What Is a Technical Support Specialist? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.
A technical support specialist combines technical expertise with customer service to advise both customers and employees and troubleshoot their hardware and software issues. Here’s what to know about a technical support specialist’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.
What Is a Technical Support Specialist?
A technical support specialist is responsible for addressing software and hardware issues. They balance tech expertise with analytical thinking to locate and diagnose problems and then recommend the best course of action.
What Do Technical Support Specialists Do?
Technical support specialists use their specialized knowledge and skills to test new systems, help users install software over the phone and give individuals advice for updating programs. Their goal is to provide the assistance employees and customers need to ensure they’re able to rely on the most up-to-date computer systems and tools.
Technical Support Specialist Responsibilities
- Identifying and correcting hardware and software problems.
- Communicating technical information to users.
- Managing system updates.
- Testing, monitoring and maintaining systems and networks.
- Meeting deadlines for projects and fulfilling service tickets.
Day-to-Day Responsibilities of Technical Support Specialists
- Conducting research to stay on top of technical trends.
- Documenting hardware and software installations and updates.
- Advising users on system requirements.
- Collecting customer feedback to improve processes.
Technical Support Specialists Within a Company
Technical support specialists usually belong to a team that may have a tiered ranking of support specialists and technicians based on their level of skills and experience. This role typically answers to a team lead or manager.
Importance of Technical Support Specialists
Technical support specialists leverage their analytical thinking skills and technical proficiencies to provide crucial support services to an organization’s staff as well as customers. Their work protects and maintains critical systems and ensures technology runs smoothly for users.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Technical Support Specialist?
Qualifications to Be a Technical Support Specialist
- Understanding of how to troubleshoot hardware and software issues.
- Experience providing technical-oriented customer service.
- Ability to conduct research to stay on top of software and hardware trends.
- Some positions may also require knowledge of coding languages like Java and Python.
- Familiarity with necessary tools and operating systems.
- Knowledge of best practices for technical documentation.
- Ability to communicate complex concepts.
Technical Support Specialist Prerequisites
- Typically must have at least a high school diploma or GED.
- Some positions will also require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field like computer science or information systems.
- Professional courses and certifications can also boost your resume.
Technical Support Specialist Hard Skills
- Troubleshooting technical issues.
- Conducting research.
- Maintaining documentation.
- Working with relevant coding languages and operating systems.
- Using technical support tools.
Technical Support Specialist Soft Skills
- Strong communication skills.
- Analytical thinking.
- Applying constructive feedback.
- Prioritizing tasks and projects.
Tools and Programs Technical Support Specialists Use
How to Become a Technical Support Specialist
Technical Support Specialist Education and Experience
A technical support specialist usually needs at minimum a high school diploma or GED, but many employers may also be looking for candidates who hold associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in relevant fields. Depending on the position, an applicant will also likely be required to have anywhere from one to four years of experience, which should include time spent working in customer service as well as handling hardware and software.
Technical Support Specialist Certificates and Courses
- Microsoft certifications
- CompTIA certifications
- Google IT Support Professional Certificate
- Udemy IT Help Desk Professional
Technical Support Specialist Career Path
While some professionals may be able to start their career with an entry-level technical support role, others gain experience by working as a customer service rep, administrative assistant or in another helpdesk- or IT-related role before becoming a technical support specialist. As they further their training and experience, a technical support specialist can go on to eventually become a team lead or technical support manager.
Technical Support Specialist Salary and Job Outlook
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows employment for computer support specialists is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2021 and 2031, with a projected yearly average of 75,000 openings.
The full compensation package for a technical support specialist depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average technical support specialist salary.