Should I Become an E-Mail Support Specialist?
E-mail support specialists, sometimes known as e-mail administrators, typically communicate with customers and manage internal e-mail systems for corporations and other organizations. This may include fielding e-mails and assigning them to individuals or teams for a response. Some e-mail support workers may deal with technical issues and help people troubleshoot problems that arise. The work of an e-mail support specialist often involves many hours spent sitting at a desk.
|Degree Level||High school diploma or equivalent; undergraduate degree sometimes preferred|
|Experience||3-5 years of experience|
|Certification||Voluntary certification available|
|Key Skills||Call center experience; customer relationship management (CRM), electronic mail, contact center, network conferencing, and Microsoft Office software; ability to use autodialers, caller ID, and telephones|
|Salary (2015)||$48,620 (median for all computer user support specialists)|
Sources: Monster.com job postings (November 2012), O*NET Online, Microsoft.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
You can get started in this career with a high school diploma, but an undergraduate degree preferred for some positions, along with 3-5 years of experience. Voluntary certifications are also available. Key skills for an email support specialist include call center experience, customer relationship management (CRM) software, electronic mail software, contact center software, network conferencing software and Microsoft Office programs. These workers must also able to use autodialers, caller ID and telephones. According to the U.S. Burea of Labor Statistics, in 2015 computer user support specialists earned a median annual wage of $48,620.
Steps to Becoming a Support Specialist
What are the steps you must take to become an email support specialist?
Step 1: Consider Postsecondary Education Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), e-mail support specialists may need some postsecondary education. Prospective candidates may wish to consider certificate and associate's degree programs in business, information systems or a customer service-related discipline. These programs are commonly available at junior colleges or technical schools and allow students to gain intermediate skills in topics ranging from business management to computer operating systems and software, such as Microsoft Office.
Another option is to pursue certification. Regardless of educational level, prospective e-mail support specialists may wish to pursue a certification that validates relevant skills to employers. Microsoft offers certifications for a variety of programs in the Microsoft Office Suite, including Microsoft Outlook. Employers generally want candidates to have a firm understanding of Microsoft products, and gaining one of these designations offered by Microsoft could give the holder an advantage over similarly qualified applicants.
Step 2: Find an Entry-Level Position and Gain Experience
Most employers seeking e-mail support workers want candidates who have experience handling similar tasks, which can be gained through an entry-level position. Entry-level support workers usually receive training on the systems and procedures used in the company. New workers typically begin with simple tasks, such as sending e-mails to the proper personnel and ensuring that questions have been answered. According to the BLS, customer service training typically takes employees between a few weeks and a couple of months to complete. Once a worker has gained the basic skills needed for this job, he or she can begin working towards advancement or learning more complex tasks.
Step 3: Consider Earning a Bachelor's Degree
E-mail support specialists hoping to advance to more technical positions or jobs with more responsibilities may benefit from obtaining a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree programs in information systems or computer science can be good choices for students who hope to work in technical and troubleshooting capacities, while a business administration program may be better suited for students who plan to remain in customer service capacities. The duties of e-mail administrators who troubleshoot problems are often complex and require strong problem solving skills, which can be acquired from a bachelor's program.
To recap, with a high school diploma or some further education and experience, email support specialists can earn about $49,000 a year to communicate with customers and manage internal email systems for corporations and other organizations.