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Career Definition of an Implementation Specialist
Implementation specialists form a conduit between companies and their clients. They work with clients who have purchased services. Their objective is to identify the clients' needs and determine how the client will use the systems or software that they've purchased. They ensure that staff at their company have a clear picture of the client's needs so that the resources are correctly configured.
Implementation specialists spend a great deal of time working with computer systems. They help determine which hardware or software the clients need. They also set up the equipment and may perform tasks such as importing existing data. They also assign tasks to different staff on their team. While it's common for this career to be associated with information technology there are implementation specialists who work in different industries. Some may benefit from experience with medical billing while others may need specific industry knowledge related to accounting or the oil and gas industry. They may also be responsible for establishing a budget and ensuring services are delivered on time and on budget.
|Educational Requirements||High school diploma; bachelor's degree preferred|
|Job Skills||Self-motivated, communication skills, interpersonal skills, computer skills, multitasking skills, adaptable, able to meet deadlines, problem-solving skills, time management skills, budgeting skills|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$51,520|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||11% (all computer user support specialists)|
Sources: *PayScale. **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Implementation specialists can enter the job market with a high school diploma but many employers prefer applicants who have relevant industry experience. They also prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree. There are a wide range of career fields that implementation specialists can work in but all need some computer skills and strong customer service skills. Courses in business may be an asset and those interested in this career should seek opportunities to develop their communication skills. Certified Implementation Specialist credentials may also be an asset.
Implementation specialists need organizational skills to ensure that all tasks are assigned and that tasks are completed on schedule. They also need to have good problem-solving skills so that they can determine how to configure systems to their clients' needs. Time management skills are important since they are responsible for delivering systems to clients on time.
Career Outlook and Salary
Implementation specialists are comparable to computer user support specialists because these specialists work directly with clients and help them resolve issues with their network or programs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that computer user support specialists will see job growth of 11% from 2016 to 2026. A median annual salary of $51,520 was earned by implementation specialists as of 2018, according to PayScale.
Other careers that involve similar tasks, such as serving the needs of clients, may also appeal to those thinking about a future as an implementation specialist. Links to some jobs with comparable duties or that require similar skills are provided here.