Summary Report for:
15-1151.00 - Computer User Support Specialists
Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, or via telephone or electronically. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems.
Sample of reported job titles: Information Technology Specialist (IT Specialist), Support Specialist, Computer Technician, Computer Support Specialist, Help Desk Analyst, Technical Support Specialist, Network Support Specialist, Electronic Data Processing Auditor (EDP Auditor), Network Technician, Computer Specialist
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Oversee the daily performance of computer systems.
- Answer user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to resolve problems.
- Enter commands and observe system functioning to verify correct operations and detect errors.
- Set up equipment for employee use, performing or ensuring proper installation of cables, operating systems, or appropriate software.
- Install and perform minor repairs to hardware, software, or peripheral equipment, following design or installation specifications.
- Maintain records of daily data communication transactions, problems and remedial actions taken, or installation activities.
- Read technical manuals, confer with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to provide technical assistance and support.
- Refer major hardware or software problems or defective products to vendors or technicians for service.
- Develop training materials and procedures, or train users in the proper use of hardware or software.
- Confer with staff, users, and management to establish requirements for new systems or modifications.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
|Computer tool kits|
|Hard disk arrays — Redundant array of independent disks RAID systems|
Technology used in this occupation:
|Backup or archival software — Backup and archival software; Disaster recovery software; Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service; Symantec LiveState|
|Configuration management software — Automated installation software; Deployment software; Patch management software|
|Data base user interface and query software — Database software; IPro software; Lucid IQ; Software asset management SAM software|
|Desktop communications software — CrossTec NetOp Remote Control; Remote control software; Stac Software ReachOut; Symantec pcAnywhere|
|Operating system software — Event log monitor software; Microsoft Windows Pre-installation Environment; Operating system monitoring software|
|Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.|
|Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.|
|English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.|
|Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.|
|Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.|
|Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.|
|Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.|
|Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.|
|Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.|
|Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.|
|Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.|
|Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.|
|Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.|
|Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.|
|Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.|
|Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.|
|Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.|
|Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.|
|Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
|Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.|
|Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.|
|Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).|
|Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).|
|Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.|
|Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.|
|Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.|
|Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.|
|Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.|
|Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.|
|Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.|
|Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.|
|Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.|
|Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.|
|Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.|
|Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.|
|Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.|
|Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.|
|Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?|
|Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?|
|Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?|
|Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?|
|Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?|
|Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?|
|Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?|
|Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?|
|Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?|
|Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?|
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
There is 1 recognized apprenticeable specialty associated with this occupation:
Help Desk Technician
To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information website.
For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship website.
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|37||Some college, no degree|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: RIC
|Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.|
|Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.|
|Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.|
|Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.|
|Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.|
|Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.|
|Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.|
|Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.|
|Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.|
|Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.|
|Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.|
|Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.|
|Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.|
|Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.|
|Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.|
|Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.|
|Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.|
|15-1199.03||Web Administrators Bright Outlook|
|17-3023.03||Electrical Engineering Technicians Green|
|25-9011.00||Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialists|
|27-4011.00||Audio and Video Equipment Technicians|
|27-4014.00||Sound Engineering Technicians|
|49-2011.00||Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers|
|49-2097.00||Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers and Repairers|
Wages & Employment Trends
Employment data collected from Computer Support Specialists.
Industry data collected from Computer Support Specialists.
|Median wages (2012)||$22.32 hourly, $46,420 annual|
|Employment (2010)||607,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2010-2020)||Average (10% to 19%)|
|Projected job openings (2010-2020)||269,500|
|Top industries (2010)|
State & National
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data and 2010-2020 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2010-2020). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
for Computer User Support Specialists
State & National Job Banks
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Computer Support Specialists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition.
- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) , 1815 S. Meyers Rd., Suite 300, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5228. Phone: (630) 678-8300. Fax: (630) 268-1384.