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Become A Technical Support Technician

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Working As A Technical Support Technician

  • 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 Technician 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 Technician

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 Technician?

Technical Support Technician Jobs

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Technical Support Technician Career Paths

Technical Support Technician
Systems Engineer Program Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Senior Network Engineer Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Operations Manager Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Business Analyst Product Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Technical Support Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 9.7%
Teller 6.5%
Technician 4.1%
Internship 3.6%
Manager 3.1%
Server 2.6%
Top Employers After
Technician 4.8%
Teller 4.8%
Cashier 4.3%
Consultant 3.0%
Manager 2.9%

Do you work as a Technical Support Technician?

Technical Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

63.6%

Female

34.0%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

75.9%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

2.3%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.3%

French

9.5%

Portuguese

4.4%

Arabic

4.1%

German

3.3%

Chinese

3.1%

Mandarin

2.4%

Japanese

2.3%

Russian

2.2%

Italian

1.9%

Carrier

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Cantonese

1.0%

Korean

0.9%

Hindi

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Urdu

0.5%

Dutch

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Croatian

0.4%
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Technical Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

29.1%

Strayer University

6.6%

Kaplan University

6.3%

Utah Valley University

5.9%

Ashford University

3.8%

Western Governors University

3.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

The Academy

3.4%

Austin Community College

3.4%

American InterContinental University

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

Salt Lake Community College

3.3%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.2%

University of North Texas

3.0%

University of Houston

2.9%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

2.8%

Grand Canyon University

2.7%

Liberty University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

16.3%

Computer Science

14.5%

Information Technology

11.3%

Computer Information Systems

10.4%

Computer Networking

6.0%

Electrical Engineering

5.3%

Criminal Justice

4.2%

Psychology

3.4%

Communication

3.0%

General Studies

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Accounting

2.4%

Computer Engineering

2.4%

Management

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Nursing

2.3%

Education

2.3%

Medical Assisting Services

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Computer Systems Security

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.9%

Other

29.9%

Associate

19.1%

Masters

8.3%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

2.1%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Technical Support Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
EMV Technical Support CPI Card Group Colorado Inc. Littleton, CO Sep 16, 2014 $170,000
Technical Support Mitchell/Martin, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Mar 08, 2016 $104,936 -
$124,000
Director, Tech Support Trizetto Corporation, A Cognizant Company Phoenix, AZ Sep 10, 2015 $103,730 -
$123,003
Technical Support HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Jersey City, NJ Sep 12, 2013 $100,000
Technical Support Diversant LLC Charlotte, NC May 07, 2016 $95,000 -
$110,000
Technical Support Mitchell/Martin, Inc. Charlotte, NC Nov 07, 2016 $94,973 -
$110,000
National Technical Support Brainlab, Inc. Danvers, MA Jan 23, 2016 $94,848
National Technical Support Brainlab, Inc. Danvers, MA Oct 02, 2015 $94,848
Technical Support IV Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Jul 25, 2014 $94,559
Technical Support Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Cary, NC Oct 16, 2011 $93,087
Technical Support IV Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Aug 04, 2013 $90,487
Tech Support III Information Builders Inc. New York, NY Jul 25, 2013 $90,000
Technical Support IV Baker Hughes, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 06, 2015 $88,670
Technical Support (Computer Systems Analyst) Kana Software, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 16, 2014 $81,000
Technical Support (Computer Systems Analyst) Kana Software, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2014 $81,000
Technical Support II Egnyte, Inc. Mountain View, CA Feb 20, 2014 $80,000
Websphere Technical Support Omsheel, LLC Wilmington, DE Apr 19, 2010 $80,000 -
$93,600
Websphere Technical Support Omsheel, LLC Wayne, PA Nov 01, 2010 $80,000
Technical Support II Egnyte, Inc. Mountain View, CA May 05, 2014 $80,000
Technical Support (Automobile Engineer) Kyyba Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Nov 08, 2016 $80,000
Siebel Support Technologist (Engineer/Technologist Johnson Controls, Inc. Milwaukee, WI Oct 01, 2010 $65,645 -
$83,000
Technical Support III Skillstorm Commercial Services LLC Plano, TX Nov 16, 2015 $64,697
Technical & Developmental Support Enhanced Trading Consultants USA Inc. The Woodlands, TX Nov 01, 2010 $64,000 -
$84,000
Instructional Support Technician Suny Upstate Medical University Syracuse, NY Apr 02, 2014 $62,640
Technical Support Terarecon Inc. Foster City, CA Apr 09, 2016 $62,000
Technical & Developmental Support Enhanced Trading Consultants USA Inc. The Woodlands, TX Nov 01, 2010 $62,000 -
$84,000
Technical Support-Intermediate Kyyba Inc. Warren, MI May 08, 2015 $60,000

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Top Skills for A Technical Support Technician

ComputerHardwareTroubleShootingInternetConnectivityPhoneCallsRemoteAccessEmailTechnicalSupportNetworkPrintersDeskSupportSetupTechnicalIssuesCustomerServiceDataEntrySoftwareApplicationsWebLaptopsWindowsXPActiveDirectoryMacInboundCalls

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  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Trouble Shooting
  3. Internet Connectivity
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided technical support for computer hardware and software issues, including: virus-removal, network setup, and peripherals.
  • Craft bash scripts and Perl scripts for information collection, as well as automated trouble shooting.
  • Worked in call center troubleshooting internet connectivity problems.
  • Take incoming phone calls and assist customer with Apple technical support and resolve billing issues.
  • Utilized and determined and resolved necessary repairs with remote access.

How Would You Rate Working As a Technical Support Technician?

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