Technical support is an excellent introduction to the tech world, especially if you're looking for a job with minimal experience requirements. Companies do list a bachelor's degree in IT or a related field in their job postings, but practice shows that a comprehensive job training program is an acceptable substitute. If you're considering a career change, it's natural to wonder what to expect in terms of your personal life, job responsibilities, requirements, and (of course) financial rewards.
This article will cover the key requirements, duties, responsibilities, and skills you need to get a technical support job. Let's get started!
What Is a Technical Support Specialist and What Are Their Responsibilities?
Tech support specialists manage, maintain, and repair IT systems. They help businesses resolve problems within software infrastructure and handle customer inquiries about the technical aspects of products and services. In general, they're expected to address and resolve any issues forwarded to them.
Through troubleshooting and diagnosis, they also aid in the smooth operation of integrated computer software. Technical support specialists often enter the workforce as entry-level IT assistants.
What Qualifications Are Required for a Technical Support Specialist?
Let's go over the mandatory and optional qualifications needed for a job as a technical support specialist. To make things easy, we'll list these qualifications as they might appear in a job description.
What qualifications and skills are required?
- Problem-solving skills and attention to detail
- An understanding of remote desktop applications and help desk software
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Ability to learn, comprehend, and apply new technologies and methods quickly
- Prior experience in tech support, customer service, desktop support, or a related role preferred
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to make an impact in a fast-paced environment while maintaining an eye for detail
- Delivery-focused mindset, with a desire to solve complex problems through analytics and structured root-cause problem-solving
While a certification or prior experience in IT is typically required and will boost your application, don't be too quick to give up if you lack a degree! A training program at Careerist, for example, offers a comprehensive curriculum, hands-on experience, and full support for your job search and interview preparation. Hundreds of our recent graduates have found jobs without any prior experience or a bachelor's degree.
Technical Support Specialist Salaries
Okay, now that you know the skills and qualifications required for a role as a technical support specialist, it's time to talk about salary. Whether you're considering changing careers or have already started looking for a job, compensation is certainly a deciding factor.
Our list includes average salaries, bonuses, benefits, and other forms of compensation. Keep in mind that these averages don't consider the employee's level of experience or industry specifics. However, we'll look at experience-based salary ranges later in this article. Our data is sourced from Glassdoor, Comparably, Zippia, and Indeed.
Salary by Country
It makes sense that the salary of a technical support specialist would vary depending on the location. If you're considering relocation, you can use our list of countries and cities to compare and contrast or as a jumping-off point for your research.
Base pay: $69,667 / year
The estimated average base pay for a technical support specialist in the United States is $69,667 per year. The estimated additional pay is $8,382 annually, which includes cash bonuses, commission, tips, and profit sharing.
Technical support specialists earn the most in New Jersey, New York, California, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Meanwhile, the lowest-paying states are Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Check out our list of the highest-paying cities in the United States:
- San Francisco, CA: $66,333
- New York, NY: $64,143
- Washington, DC: $61,816
- Boston, MA: $61,724
- Reston, VA: $60,497
Base pay: C$50,250 / year
The estimated average salary for a technical support specialist is C$50,250 per year, with additional pay of C$3,500. Specialists can earn as much as C$72,376 with an entry-level salary starting around C$34,888.
The cities with the most IT support job openings are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Ottawa, which is considered the tech capital of Canada, offers surprisingly fewer technical support positions.
Base pay: £31,157 / year
The estimated annual average salary of tech support workers in the UK is £33,347, with additional compensation of £2,190. There are numerous opportunities in the field of technology throughout the United Kingdom, with the majority of tech job openings predictably concentrated in London. The UK also offers a large number of remote-workable technical support positions.
Base pay: €48,419 / year
On top of a base salary of €48,419, the average worker in Germany receives €2,147 in bonuses. Most IT job openings are in Munich and Berlin, which is not surprising given that Munich is Germany's tech hub and Berlin is the capital.
Base pay: €34,483 / year
The average salary for a technical support specialist in France is €34,483 per year, with additional pay of €1,515. Paris has the most job openings and the highest pay for tech support specialists.
Base pay: A$66,894 / year
The average annual salary for a technical support specialist in Australia is A$66,894, with an estimated additional pay of A$5,000. Most job openings are concentrated in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Australia also offers a number of remote positions.
Salary by Company
To help you narrow down your job search and set realistic expectations for your future workplace, we've compiled a list of the top-paying US companies for technical support specialists (as of January 2023).
- Iterable: $87,144
- Hewlett-Packard: $86,746
- Oracle: $83,659
- PagerDuty: $83,518
- Roche: $80,553
- ServiceNow: $79,692
- Cepheid: $79,144
- Google: $78,755
- Leidos: $78,347
- Venmo: $78,146
Quick tip: If you're looking for a high-paying job, don't limit your search to the obvious tech giants like Google and Microsoft. Instead, expand your search to include smaller, less well-known businesses.
Salary by Experience
The salary of a technical support specialist, like that of any other profession, rises with experience. Check out our list of average salary ranges in the United States (as reported by employee review websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Comparably) to get a sense of what to expect based on your level of expertise.
Base pay: $50,138 / year
The annual salary for entry-level technical support specialists is around $30,000. If you want to maximize your starting salary, your best bet is to relocate to San Francisco, California, where the average yearly salary can be as high as $74,200. However, given that San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the US, $74K won't get you nearly as far as $50K would in many other cities in the US!
Base pay: $51,008 / year
In most cases, a junior tech support specialist will have between one and three years of experience in the field. Even though they're still learning, these specialists have proven their ability to deliver quality work. At this point in their careers, support specialists typically decide whether to climb the ladder as technical support engineers or pursue something else in the field (such as software development).
Base pay: $69,763 / year
Tech support specialists with three to eight years of experience are categorized as mid-level professionals and receive a substantial salary increase compared to entry-level and junior roles.
Base pay: $76,000 / year
The top 10 percent of earners earn $76,000 per year. Typically, these earners are senior technical support engineers with more than 15 years of technical experience.
Before You Go
Should you begin a career in tech support? While the choice is yours, we think it's a good bet. A technical support position is a great way to see if you enjoy working in the field before committing to a more advanced job in tech. Experience in IT as a tech support specialist can help you gain valuable experience and strategize on your next steps in the industry.