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Become A Technical Support Associate

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Working As A Technical Support Associate

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $58,920

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical Support Associate 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 Associate

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 Associate jobs

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Technical Support Associate Career Paths

Technical Support Associate
Project Manager Sales Consultant Call Center Representative
Call Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Consultant Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Senior Network Engineer Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Project Manager General Manager
Managing Partner
9 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer
Senior Network Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Senior System Administrator
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Systems Analyst Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Technical Expert 2.8 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
Support Lead 2.7 years
On-Site Technician 2.4 years
Technical Advisor 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Technical Aide 2.3 years
Support 2.0 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
Help Desk Engineer 1.8 years
Service Desk Agent 1.7 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Tier 1.6 years
Help Desk Agent 1.5 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 4.7%
Internship 3.7%
Technician 3.7%
Top Employers After
Specialist 3.6%
Consultant 3.4%

Technical Support Associate Demographics

Gender

Male

66.4%

Female

30.9%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

69.1%

Asian

15.1%

Hispanic or Latino

10.9%

Unknown

4.0%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.7%

Hindi

11.9%

French

6.8%

Italian

5.1%

German

3.4%

Mandarin

3.4%

Urdu

3.4%

Russian

3.4%

Arabic

3.4%

Chinese

1.7%

Ukrainian

1.7%

Welsh

1.7%

Telugu

1.7%

Filipino

1.7%

Kannada

1.7%

Carrier

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Croatian

1.7%

Tamil

1.7%

Armenian

1.7%
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Technical Support Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.4%

University of Maryland - University College

6.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.8%

Strayer University

5.8%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.8%

Northwestern University

4.8%

Ashford University

4.8%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.8%

Arizona State University

4.8%

Central Connecticut State University

4.8%

Hinds Community College

3.8%

Northwestern Polytechnic University

3.8%

Tennessee Technological University

3.8%

ITT Technical Institute-Richardson

3.8%

Harvard University

3.8%

Northern Illinois University

3.8%

University of North Texas

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%

Kaplan University

3.8%

Jackson State University

3.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

16.2%

Business

16.0%

Information Technology

12.0%

Computer Information Systems

10.1%

Electrical Engineering

8.3%

Computer Networking

6.1%

Computer Engineering

3.4%

Management

3.0%

Management Information Systems

3.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Education

2.3%

Computer Applications

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Psychology

2.2%

Criminal Justice

2.0%

Project Management

1.9%

Marketing

1.7%

English

1.6%

Communication

1.6%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.7%

Other

19.7%

Masters

19.1%

Associate

15.7%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Technical Support Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Technology Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Oct 03, 2016 $131,726 -
$140,000
Futures IT Support Associate RBS Securities Inc. Chicago, IL Jan 10, 2016 $130,000
Associate, Futures IT Support RBS Securities Inc. Stamford, CT Mar 10, 2016 $130,000
Senior Technology Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Mar 10, 2013 $120,411 -
$125,000
Technology Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Norwalk, CT Sep 26, 2016 $111,800 -
$128,000
Technical Support Associate Developer-Automation Servicenow, Inc. San Diego, CA Nov 20, 2015 $98,000
Technical Support Associate Developer Servicenow, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 28, 2013 $97,696 -
$121,875
Technical Support Associate Developer Servicenow, Inc. Orlando, FL Feb 15, 2016 $89,856 -
$118,100
Technology Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Jul 11, 2012 $89,606 -
$100,000
Technical Network Support Associate Apttus Corporation San Mateo, CA Aug 15, 2016 $86,070 -
$100,605
Technology Support Associate In Core Tech Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Aug 01, 2011 $85,259 -
$95,000
Technology Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Oct 27, 2011 $85,259 -
$100,000
IT SAP Support Associate Evantage Solutions Inc. Edison, NJ Apr 25, 2016 $83,741 -
$98,000
Technology Support Associate, Account Management Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Sep 01, 2010 $83,325 -
$100,000
Technology Support Associate Bridgewater Associates, LP Westport, CT Mar 07, 2011 $83,325 -
$100,000
Technical Support Associate Developer Servicenow, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 25, 2016 $82,114 -
$105,000
IT Support and Training Associate World Economic Forum USA Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $81,900
Technical Support Associate SRS Consulting Inc. Richmond, VA Nov 15, 2013 $81,000
Technical Support Engineering Associate Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 30, 2010 $73,000
Technical Developer Support Associate Engineer Salesforce.Com, Inc. Hillsboro, OR Aug 15, 2015 $72,813
Technical Developer Support Associate Engineer Salesforce.Com, Inc. Hillsboro, OR Aug 15, 2015 $72,113
Technical Network Support Associate Apttus Corporation San Mateo, CA Aug 15, 2016 $71,531 -
$86,065
Technical Support Associate Developer-Application Servicenow, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 25, 2013 $71,136 -
$90,000

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Top Skills for A Technical Support Associate

TechnicalSupportComputerHardwareDesktopSupportTroubleshootRemoteAccessPrintersLaptopsInternetTechnicalIssuesPhoneCallsCustomerServiceSkillsActiveDirectorySetupWindowsXPMacCustomerSatisfactionSoftwareIssuesRoutersVPNTroubleTickets

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Top Technical Support Associate Skills

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Desktop Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Received Technical Support Rep. of the month award in December 2009.
  • Troubleshooted and repaired computer hardware problems and supported wide area network.
  • Work with employees to provide desktop support.
  • Documented troubleshooting steps during each call using enterprise level help desk software designed by Siebel Corporation.
  • Resolved 30% of all incoming cases within 10 minutes from initial contact through remote access software.

Top Technical Support Associate Employers

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