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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: Computer Specialist, Computer Support Specialist, Computer Technician, Desktop Support Technician, Help Desk Analyst, Help Desk Technician, Information Technology Specialist (IT Specialist), Network Technician, Support Specialist, Technical Support Specialist

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

Tasks

  • Answer user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to resolve problems.
  • Oversee the daily performance of computer systems.
  • Read technical manuals, confer with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to provide technical assistance and support.
  • Set up equipment for employee use, performing or ensuring proper installation of cables, operating systems, or appropriate software.
  • Develop training materials and procedures, or train users in the proper use of hardware or software.
  • Refer major hardware or software problems or defective products to vendors or technicians for service.
  • Enter commands and observe system functioning to verify correct operations and detect errors.
  • Maintain records of daily data communication transactions, problems and remedial actions taken, or installation activities.
  • Install and perform minor repairs to hardware, software, or peripheral equipment, following design or installation specifications.
  • Prepare evaluations of software or hardware, and recommend improvements or upgrades.
  • Confer with staff, users, and management to establish requirements for new systems or modifications.
  • Modify and customize commercial programs for internal needs.
  • Inspect equipment and read order sheets to prepare for delivery to users.
  • Conduct office automation feasibility studies, including workflow analysis, space design, or cost comparison analysis.

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Technology Skills

  • Access software — Citrix Hot technology ; Mac HelpMate
  • Accounting software — Tax software Hot technology
  • Administration software — Element management software; SolarWinds
  • Application server software — Oracle WebLogic Server Hot technology ; Red Hat WildFly Hot technology
  • Authentication server software — Password management software
  • Backup or archival software — Disaster recovery software; Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service; Symantec LiveState; Veritas NetBackup Hot technology
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Impromptu Hot technology ; MicroStrategy Hot technology ; Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Hot technology ; Qlik Tech QlikView Hot technology
  • Calendar and scheduling software
  • Communications server software — IBM Domino Hot technology
  • Configuration management software — Deployment software; Patch management software; Perforce Helix software Hot technology ; Puppet Hot technology (see all 5 examples)
  • Content workflow software — Atlassian JIRA Hot technology
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — Salesforce software Hot technology
  • Data base management system software — Oracle PL/SQL Hot technology ; Relational database management software Hot technology ; Sybase Hot technology ; Teradata Database Hot technology
  • Data base reporting software — Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services Hot technology ; SAP Crystal Reports Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — FileMaker Pro Hot technology ; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; MySQL Hot technology ; Oracle JDBC Hot technology (see all 12 examples)
  • Desktop communications software — CrossTec NetOp Remote Control; Remote control software; Stac Software ReachOut; Symantec pcAnywhere
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Distiller; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology ; Microsoft Publisher Hot technology
  • Development environment software — Apache Maven Hot technology ; C Hot technology ; Eclipse IDE Hot technology ; Microsoft PowerShell Hot technology (see all 11 examples)
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology ; Microsoft Exchange Server Hot technology ; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML Hot technology ; IBM WebSphere Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — NetSuite ERP Hot technology ; Oracle Fusion Applications Hot technology ; Oracle PeopleSoft Hot technology ; SAP Hot technology (see all 8 examples)
  • Enterprise system management software — IBM Power Systems software Hot technology ; Splunk Enterprise Hot technology
  • Filesystem software — Desktop partitioning software; Symantec Norton Utilities
  • Financial analysis software — Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology ; Microsoft Visio Hot technology (see all 5 examples)
  • Helpdesk or call center software — Call center software; Help desk software
  • Human resources software — Human resource management software HRMS Hot technology
  • Information retrieval or search software — Information systems integration software; LexisNexis Hot technology
  • Internet browser software
  • Internet directory services software — Active directory software; Domain name system DNS; Network directory services software
  • License management software
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology
  • Medical software — Epic Systems Hot technology ; MEDITECH software Hot technology
  • Network monitoring software — Dartware InterMapper; Nagios Hot technology ; Wireshark Hot technology
  • Network operation system software — Remote install server software
  • Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Virtual private networking VPN software Hot technology
  • Object or component oriented development software — Microsoft ActiveX Hot technology ; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl Hot technology ; Python Hot technology ; Swift Hot technology (see all 8 examples)
  • Object oriented data base management software — PostgreSQL Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software — Cisco Systems IOS; Hewlett Packard HP-UX Hot technology ; Linux Hot technology ; Microsoft Windows (see all 13 examples)
  • Platform interconnectivity software — Migration software
  • Portal server software — Apache HTTP Server Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Program testing software — Defect tracking software; Personal computer diagnostic software
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology ; Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Storage networking software — Media storage management software
  • Transaction security and virus protection software — Encryption software; McAfee Hot technology ; Symantec Hot technology ; Virus scanning software
  • Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS Hot technology
  • Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro Hot technology
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver Hot technology
  • Web platform development software — Apache Tomcat Hot technology ; Drupal Hot technology ; JavaScript Hot technology ; LAMP Stack Hot technology (see all 10 examples)
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Computer tool kits
  • Desktop computers
  • Floppy disks — MS-DOS-bootable disks
  • Hard disk arrays — Redundant array of independent disks RAID systems
  • Mainframe computers
  • Network analyzers
  • Notebook computers
  • Power meters
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts — Punchdown tools
  • Reflectometers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
  • Tape arrays — Digital tapes
  • Wire lug crimping tool — Wire crimpers

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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Skills

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

  • 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.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • 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 Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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).

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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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
  • Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation.
  • Read documents to gather technical information.
  • Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
  • Resolve computer software problems.
  • Install computer hardware.
  • Teach others to use computer equipment or hardware.
  • Train others in computer interface or software use.
  • Test software performance.
  • Modify software programs to improve performance.
  • Test computer hardware performance.
  • Document operational activities.
  • Install computer software.
  • Maintain computer hardware.
  • Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies.
  • Provide recommendations to others about computer hardware.
  • Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
  • Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
  • Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
  • Participate in staffing decisions.
  • Supervise information technology personnel.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 75% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 24% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 15% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team
  • Spend Time Sitting — 30% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 24% responded “Minor results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 14% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Time Pressure — 12% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Physical Proximity — 36% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Deal With External Customers — 12% responded “Not important at all.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 31% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error — 14% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 20% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 11% responded “Important.”
  • Letters and Memos — 17% responded “Never.”

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Job Zone

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 hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
Not available Bachelor's degree
Not available High school diploma or equivalent Help
Not available Some college, no degree

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Credentials

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

  • 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.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $23.74 hourly, $49,390 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 586,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Faster than average (9% to 13%) Faster than average (9% to 13%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 150,500
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "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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