Computer User Support Specialists
15-1232.00

The occupation code you requested, 15-1151.00 (Computer User Support Specialists), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 15-1232.00 (Computer User Support Specialists) instead.

Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, 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), Support Specialist, Technical Support Specialist

Occupation-Specific 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.
  • Read trade magazines and technical manuals, or attend conferences and seminars to maintain knowledge of hardware and software.
  • Hire, supervise, and direct workers engaged in special project work, problem-solving, monitoring, and installation of data communication equipment and software.

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Technology Skills

  • Access software — Citrix cloud computing software; Mac HelpMate
  • Accounting software — Fund accounting software; Sage 50 Accounting; Tax software
  • Administration software — Element management software
  • Analytical or scientific software — SAS Hot technology ; StataCorp Stata; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology
  • Application server software — Docker Hot technology ; GitHub Hot technology ; Oracle WebLogic Server; Spring Boot Hot technology ; 1 more
  • Authentication server software — Password management software
  • Backup or archival software — Disaster recovery software; Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service; Symantec LiveState; Veritas NetBackup
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Impromptu; MicroStrategy Hot technology ; Qlik Tech QlikView Hot technology ; Tableau Hot technology ; 1 more
  • Calendar and scheduling software
  • Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Dropbox; Google Drive; Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology ; Slack Hot technology
  • Cloud-based management software — IBM WebSphere Hot technology ; Splunk Enterprise Hot technology
  • Cloud-based protection or security software — SolarWinds
  • Communications server software — IBM Domino
  • Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Autodesk Revit Hot technology ; Bentley MicroStation Hot technology ; Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Hot technology ; 1 more
  • Computer based training software — Moodle; Schoology
  • Configuration management software — Chef Hot technology ; Patch management software; Perforce Helix software; Puppet Hot technology ; 3 more
  • Content workflow software — Atlassian JIRA Hot technology
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — Salesforce software
  • Data base management system software — Apache Hive Hot technology ; Elasticsearch Hot technology ; MongoDB Hot technology ; Oracle PL/SQL Hot technology ; 7 more
  • Data base reporting software — Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services SSRS Hot technology ; SAP Crystal Reports
  • Data base user interface and query software — Amazon Redshift Hot technology ; Blackboard software; ServiceNow In-Demand Hot technology ; Transact-SQL Hot technology ; 14 more
  • Desktop communications software — ParentSquare; Remote control software; Skype; Stac Software ReachOut; 2 more
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Distiller; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology ; Microsoft Publisher
  • Development environment software — Apache Kafka Hot technology ; Apache Maven Hot technology ; Microsoft PowerShell Hot technology ; Ruby Hot technology ; 13 more
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes; Microsoft Exchange; Microsoft Outlook In-Demand Hot technology
  • Enterprise application integration software — Atlassian Bamboo Hot technology ; Extensible markup language XML Hot technology ; IBM InfoSphere DataStage; Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services SSIS Hot technology ; 1 more
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Microsoft Dynamics Hot technology ; Oracle Fusion Applications; Oracle PeopleSoft; SAP software Hot technology ; 5 more
  • Enterprise system management software — IBM Power Systems software
  • Expert system software — Ansible software Hot technology
  • File versioning software — Apache Subversion SVN Hot technology ; Git Hot technology
  • Filesystem software — Desktop partitioning software; Symantec Norton Utilities
  • Financial analysis software — Delphi Technology; Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
  • Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology ; Geographic information system GIS software
  • Graphical user interface development software — Salesforce Visualforce
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud software Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology ; Trimble SketchUp Pro Hot technology ; 2 more
  • Helpdesk or call center software — Call center software; Help desk software In Demand
  • Human resources software — Human resource management software HRMS; Oracle Taleo
  • Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Information retrieval or search software — Information systems integration software; LexisNexis
  • Instant messaging software — Blink
  • Internet browser software
  • Internet directory services software — Active directory software; Domain name system DNS; Microsoft Active Directory In-Demand Hot technology ; Network directory services software
  • Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Voice over internet protocol VoIP system software
  • License management software
  • Medical software — Epic Systems Hot technology ; MEDITECH software
  • Metadata management software — CA Erwin Data Modeler
  • Multi-media educational software — Nearpod; Seesaw
  • Network conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToWebinar
  • Network monitoring software — Dartware InterMapper; Nagios; Wireshark
  • Network operation system software — Remote install server software
  • Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Virtual private networking VPN software
  • Object or component oriented development software — C# Hot technology ; jQuery Hot technology ; Objective C Hot technology ; Swift Hot technology ; 7 more
  • Object oriented data base management software — Hibernate ORM Hot technology ; PostgreSQL Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software In-Demand Hot technology
  • Operating system software — Apple iOS In-Demand Hot technology ; Bash Hot technology ; Microsoft Windows Server Hot technology ; UNIX Shell Hot technology ; 15 more
  • Platform interconnectivity software — Migration software
  • Portal server software — Apache HTTP Server
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology ; Poll Everywhere
  • Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio Hot technology
  • Program testing software — Defect tracking software; Hewlett Packard LoadRunner; JUnit Hot technology ; Personal computer diagnostic software
  • Project management software — Atlassian Confluence Hot technology ; Google Classroom; Microsoft Teams Hot technology ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Hot technology ; 1 more
  • Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Unified modeling language UML
  • Sales and marketing software — Marketo Marketing Automation Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel In-Demand Hot technology
  • Storage networking software — Media storage management software
  • Transaction security and virus protection software — Encryption software; McAfee; NortonLifeLock cybersecurity software; Virus scanning software
  • Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS
  • Video conferencing software — Cisco Webex Hot technology ; Google Meet; LogMeIn GoToMeeting; Zoom Hot technology
  • Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro; Flipgrid; YouTube
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Facebook Hot technology ; Google Sites
  • Web platform development software — Django Hot technology ; Google Angular Hot technology ; Microsoft ASP.NET Hot technology ; Spring Framework Hot technology ; 19 more
  • Word processing software — 3M Post-it App; Google Docs Hot technology ; Microsoft OneNote; Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Working 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.
  • Monitoring 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 Materials — 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

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Work Context

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Experience Requirements

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, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

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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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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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • Bachelor’s degree required for some jobs
  • High school diploma or equivalent required for some jobsmore info
  • Some college, no degree required for some jobsmore info

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Worker Characteristics

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 that 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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Interests

Interest code: RIC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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 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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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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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$23.93 hourly, $49,770 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
690,200 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Average (4% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
58,900
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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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