Today’s rapidly growing technology sector is ill equipped for something that nobody really saw coming: There are too many jobs and just not enough qualified workers to fill key roles. This has resulted in countless open positions, with new listings being added every hour to job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, Career Builder, Glassdoor and countless others.
But when supply is low and demand is high, it works out rather nicely for the qualified worker that’s seeking a new position or an upgrade from their existing one. Is a career as an IT support specialist in the books for you? Here’s a quick look at some fast facts and statistics so you can decide whether a career change is in your best interest.
What Does an IT Support Specialist Do?
An IT support specialist is a multifaceted, customer facing position. In this role, you’ll be tasked with helping businesses provide adequate support for their growing customer base. Under most circumstances, you’ll be providing support for computer and network systems as well as associated applications, drivers, hardware and more.
An IT support specialist job requires that you have adept skills and knowledge in computers, software, hardware and applications. Many times, you’ll be working at a “helpdesk” fielding inbound phone calls and helping to resolving support tickets via email or even screenshare. From simple tasks like helping a user update their drivers to more complex issues like hardware failure, you’ll have your plate full.
IT Support Specialist Fast Facts
Here are some helpful IT support statistics that you can use to determine if this is a positive career change for you.
- Requires related education and on the job training
- Problem solving skills and communication skills (written and verbal) must be honed
- Ongoing education is usually required by most employers
- 12% job growth year-over-year in this field
- Median average annual salary is $48,620
- A degree is not required, but employers may mandate certain certifications and prior experience
What is an IT Support Specialist?
Now that you know what these experts do, just what are they? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), classifies them as support experts that provide services which range from technical support to helpdesk, software support, and more, with a specific focus on computer systems. They are tasked with helping to resolve a range of issues that affect computers and hardware, software and networks.
In most cases, they field inbound calls and resolve email tickets from customers that are using software, hardware or network services of a particular service provider. But in some cases, they may provide internal support for companies that have customized systems in place for their employees. Typical duties consist of providing specific instructions that help identify and resolve computer, hardware and network related issues that users are experiencing.
What Type of Education Do IT Support Specialists Have?
An IT support specialist is not mandated to have a specific education, and some companies hire applicants base on their proficiency and the results of internal tests. But education can help you score a higher salary and more on the job perks.
Typically, employers want to see a strong background in information technology and some sort of working experience or educational credentials. Did you know that the IT Support Specialist course at Woz U can help you gain the necessary experience you need to enter this growing and exciting field?
IT Support Specialist Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual median salary for an IT support specialist was $48,620 as of 2015. According to Payscale.com, this salary ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 per year. Some statistics find that the upper pay grade of this salary, typically found in managerial positions, can be as high as $90,000 per year.
Getting Started with a New Career
It’s always helpful to learn the facts before you decide to make a career change. It’s comforting knowing that careers in IT support offer a generous annual salary and that you can expect a decent amount of perks by working at a technology company, such as health and dental benefits and 401k plans.