Career Development

What Does a Technical Support Do?

Find out what a technical support does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a technical support.

Technical support professionals are the people who answer your phone when you call a company for help. They’re often the face of a company to its customers, handling inquiries about products and services, answering basic questions, and resolving issues as they arise.

Technical support roles can vary widely depending on the type of company you work for. In some cases, you may be responsible for handling all customer interactions yourself; in others, you may be part of a larger team that handles different types of inquiries based on their complexity or urgency.

Technical Support Job Duties

Technical support professionals have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing technical support for computer equipment and software applications, such as operating systems or specialized programs used in specific industries such as healthcare or finance
  • Maintaining computer equipment by updating software, installing new hardware, or replacing parts when needed to ensure optimal performance
  • Supporting mobile devices by providing technical assistance to users, including troubleshooting problems with operating systems or applications
  • Providing technical support for computer networks, including installing and maintaining network hardware and software
  • Recommending improvements to the technology infrastructure that supports the company’s operations
  • Training users in standard operating procedures for specific computer applications
  • Diagnosing and troubleshooting problems with computer hardware and software systems
  • Installing, configuring, and troubleshooting computer hardware and software systems, such as printers and fax machines
  • Providing technical support for computer networks, including installing and maintaining network hardware and software

Technical Support Salary & Outlook

Technical support salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $89,500 ($43.03/hour)

The employment of technical support workers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need to fix and update computer systems, networks, and hardware. As technology changes, these workers will be needed to install and maintain new equipment and software.

Related: In-Depth Technical Support Salary Guide

Technical Support Job Requirements

There are a number of requirements for obtaining a position as a technical support specialist. They include:

Education: Technical support positions typically require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, engineering or another closely related field.

Training & Experience: Technical support specialists can gain training through internships or entry-level positions in other technical support departments. Some technical support specialists learn the specific software and hardware their company uses while on the job. Others may need to complete additional training to learn the specific software or hardware their company uses.

Certifications & Licenses: Technical support professionals can acquire several certifications that demonstrate their expertise in different aspects of the profession.

Technical Support Skills

Technical support professionals need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. As a technical support representative, you must be able to communicate with customers in a way that they understand. You should also be able to communicate with your coworkers to share information and solve problems.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify the source of an issue and develop a solution to fix it. You can use your problem-solving skills to help customers resolve their technical issues. You can also use this skill to troubleshoot computer errors, find solutions to network issues and repair broken hardware.

Time management: Time management is the ability to prioritize tasks and manage deadlines. As a technical support professional, you may have many different responsibilities, including answering calls, responding to emails, updating software and completing other tasks. It’s important to manage your time effectively so you can complete all of your work in a timely manner.

Product knowledge: Having product knowledge can help you answer questions about a company’s products and services. You can gain product knowledge by reading product manuals, researching the company’s website or attending training sessions. When you know the ins and outs of a company’s products, you can answer customer questions more efficiently.

Teamwork: Working with others is an important skill for technical support professionals. You may work with a team of other support staff, engineers or other customer service representatives. Your ability to work with others can help you solve problems more efficiently and provide better service to your customers.

Technical Support Work Environment

Technical support representatives typically work in call centers, although some work in corporate help desks. They generally work full time, and their hours may include evenings and weekends. Because technical support representatives must be available to answer customer questions and resolve technical problems, they may be required to work on a rotating schedule that includes nights and weekends. They may also be required to work overtime to meet customer demands. The work can be stressful, and technical support representatives must be able to handle difficult customer service inquiries and complaints. They must also be able to work independently and be self-motivated to find solutions to customer problems.

Technical Support Trends

Here are three trends influencing how technical support professionals work. Technical support professionals will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Support Professionals

The need for more technical support professionals is a trend that is being driven by the increasing complexity of technology. As devices become more complex, they require more support to keep them running properly.

This trend is creating a demand for professionals who can provide technical support for these devices. By becoming an expert in one or more technologies, you can help businesses stay up-to-date with the latest products and services.

More Use of Chatbots

As chatbots become more popular, businesses are beginning to use them as a way to provide customer service. This is because chatbots can be programmed to answer common questions and handle basic tasks, which allows human employees to focus on more complex issues.

Technical support professionals can take advantage of this trend by learning how to work with chatbots. This will allow them to provide better customer service and free up time to work on other projects.

Greater Focus on Customer Experience

Customer experience is becoming increasingly important for businesses, as they realize that it is what keeps customers coming back. In order to create a positive customer experience, businesses need to focus on things like customer service, product quality, and pricing.

Technical support professionals can play a key role in creating a positive customer experience by providing excellent customer service and helping customers solve their problems. By doing so, they can build trust with customers and make them feel comfortable doing business with the company.

How to Become a Technical Support Professional

There are many different paths you can take to become a technical support specialist. You could start by working in customer service or call center roles, where you’d learn about the products and services your company offers. This experience would give you a foundation of knowledge that you can use when you move into a technical support role.

You could also choose to pursue a degree in computer science or information technology. This would give you a deeper understanding of how software works and how computers function. It would also prepare you for more advanced roles in the tech industry.

Related: How to Write a Technical Support Resume

Advancement Prospects

Technical support representatives usually start out in entry-level positions and advance to higher-level jobs with more responsibility as they gain experience and knowledge. With additional training, technical support representatives can move into related positions such as network administrator, systems administrator, or database administrator. Some technical support representatives eventually become independent consultants.

Many technical support representatives eventually move into other computer-related occupations, such as network administration or software development, where they can use their knowledge of computer systems to design or troubleshoot new software or hardware products.

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