The role of an IT Support Specialist

An IT Support Specialist will play a vital role in an organisation as they will be responsible for looking after the computer/technical systems within a company. Essentially, they will be the ‘go-to’ person should any technical problems arise. Something to bear in mind is that there are a number of other terms used for this kind for IT job role and they include IT Support Professional and IT Support Technician.

An IT Support Specialist will play a vital role in an organisation as they will be responsible for looking after the computer/technical systems within a company. Essentially, they will be the ‘go-to’ person should any technical problems arise. Something to bear in mind is that there are a number of other terms used for this kind for IT job role and they include IT Support Professional and IT Support Technician.  If you are looking at becoming an IT support specialist or want to get started in the field, this guide will help you get a good idea of what’s required and whether it is for you or not. What does an IT Support Specialist do? The IT Support Specialist will essentially maintain the technology system of a company. So if the staff have a problem with their PC or are having problems with their office phone, the IT Support Specialist will be enlisted to help. Some of the other issues that an IT Support Specialist might be required to have sufficient knowledge on is the hardware (for example, the computer/PC), the software used within a company and the operating systems used.  There are two main branches of the IT Support role and they are either customer-facing or working in-house. Working in-house is when a company hires you to help them internally with any technical issues. Whereas, if you are working in a customer-facing role then you might be looking after the companies customers. For example, you might be working for a PC manufacturer, and if the customers have issues with the product, you would need to help them. This could be through various different forms of communication, from online and phone to face-to-face visits.  What are the daily tasks of an IT Support Specialist? The typical daily tasks will vary depending on various factors, such as the size of the organisation and whether you are providing your services internally or externally and your location (for example, you may work on a remote basis).  Therefore, the following tasks are what an IT Support Specialist might typically be expected to perform on a daily basis:  •	Testing software performance •	Updating any new software •	Installing software •	Providing support to the employees of a company •	Performing regular maintenance checks to see if everything is in working in order •	Setting up any new employees with the appropriate setup •	Testing and evaluating new technology  •	Work on several different cases/problems simultaneously  What is the salary of an IT Support Specialist? The salary will, of course, depend on the experience and sometimes even on the qualification a candidate holds. However, for entry-level jobs, you can expect a range of £17,000 - £23,000 for your salary. With experience, this will obviously increase, how much of an increase will again be dependent on the company you work for as well as how much you develop your skills.  You can expect to increase your salary to around £40,000 if you were to take on a managerial position such as Technical Support Manager.  What qualifications are needed to become an IT Support Specialist? For the majority of the roles, you will need to be degree level educated. There are a number of different areas in which you can have your degree in, for example, computer science, information technology, business information technology, software engineering, computer software development and business systems engineering.  Having a bachelor’s degree will help in getting you an entry-level job. However, to stand out it’s recommended that you try to gain some experience whilst you are studying at university. Or even, take courses that will help you develop your skills in specific areas. Some widely recognised IT programmes and applications in the UK that you might consider getting a certificate in include Cisco, Linux and Unix.  What experience is needed for an IT Support Specialist? As with any other job, the more experience you have in the field, the better the starting position you will be in. If you are able to get placements whilst at university it will give you a competitive edge over the other candidates when applying for jobs. You might want to take on summer internships or do a placement year as a sandwich year whilst completing your university course.  What are the typical working hours of an IT Support Specialist? The working hours can vary but expect to work around 40 hours a week. You might work a standard 9am to 5pm, or you might be expected to do shift work, which will mean out of office hours. You might also be expected to be on call. This will mean that you will need to available at all hours during a specific time. For example, you might need to be available to take calls from midnight to 8am.  Your role will dictate your working hours, for example, you might be working on a self-employed basis, a remote basis or even be working part-time hours.  What are the primary skills required from an IT Support Specialist? If you are just starting out as an IT Support Specialist, these are some of the cores skills that are required: •	Troubleshooting IT problems that may arise  •	Being able to effectively deal with multiple issues simultaneously  •	Working knowledge of common the IT infrastructure in place  •	Being able to problem-solve effectively  •	Excellent communication skills to find out what the problem is Some other basic skills that are required are being professional, attention to detail, being able to think logically and being quick on your feet allowing you to come up with creative solutions.  If you have an interest in IT and have the right qualifications then you might want to look at IT Support Specialist jobs to get you started in your tech career.

