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Become A Technical Support Engineer

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Working As A Technical Support Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $68,119

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical Support Engineer 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 Engineer

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 Engineer Career Paths

Technical Support Engineer
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Information Technology Specialist
Senior Information Technology Specialist
8 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator
Senior Network Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Data Analyst Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Desktop Support Specialist Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Engineer Instructor Technical Support Specialist
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Manager Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Engineer Systems Engineer
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Support Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Server Technician 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Technical Support Engineer
Internship 3.3%
Engineer 3.1%
Technician 3.1%
Consultant 2.6%
Top Careers After Technical Support Engineer
Consultant 4.7%
Engineer 3.8%

Do you work as a Technical Support Engineer?

Technical Support Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

79.3%

Female

17.9%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

53.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Asian

15.0%

Black or African American

9.8%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.7%

French

10.3%

Carrier

7.2%

Portuguese

6.9%

Chinese

6.3%

Japanese

5.3%

German

4.8%

Arabic

4.8%

Mandarin

4.4%

Italian

2.7%

Filipino

2.1%

Russian

1.7%

Hindi

1.7%

Dutch

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Cheyenne

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Romanian

0.6%
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Technical Support Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.4%

San Jose State University

8.4%

Northeastern University

7.2%

Wichita State University

5.8%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

5.5%

More Tech Institute

4.8%

Western Governors University

4.3%

Strayer University

4.1%

University of Houston

4.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.6%

Purdue University

3.6%

Utah Valley University

3.5%

George Mason University

3.4%

American InterContinental University

3.4%

Community College of the Air Force

3.3%

Boston University

3.2%

Brigham Young University

3.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

2.9%
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Majors

Computer Science

16.3%

Electrical Engineering

14.4%

Business

12.2%

Information Technology

9.8%

Computer Information Systems

9.7%

Computer Networking

6.2%

Computer Engineering

4.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.9%

Management Information Systems

2.9%

Information Systems

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.8%

Management

2.4%

Engineering

2.1%

Project Management

2.0%

Communication

1.6%

Computer Applications

1.5%

Computer Technical Support

1.3%

Education

1.3%

Psychology

1.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Other

19.6%

Masters

17.9%

Associate

13.0%

Certificate

4.5%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.1%
Show More

Technical Support Engineer Videos

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A Day in The Life - Technical Sales Engineer

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Part Time
Internship
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Real Technical Support Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Support Engineer Databricks, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 04, 2016 $140,000 -
$150,000
Principal Technical Support Engineer Hortonworks, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 13, 2016 $140,000
Technical Support Engineer Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 10, 2016 $138,000
Technical Support Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Feb 19, 2016 $137,000
Technical Support Engineer Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Jan 27, 2016 $135,408 -
$187,956
Technical Support Engineering Staff Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 05, 2016 $135,000
Technical Support Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Mar 21, 2016 $135,000
Technical Support Engineer Pure Storage, Inc. Mountain View, CA Nov 07, 2016 $135,000
Technical Support Engineer Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 12, 2015 $135,000
Technical Support Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Mar 18, 2016 $133,120
Technical Support Engineer Hortonworks, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Jan 28, 2016 $132,038
Technical Support Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Westford, MA Jul 12, 2015 $132,000
Technical Support Engineer Pure Storage, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jan 05, 2016 $132,000
Tech Support Engineer V (Technical Resolution Manager Role) EMC Corporation Santa Clara, CA Mar 26, 2015 $97,750 -
$132,150
Technical Support Engineer Snaplogic, Inc. San Mateo, CA Jan 05, 2015 $97,500
Software Technical Support Engineer Seismic Software, Inc. Solana Beach, CA Mar 22, 2016 $97,500
Technical/Operations Support Engineer Mitel (Delaware) Inc. Richardson, TX Oct 19, 2016 $97,335
Technical/Operations Support Engineer Mitel Mobility Inc. Richardson, TX Mar 09, 2016 $97,335
Technical Support Engineer Lam Research Corporation Tualatin, OR Oct 01, 2015 $97,292
Technical Support Engineer Lam Research Corporation Tualatin, OR Sep 01, 2015 $97,292
Technical Support Engineer Informatica Corporation Naperville, IL Apr 22, 2015 $79,900
Technical Support Engineer Informatica LLC Austin, TX Apr 08, 2016 $79,750
Technical Support Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Herndon, VA Aug 23, 2016 $79,726 -
$250,000
Technical Support Engineer Palo Alto Networks, Inc. Plano, TX Jan 28, 2016 $79,490
Technical Support Engineers Nokia Solutions and Networks Us LLC Irving, TX Nov 19, 2015 $79,428
Technical Support Engineer Ericsson Inc. Atlanta, GA Oct 17, 2016 $79,394 -
$147,462

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Top Skills for A Technical Support Engineer

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer
  3. Remote Access
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided Mathematical/Statistical Support for Technical Support Hematology.
  • Provided critical telephone technical support of computerized systems for radiotherapy and neurosurgery.
  • Handled multiple customer cases on a daily basis and collaborated with internal and external partner/customers for remote access.
  • Have established credibility with both teammates and caller-base as providing multiple tiered hardware and software support with superior customer service.
  • Performed troubleshooting for the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS/Cloud Computing Software-as-a-Service) and Microsoft Office 365.

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Top 10 Best States for Technical Support Engineers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Oregon
  3. California
  4. Washington
  5. Delaware
  6. Alaska
  7. Georgia
  8. Virginia
  9. Rhode Island
  10. New Hampshire
  • (697 jobs)
  • (639 jobs)
  • (6,750 jobs)
  • (1,452 jobs)
  • (164 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (1,516 jobs)
  • (3,687 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (350 jobs)

Top Technical Support Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Technical Support Engineer Employers

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