Computer Support Specialist Job Description
Computer support specialists provide technical support to computer users. Depending on the role, they may provide service in person, or via email or telephone. Support often includes helping users install software, and troubleshooting issues with email, printing, and operating systems. There are two primary types of computer support specialists: Technical support specialists normally work within an IT department. They help to troubleshoot and analyze problems with an organization’s network, and provide support to computer users within an organization. Their support can include installing software, helping with general computer problems, and setting up user accounts.
Help desk technicians can either work in house, or provide support over the phone. Many software companies employ help desk technicians to help customers solve problems related to the use of their software. Depending on the type of software they support, the problems they solve can be very simple or very complex.
Computer support specialists are commonly employed in the healthcare, finance, IT, and telecommunications industries. Many people in this occupation provide support directly for the company that employs them, while others work for companies who provide outsourced support. Though it isn’t possible for all positions, many people in this occupation work from home and use internet applications to log their productivity and manage their call volume. This can be a very nice perk for people who prefer to work out of their home. Because people need computer support at all times of day and night, computer support specialists commonly have to work on nights and weekends. This can be a great occupation for people who need to work irregular schedules.
How to Become a Computer Support Specialist
The education and experience required to work as a computer support specialist varies depending on the type of support that’s offered. A bachelor’s degree is required for more advanced positions, while others require only an associate’s degree or technical certification. Some positions (like entry level help desk jobs) have no educational requirements. Once hired, most employers provide on the job training that can last anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. Since technology advances at a rapid rate, continued training is required each time a major advancement or software upgrade occurs. Most computer support specialists begin their careers by working in entry level positions where they help users solve basic problems. With time and experience, they are able to advance into positions where they solve more complex problems affecting software or computer equipment. Many computer support specialists eventually move into other roles in the tech industry. As an example, some people eventually move into positions as computer systems analysts and network administrators as they gain experience.
There are currently 565,710 computer support specialists in the United States, with 23,460 new computer support specialist job openings created each year.
Computer Support Specialist jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Computer Support Specialist Salaries
Computer Support Specialist salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most computer support specialists make between $35,900 – $60,000 per year, or $17.24 – $28.86 per hour.