If you are looking at becoming an IT support specialist or want to get started in the field, this guide will help you get a good idea of what’s required and whether it is for you or not.

What does an IT Support Specialist do?

The IT Support Specialist will essentially maintain the technology system of a company. So if the staff have a problem with their PC or are having problems with their office phone, the IT Support Specialist will be enlisted to help. Some of the other issues that an IT Support Specialist might be required to have sufficient knowledge on is the hardware (for example, the computer/PC), the software used within a company and the operating systems used.

There are two main branches of the IT Support role and they are either customer-facing or working in-house. Working in-house is when a company hires you to help them internally with any technical issues. Whereas, if you are working in a customer-facing role then you might be looking after the companies customers. For example, you might be working for a PC manufacturer, and if the customers have issues with the product, you would need to help them. This could be through various different forms of communication, from online and phone to face-to-face visits.

What are the daily tasks of an IT Support Specialist?

The typical daily tasks will vary depending on various factors, such as the size of the organisation and whether you are providing your services internally or externally and your location (for example, you may work on a remote basis).

Therefore, the following tasks are what an IT Support Specialist might typically be expected to perform on a daily basis:

  • Testing software performance
  • Updating any new software
  • Installing software
  • Providing support to the employees of a company
  • Performing regular maintenance checks to see if everything is in working in order
  • Setting up any new employees with the appropriate setup
  • Testing and evaluating new technology
  • Work on several different cases/problems simultaneously

What is the salary of an IT Support Specialist?

The salary will, of course, depend on the experience and sometimes even on the qualification a candidate holds. However, for entry-level jobs, you can expect a range of £17,000 - £23,000 for your salary. With experience, this will obviously increase, how much of an increase will again be dependent on the company you work for as well as how much you develop your skills.

You can expect to increase your salary to around £40,000 if you were to take on a managerial position such as Technical Support Manager.

What qualifications are needed to become an IT Support Specialist?

For the majority of the roles, you will need to be degree level educated. There are a number of different areas in which you can have your degree in, for example, computer science, information technology, business information technology, software engineering, computer software development and business systems engineering.

Having a bachelor’s degree will help in getting you an entry-level job. However, to stand out it’s recommended that you try to gain some experience whilst you are studying at university. Or even, take courses that will help you develop your skills in specific areas.

Some widely recognised IT programmes and applications in the UK that you might consider getting a certificate in include Cisco, Linux and Unix.

What experience is needed for an IT Support Specialist?

As with any other job, the more experience you have in the field, the better the starting position you will be in. If you are able to get placements whilst at university it will give you a competitive edge over the other candidates when applying for jobs. You might want to take on summer internships or do a placement year as a sandwich year whilst completing your university course.

What are the typical working hours of an IT Support Specialist?

The working hours can vary but expect to work around 40 hours a week. You might work a standard 9 am to 5 pm, or you might be expected to do shift work, which will mean out of office hours. You might also be expected to be on call. This will mean that you will need to available at all hours during a specific time. For example, you might need to be available to take calls from midnight to 8 am.

Your role will dictate your working hours, for example, you might be working on a self-employed basis, a remote basis or even be working part-time hours.

What are the primary skills required from an IT Support Specialist?

If you are just starting out as an IT Support Specialist, these are some of the core skills that are required:

  • Troubleshooting IT problems that may arise
  • Being able to effectively deal with multiple issues simultaneously
  • Working knowledge of common the IT infrastructure in place
  • Being able to problem-solve effectively
  • Excellent communication skills to find out what the problem is

Some other basic skills that are required are being professional, attention to detail, being able to think logically and being quick on your feet allowing you to come up with creative solutions.

If you have an interest in IT and have the right qualifications then you might want to look at IT Support Specialist jobs to get you started in your tech career.

More on working in IT Support and Jobs in IT Support