What’s an IT Support Specialist?

The job of IT support specialist is an in-demand role that requires strong computer and software skills to evaluate and troubleshoot issues. In this Careers article, we’ll provide an overview of this important tech role and describe the skills and responsibilities involved.

What Does an IT Support Specialist Do?

IT support specialists provide technical support to customers, employees, or businesses that are experiencing hardware or software issues, says Career Explorer. “Some examples of these issues are slow performance, connection problems, and an inability to access data.”

According to CompTIA, they play a key role in keeping employees or customers productive by solving technical issues via telephone, webchat, or in person. “Some specialists are tasked with giving instructions to customers on how to use business-specific programs” or resolving connectivity problems. The role can also have other titles, such as computer support specialist or IT technician.

If you plan to enter this field, says Indeed, “you need to have strong communication skills and knowledge of common computer systems. It's your job to find solutions to the various IT problems clients or customers may experience.”

Skills and Responsibilities

IT support specialists are in high demand, Indeed says, primarily because the role is “crucial to the successful daily operations of most businesses.” And, those in this position may be expected to perform the following tasks:

  • Assist users in troubleshooting common computer issues or concerns
  • Reply to requests for information technology services, repairs, support, inquiries, or complaints
  • Use a computer tracking system to manage issues and responses
  • Make recommendations to improve computer systems
  • Provide documentation for customer support inquiries and resolutions
  • Set up or configure computer equipment and other devices
  • Upgrade and manage systems to ensure they are operating effectively and efficiently
  • Implement new business and productivity software
  • Train staff on new software, systems, and best practices
  • Document changes, revisions, and problems

“Most companies hiring for this position will look for someone with some IT or customer service experience,” says CompTIA, which may be obtained through schooling, online courses, or internships.

Salary and Career Outlook

The average salary for IT support specialists in the United States is $55,807, according to Salary.com, with a typical range between $50,173 and $62,525. “Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession,” the website notes.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average salary as slightly higher at $57,910 per year. Overall employment for this role, BLS states, “is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 75,000 openings for computer support specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.” 

The relatively entry-level role of support specialist can also be a key IT career step, leading to other positions such as network or system administrator, or computer programmer.

Learn More

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