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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
  • $48,620

    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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Do you work as a Technical Support Assistant?

Technical Support Assistant Jobs

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Technical Support Assistant Career Paths

Technical Support Assistant
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Information Technology Specialist Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Network Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager Account Executive
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technical Support Specialist Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Technical Support Specialist Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Operations Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Merchandiser Retail Sales Representative
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 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
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 8.8%
Cashier 5.4%
Volunteer 5.0%
Technician 2.8%
Assistant 2.8%
Manager 2.6%
Top Employers After
Internship 6.5%
Cashier 3.5%
Consultant 3.2%
Manager 2.8%

Do you work as a Technical Support Assistant?

Technical Support Assistant Demographics

Gender

Male

56.9%

Female

39.7%

Unknown

3.4%
Ethnicity

White

72.4%

Asian

12.3%

Hispanic or Latino

11.3%

Unknown

3.2%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.7%

French

11.8%

Chinese

8.2%

Mandarin

7.3%

Japanese

4.5%

Russian

3.6%

German

3.6%

Portuguese

2.7%

Korean

1.8%

Ukrainian

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Urdu

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Romanian

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%

Azerbaijani

0.9%

Indonesian

0.9%

Bambara

0.9%

Catalan

0.9%

Croatian

0.9%
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Technical Support Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.8%

Northwest Missouri State University

9.1%

Johnson & Wales University

8.5%

Strayer University

7.9%

University of Maryland - University College

4.9%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

George Mason University

4.9%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.3%

Walden University

4.3%

American InterContinental University

4.3%

Drexel University

4.3%

Baylor University

4.3%

Florida International University

3.7%

Kaplan University

3.7%

New York University

3.0%

Montgomery College

3.0%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.0%

The Academy

3.0%

Troy University

3.0%

California State University - Dominguez Hills

3.0%
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Majors

Business

17.0%

Computer Science

16.1%

Computer Information Systems

11.6%

Information Technology

11.2%

Electrical Engineering

5.1%

Computer Networking

4.3%

Computer Engineering

3.3%

Information Systems

3.2%

Management Information Systems

3.1%

Accounting

2.9%

English

2.8%

Communication

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Psychology

2.6%

Management

2.3%

Computer Technical Support

2.0%

Computer Applications

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.8%

Nursing

1.7%

Education

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.6%

Other

19.4%

Masters

14.9%

Associate

13.4%

Certificate

3.9%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

1.3%

License

0.1%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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

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Top Skills for A Technical Support Assistant

ComputerHardwareTroubleshootDataEntryPhoneCallsCustomerServiceDeskSupportActiveDirectoryInternetLaptopsSet-UpCompanyWebsiteRemoteComputerLabComputerSystemsTechnicalIssuesOfficeSuppliesFaxMachinesWindowsXPPCSBackup

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  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Troubleshoot
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted in the configuration and deployment of computer hardware in preparation of planned upgrades and company-wide roll outs.
  • Performed on site tech support and troubleshooting related to network and hardware issues for 40+ users.
  • Provided service to technology users through data entry into the GroupWise e-mail database.
  • Handled a large volume of phone calls, chat and emails.
  • Selected as Transition Assistant motivating and coaching new customer service employees to exceed customer expectations.

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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