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Careers in the USA: Computer Support Specialists

Computer Support Specialists
Some computer support specialists, called help-desk technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Quick Facts: Computer Support Specialists

2012 Median Pay
$48,900 per year
$23.51 per hour

Entry-Level Education
See How to Become One

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
See How to Become One

Number of Jobs, 2012
722,400

Job Outlook, 2012-22
17% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
123,000

What Computer Support Specialists 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.

Work Environment
Most computer support specialists have full-time work schedules; however, many do not work typical 9-to-5 jobs. Because computer support is important for businesses, many support specialists must be available 24 hours a day.

How to Become a Computer Support Specialist

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.

Pay
In May 2012, the median annual wage for computer network support specialists was $59,090. The median annual wage for computer user support specialists was $46,420 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of computer support specialists is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. More support services will be needed as organizations upgrade their computer equipment and software.

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