Salary and Career Info for a Computer System Specialist

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a computer system specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Computer system specialists play a key role in assisting clients and/or co-workers who are facing computer-related technical issues; they may also ensure proper maintenance of a company's computer system.

Essential Information

Computer system specialists, also referred to as computer support specialists, help answer information technology questions and solve technical errors for clients or employers by using regular diagnostics and other troubleshooting techniques. Computer system specialists may need an associate's or a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. Some employers will hire someone who has completed a certificate program and has experience in this area.

Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science or related field, or job experience and a certificate in a relevant field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7.5% for computer network support specialists
Mean Salary (2015)* $67,260 for computer network support specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Computer Support Specialist

Many different educational paths are available to become a computer support specialist. Many employers prefer applicants that have a college education. For example, an employer might require computer support specialist applicants to have a bachelor's degree in a computer related subject like information systems, computer science or computer engineering. While other employers might only require an associate's degree, some applicants can get by with a combination of work experience and professional certification. Job training is normal for this career and can last up to a year.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer network support specialists made a mean annual salary of $67,260 in May 2015. Computer network support specialists in the top-paid ten percent made a minimum of $106,310 yearly, while those in the lowest-paid ten percent made $36,350 annually or less.

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Career Information

A computer support specialist helps out businesses or clients with their information technology needs. When performing technical support, a computer support specialist runs diagnostic programs to figure out ways to solve computer problems. These professionals must be knowledgeable about hardware, software and support services.

A computer support specialist could be asked numerous technical or computer-related questions from co-workers or clients and must be able to explain technical terms in a simple manner. Everyday maintenance and performance checks are performed by computer support specialists for large companies with a lot of computer systems. Computer support specialists normally work in office settings and have a standard 40-hour workweek. In certain circumstances, traveling can be necessary for this career to visit and provide technical computer support to a co-worker or client.

A computer support specialist has to be aware of health risks caused by overexposure to working at a computer and typing on a keyboard. Eye strain, back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome are all problems associated with long hours at a computer. To prevent or reduce these problems, a computer support specialist needs to take regular breaks every hour and contact a physician if any health problems start to occur.

Computer system specialists work in a variety of industries providing technical support for computer systems. They require a degree and can obtain professional certification in this field. They require knowledge of computers, software, hardware and support services.

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