How To Become A Computer Support Specialist

What would we do without a Computer Support Specialist to help us solve computer-related issues? We’ve all used their services at some point, whether while working on a school project or at our jobs. Keeping computer networks in good working order is essential to everyday business and our personal lives.

Computer Support Specialists are invaluable. If you would like to be a part of a specially trained team to help others in this field, check out our guide to see what your next step should be! With minimum educational requirements (and computer experience), you can begin your career today! 

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Table of Contents


What does a Computer Support Specialist do?

Primarily, a Computer Support Specialist’s job will focus on the lines provided that allow customers to utilize wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN). They test and maintain the networks.

Also, a Computer Support Specialist provides the consumer with the help they need when it comes to computer use, technical issues, or other product-related questions. 

They often work remotely, such as a call center, and assist others through phone calls or e-mail inquiries. 

What are the differences between a Computer Network Support Specialist and a Computer User Support Specialist?

Here are the differences:

Computer Network Support Specialist – Focuses on network systems:

  • Checks and analyzes network systems,
  • Performs maintenance,
  • Performs file backups,
  • Troubleshoot all types of networks and repair accordingly,
  • Assists customers with technical issues by phone, e-mail, or personal visits.

Computer User Support Specialist – Focuses on the client’s computer-related issues:

  • Works closely with the consumer, solving technical problems,
  • Trains users with new computers on how to work with equipment or printers,
  • Keeps records of client computer-related issues.

How do I become a Computer Support Specialist?

There are several paths to becoming a Computer Support Specialist that you can choose from. Options include certificate programs, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees. Knowledge of computer applications and the like is required to do most jobs. The educational requirements will depend on the scope of work and your employer’s mandates.

Careers requiring a bachelor’s degree include Computer Engineering and Computer and Information Technology. 

What will I learn in a Computer Support Specialist certificate or associate degree program?

Programs, depending on the level, will touch on coursework, such as:

  • Information Systems
  • Software Applications
  • Computer Hardware
  • Internet services
  • Computer Concepts
  • Network Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Customer Service
  • And, much more! 

Are there opportunities for career advancement in this field?

To advance into an administrative management position in this field, you most likely will need a bachelor’s degree. Careers include Computer and Information Systems Manager, Computer Network Architects, Computer Programmers, Information Security Analysts, and Network and Computer Systems Administrators, to name a few.

Do I need extensive computer experience to be a Computer Support Specialist?

Naturally, becoming a Computer Support Specialist will require knowledge of computers. If you intend to pursue a career in this field, any high school classes taken will help you excel in your post-secondary education, whichever path you choose. Computer experience is a must!

How much money does a Computer Support Specialist earn per year?

According to the BLS, as of May 2020, the Computer Network Specialists earned $65,450 annually. The highest 10% made upwards of $110,450 per year.

Computer User Support Specialists made $52,690 annually. The upper 10% earned upwards of $88,940 annually. 

Is there a demand for Computer Support Specialists?

Job growth is expected to rise by 9% between 2020 and 2030, according to the BLS. Change can be attributed to the expected increase in services needed by organizations as they upgrade and add to their computer systems. 

What qualities will make me a good Computer Support Specialist?

Besides the obvious good computer skills, many other qualities will make you an excellent Computer Support Specialist, such as: 

  • Customer service skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Work well with others
  • Communication skills, written and oral
  • Listening skills
  • Attention to detail

Where do Computer Support Specialists find jobs?

Specialists in this field have many options when it comes to employers. Computer system design and related services are the most popular employers, which offered the highest number of job openings in 2020. 

Other options include telecommunications, followed by educational services, data management companies, and finally, finance and insurance companies. 

Most jobs are considered full-time; however, the business requires 24 hour/7 days a week service. You may be expected to work nights and weekends.