The IT support specialist job description calls for an individual who has a vast knowledge of various computer systems and software. He or she will play an integral role in ensuring that computers, networks, internet access and other technical devices work as optimally as possible in various settings.
The IT support specialist is responsible for analyzing technical applications in order to maximize the capabilities of computer systems and networks; he or she makes recommendations to companies for making systems more efficient.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of an IT Support Specialist
•Tests the compatibility of new programs with existing programs.
•Evaluates expansions or enhancements to systems by testing the capacity of computers.
•Gathers data, evaluates options and recommends courses of action when working to achieve an objective.
•Tests new programs, compares programs and makes modifications in order to improve systems.
•Evaluates any software that is supplied by a third party vendor by testing compatibility with existing hardware and software.
•Loads software into a computer and executes necessary commands for testing it.
•Establishes hardware connections and executes necessary commands for testing it.
•Trains users, answers questions and interprets instructions in order to ensure that end users are familiar with how hardware and software works.
•Tests computer components to maximize capability.
•Writes operating instructions for end users.
•Documents hardware and software changes for future reference.
•Keeps operations and client information confidential according to company protocol.
•Attends educational workshops, seminars and conferences in order to continue his or her knowledge of information technology.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Possesses the ability to solve problems quickly in high-stress situations.
•Demonstrates the ability to tune software and database performance.
•Exhibits the capability to build strong client relationships and maintain their confidence.
•Understands network design and implementation.
•Displays the ability to test and maintain software while maintaining scalability and business continuity.
Education and Experience
In some cases, a certificate or Associate’s degree in information technology or a computer related field is all that is necessary to work as an IT support specialist. Most of the time, however, a Bachelor’s degree in one of these fields of study is preferred. Candidates should have plenty of experience with operating systems like Windows, Macintosh and Linux, and they should have experience networking and repairing computers. Experience in software testing and implementation is preferred, as well.
An IT support specialist works in a highly climate controlled office setting. They may be asked to travel, particularly if their employers operate in multiple locations. Physically, he or she should be able to lift 30 to 50 pounds with ease and stand, sit or crouch for long periods of time. Mentally, this position is very fast-paced because things can change or go wrong very quickly. IT support specialists work standard 40-hour workweeks and may be placed on-call during nights and weekends.
The average IT support specialist salary across the country is about $43,000 per year. Individuals who work for large call centers or facilities with a huge network typically earn more since they are required to have more education and experience. Conversely, individuals who work for smaller companies and with smaller networks tend to earn the least. Starting salaries for individuals who have earned Bachelor’s degrees is about $32,000 per year, on average.