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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
  • $61,000

    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
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
Systems Administrator Consultant Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Team Leader Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Help Desk Analyst
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Consultant Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Senior System Administrator Help Desk Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Desktop Support Technician
Senior Support Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Information Technology Administrator Technical Support Manager
Technical Support Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Desktop Support Technician Level Senior Technician
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Desktop Support Technician Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Support Associate?

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 Associate
Cashier 9.6%
Internship 5.3%
Technician 3.9%
Volunteer 2.4%
Associate 2.3%
Manager 2.2%
Top Careers After Technical Support Associate
Cashier 4.1%
Manager 3.7%
Specialist 3.7%
Consultant 3.1%

Do you work as a Technical Support Associate?

Technical Support Associate Demographics

Gender

Male

60.2%

Female

29.2%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

54.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Asian

13.8%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

5.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.7%

Hindi

9.3%

French

5.3%

Portuguese

4.0%

Mandarin

2.7%

Russian

2.7%

Italian

2.7%

Chinese

2.7%

Kannada

2.7%

German

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Telugu

1.3%

Turkish

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Welsh

1.3%

Armenian

1.3%

Tamil

1.3%

Filipino

1.3%

Dakota

1.3%
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Technical Support Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

7.1%

University of Maryland - University College

6.6%

Strayer University

6.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.5%

Central Connecticut State University

4.9%

American InterContinental University

4.9%

Arizona State University

4.4%

George Mason University

4.4%

University of Houston

4.4%

Northern Illinois University

4.4%

Western Governors University

4.4%

University of North Texas

3.8%

Northwestern University

3.8%

Ashford University

3.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.3%

Texas Tech University

3.3%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.3%

ITT Technical Institute-Richardson

3.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.3%
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Majors

Computer Science

15.9%

Business

15.3%

Information Technology

12.5%

Computer Information Systems

10.3%

Electrical Engineering

9.1%

Computer Networking

4.9%

Computer Engineering

3.8%

Information Systems

2.8%

Management

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.7%

Psychology

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.4%

Computer Applications

2.1%

Computer Systems Security

2.0%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Marketing

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

Education

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.4%

Other

18.8%

Masters

17.8%

Associate

17.0%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$61,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$35,000
Min 10%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Henry Schein
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Technical Support Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Technical Support Associate in the United States is $61,271 per year or $29 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $107,000.

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
Associate, Futures IT Support RBS Securities Inc. Stamford, CT Oct 03, 2016 $130,000
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
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. San Jose, CA Jan 10, 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

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Top Skills for A Technical Support Associate

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented training program including training materials and aids for operation technical support.
  • Troubleshooted and repaired computer hardware problems and supported wide area network.
  • Analyzed call volume and average call time to monitor Customer Service Representative performance and productivity.
  • Installed, Configured and maintained Network Printers, Network Storage Devices (ReadyNas and SC101 products Netgear proprietary).
  • Utilize advanced tools reference Switch Engineering for Telephony purposes, recommend resolution steps during troubleshooting devices.

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Top 10 Best States for Technical Support Associates

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Colorado
  5. Alaska
  6. New Jersey
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Virginia
  9. Connecticut
  10. Minnesota
  • (378 jobs)
  • (1,151 jobs)
  • (130 jobs)
  • (926 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)
  • (1,016 jobs)
  • (132 jobs)
  • (1,630 jobs)
  • (412 jobs)
  • (759 jobs)

Top Technical Support Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Technical Support Associate Employers

Technical Support Associate Videos

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IBM Technical Support Services (TSS): Training and Development - IBM's Competitive Advantage

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