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COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS CAREER INFORMATION

Computer Specialist 

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Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called technical support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called help-desk technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Technical support specialists typically do the following:

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Technical support specialists, also called computer network support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the daily upkeep of their organization’s networks by finding solutions to problems as they occur. Solving an IT problem in a timely manner is important because organizations depend on their computer systems. Technical support specialists may provide assistance to the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks. For more information, see the profile on network and computer systems administrators.

Help-desk technicians typically do the following:

  • Pay attention to customers when they describe their computer problems
  • Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Walk customers through the problem-solving steps
  • Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  • Train users to use new computer hardware or software, including printing, installation, word processing, and email
  • Give information to others in the organization about what gives customers the most trouble and other concerns customers have

Help-desk technicians, also called computer user support specialists, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. Sometimes they make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies and for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use complex programs. Others work in call centers answering simpler questions from consumers. Some technicians work for organizations and help non-IT workers with their computer problems.     

 

OUTLOOK & WAGE DATA

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings

2010

2020

Computer Support Specialists

607,100

717,100

+18%

26,950

California

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings

2008

2018

Computer Support Specialists

64,100

71,500

+12%

2,510

Wage Data:

Pay
Period

2010

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States

Hourly

$13.61

$17.24

$22.24

$28.86

$37.01

Yearly

$28,300

$35,900

$46,300

$60,000

$77,000

California

Hourly

$14.94

$19.42

$25.14

$32.67

$41.94

Yearly

$31,100

$40,400

$52,300

$68,000

$87,200

Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

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State and National Trends
Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.
Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.

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Employment Trends by Occupation Across States
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Employment Trends by Industry and Occupation

 

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National Data Source: 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections

 CA.gov logo State Data Source: 
California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division

Gainful Employment Data

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Last updated: 6/28/2013 11:37:40 AM