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IT Support Specialist

What is it?

An IT support specialist, also sometimes called a desktop support technician or computer support specialist, is a versatile role within the IT field, encompassing various responsibilities related to supporting users and maintaining the overall health of an organization’s IT infrastructure. They act as a bridge between users and more specialized IT professionals, addressing a wide range of technical needs.

Here’s a breakdown of some key responsibilities of an IT support specialist:

User Support:

  • Responding to user inquiries: Similar to computer user support specialists, IT support specialists answer phone calls, emails, and in-person requests from users experiencing technical difficulties with their computers, software, or other IT-related equipment. They actively listen to user concerns, gather information, and diagnose the problem.
  • Providing technical guidance and solutions: They offer solutions and guidance to users, which may involve:
    • Directing users to relevant knowledge base articles or online resources.
    • Guiding users through step-by-step troubleshooting procedures.
    • Remotely accessing user devices to diagnose and fix issues, if permitted, and following established security protocols.
    • Escalating complex issues to more senior technicians or relevant IT departments.
  • Training and knowledge sharing: IT support specialists may also provide basic training sessions to users on new software applications or hardware features, empowering them to become more self-sufficient.

Technical Support and Maintenance:

  • Installing and configuring hardware and software: They may install and configure new hardware or software on user devices, ensuring proper functionality and compatibility with existing systems.
  • Maintaining and troubleshooting computer systems: IT support specialists perform routine maintenance tasks like installing software updates, troubleshooting network connectivity issues, and resolving software errors to maintain the smooth operation of computer systems.
  • Managing user accounts and permissions: They may manage user accounts and access permissions on various systems, ensuring data security and compliance with organizational policies.

Additional tasks may include:

Keeping accurate records of user interactions, the issues encountered, and the solutions provided is crucial for future reference and identifying trends in user problems.

As technology evolves, IT support specialists need to continuously learn and stay updated on new software, hardware, and troubleshooting techniques to effectively assist users with diverse problems.

In some cases, IT support specialists may collaborate with other IT departments like network administrators or security specialists to resolve complex issues or implement new technologies.

* Salary Range

$44,100 - $71,701

(entry level – experienced)

* Regional Jobs Available

1,395

(3 year forecast)

Length of Training

9-24 weeks

Type of Training

Online (Self-paced) / Hybrid

Is it Right For You?

Here are some essential skills and qualities for success as an IT support specialist:

  • Strong technical knowledge: Understanding of computer hardware, software, networking concepts, and common technical issues is crucial.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: Effective communication with users, both verbally and in writing, is essential for understanding their problems, explaining technical concepts clearly, and building rapport.
  • Problem-solving skills: Identifying the root cause of user issues and developing effective solutions are key aspects of the job.
  • Customer service orientation: A strong customer service orientation ensures a positive and helpful experience for users seeking technical support.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team: IT support specialists often work independently while troubleshooting user issues but may also collaborate with other IT professionals for complex problems or project implementation.

Overall, IT support specialists play a vital role in keeping organizations running smoothly by providing essential technical support to users and maintaining the health of the IT infrastructure. It’s a rewarding career path for individuals who enjoy helping others, possess good communication and problem-solving skills, and have a passion for technology.

* Pay Range Data: Occupational Employment Wages Statistics (OEWS). 2023-Q3.
* Demand: Forecast data is based off national projections provided by the BoLS and adapted for regional growth patterns by Chmura.

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