanners and more.
  • Created reports on a weekly basis to show an overview of all the technical support provided and the measure of satisfaction.
  • Installed network printers, Windows 7, Vista, XP Pro, on laptop and desktop devices.
  • Assisted in troubleshooting networked broadcast mixers.
  • Managed the reception area; such as answering phone calls and greeting visitors that were requesting information.

How Would You Rate Working As a Technical Support Assistant?

Are you working as a Technical Support Assistant? Help us rate Technical Support Assistant as a Career.

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