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Summary Report for:
15-1152.00 - Computer Network Support Specialists

Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.

Sample of reported job titles: Computer Network Specialist, IT Consultant (Information Technology Consultant), Network Engineer, Network Specialist, Network Support Specialist, Network Technical Analyst, Network Technician, Personal Computer Network Analyst, Senior IT Assistant (Senior Information Technology Assistant), Systems Specialist

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Back up network data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze and report computer network security breaches or attempted breaches. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify the causes of networking problems, using diagnostic testing software and equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Document network support activities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Configure wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN) routers or related equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install network software, including security or firewall software. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Troubleshoot network or connectivity problems for users or user groups. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide telephone support related to networking or connectivity issues. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Evaluate local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) performance data to ensure sufficient availability or speed, to identify network problems, or for disaster recovery purposes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze network data to determine network usage, disk space availability, or server function. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform routine maintenance or standard repairs to networking components or equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Configure and define parameters for installation or testing of local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), hubs, routers, switches, controllers, multiplexers, or related networking equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install new hardware or software systems or components, ensuring integration with existing network systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test computer software or hardware, using standard diagnostic testing equipment and procedures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install or repair network cables, including fiber optic cables. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor industry websites or publications for information about patches, releases, viruses, or potential problem identification. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Create or update technical documentation for network installations or changes to existing installations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Train users in procedures related to network applications software or related systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test repaired items to ensure proper operation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install and configure wireless networking equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain logs of network activity. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Document help desk requests and resolutions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Research hardware or software products to meet technical networking or security needs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Create or revise user instructions, procedures, or manuals. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Run monthly network reports. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Access servers — Remote access servers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Circuit tester — Continuity testers; Test lights See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Computer servers — Caching engines; Network address translation NAT appliances See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hard disk arrays — Redundant array of independent disks RAID systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mainframe computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Network analyzers — Asynchronous transfer mode ATM analyzers; Port analyzer adapters; Synchronous optical network SONET analyzers; Throughput testers (see all 9 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Photocopiers — Copy machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power meters — Powerline monitors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Screwdrivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Server load balancer — Load balancers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Voltage or current meters — Cable testers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Access software — Citrix software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Administration software — Cisco Systems CiscoWorks software; ifconfig *; ipconfig *; SolarWinds software (see all 7 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Backup or archival software — EMC NetWorker; NovaStor NovaBACKUP; Roxio Retrospect; Tape backup system software (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Computer aided design CAD software — Network design software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Configuration management software — Automated installation software; EMC Ionix Network Configuration Manager; Microsoft Windows Sysprep; Patch and update management software (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Customer relationship management CRM software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base management system software — Database management software; Microsoft SQL Server; MySQL software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Desktop communications software — Remote control software; Symantec pcAnywhere See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — Microsoft Visual Basic; Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript; Ruby * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Exchange Server See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise application integration software — IBM Websphere See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Filesystem software — File server software; File system software; IBM Tivoli NetView Distribution Manager See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Helpdesk or call center software — BMC Software Remedy IT Service Management Suite See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet directory services software — Internet directory service software; Microsoft Active Directory; Novell eDirectory See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network conferencing software — Microsoft SharePoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network monitoring software — Dartware InterMapper; Ethereal *; tcpdump *; WildPackets OmniPeek Network Analyzer (see all 35 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network operating system enhancement software — Traffic shapers See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Firewall software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Intrusion prevention system IPS software; Network and system vulnerability assessment software; NIKSUN NetDetector; Sonicwall SonicOS Enhanced (see all 9 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Python See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — BlackBerry Enterprise Server; Microsoft Hyper-V Server; Microsoft Windows; Oracle Solaris (see all 12 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Platform interconnectivity software — Connectivity software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Program testing software — Load testing software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Project management software — Bentley Systems ProjectWise; Project planning software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Storage networking software — EMC Symmetrix DMX; Storage area network SAN software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Transaction security and virus protection software — Encryption software; Ping Identity software; Root kit detection software; Symantec Norton Antivirus (see all 7 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Transaction server software — Microsoft Internet Information Services IIS See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web platform development software — Apache Tomcat See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Document operational activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Create electronic data backup to prevent loss of information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Implement security measures for computer or information systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Test software performance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Install computer hardware. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolve computer network problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze security of systems, network, or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Install computer software. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain computer hardware. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct research to gain information about products or processes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Document network-related activities or tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Configure computer networks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor the performance of computer networks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide technical support for computer network issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Train others in computer interface or software use. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop specifications for computer network operation. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Test computer hardware performance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare instruction manuals. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 94% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 93% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 80% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 79% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 68% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 64% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 49% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 47% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 37% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 35% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 30% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 36% responded “Fairly serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 78% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
47   Bachelor's degree
22   Associate's degree
14   Some college, no degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Computer Science — Computer and Information Sciences, General; Computer and Information Systems Security; Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst; Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: REC

  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $29.72 hourly, $61,830 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 175,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 39,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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