What Is an IT Support Specialist And What Do They Do?

IT support specialist is one of the most sought-after jobs in the world. Read here to learn what IT specialists are and what they do on a daily basis.

There are well over 700,000 IT support specialist jobs in the world right now, and the IT industry is just supposed to keep growing.

In fact, the IT specialist job has only been growing in popularity, and it has become the dream job for many people.

But what makes this job so much better than other jobs out there?

Take a look at this quick IT support specialist guide to find out what they work with, what their average day looks like, and how much money they make every year.

What is an IT Support Specialist?

An IT support specialist is the person who’s going to make sure your computer is running properly. That may sound like a menial job, but an IT specialist is probably one of the most important people in your business.

A company’s efficiency is maximized by the technology they use, and an IT specialist knows how to keep that technology working. That makes an IT support specialist a highly trained technical expert who knows everything from system troubleshooting to device maintenance.

The main description of an IT specialist’s position is to optimize system functionality.

What Kind of Devices Does an IT Support Specialist Work With?

In general, IT specialists work with just about every device out there. This includes devices like desktop computers (both Mac and Windows), laptop computers (both Mac and Windows), tablets, iPads, PDAs, and smartphones.

They also have to understand how to work with printers and how to handle and connect devices to the local network.

Because companies may have separate offices or distant work locations, an IT support specialist also has to be able to address and fix device errors in person or remotely.

If they can’t fix a problem from a distance, they need to be willing and flexible to travel at a moment’s notice to get devices and systems up and running again.

IT support, though it may not sound like anything special, is kind of like the backbone of any technology-based business.

What Kind of Tasks Do IT Specialists Do?

IT specialists complete a wide range of tasks during their workday. Computers can be unpredictable and difficult, so they have to be able to analyze errors and come up with the right solutions.

Here is a quick list of some of the common tasks IT specialists do.

1. Set Up

First of all, IT specialists have to install any new device. This could be anything from printers to new computers to new computer software. They will make sure all systems are functioning properly on each device and set up internet networks and get all devices connected.

If a company needs to introduce a new program, the IT specialist will also test the compatability of the new program with the current programs. After a new system is installed, an IT specialist will briefly teach other staff or users how to work with it.

2. Oversee Daily Performance

The IT specialist is in charge of how each device runs every day. That means they make sure the network is secure and that the devices are working as they should be. If someone comes across a problem with their device, the IT specialist will make minor repairs.

Occasionally, if there is a problem they cannot fix, an IT specialist must be able to refer defective hardware and software to other technicians for more tailored service.

3. Special Event Set Up

If an employee needs specific technology set up for work-related projects, an IT support specialist will set up and take down this equipment before and after the event. This could be things like presentations or training videos.

When they first set up the equipment, they will test it to make sure it is running properly. If something breaks during the event, an IT specialist might be called in to get the equipment running again. This could be very time sensitive work.

4. Make Evaluations

At certain times, IT specialists will make evaluations of software, systems, or devices. They will analyze how they are working and how they can be improved. If they see that something isn’t running as well as it should, they will create a plan to address the problems and recommend that plan to higher management.

Should the company’s technology ever start getting old or going out of date, they will also suggest appropriate updates.

5. Expand Their Education

Technology is always growing and changing, so IT specialists have to grow and change with it. This means an IT specialist will constantly expand their education.

They’ll read trade magazines, various device manuals, and attend conferences to make sure their knowledge of the industry is always maintained.

6. Inspect Equipment

When the company does order new technology, the IT support specialist will inspect all the incoming equipment. They do this to catch any damages that might have happened over delivery or any system errors with new parts.

They will also, if delivering technological equipment, double check order sheets and make sure each user is getting what they need.

7. Keep a Record

An IT support specialist will also keep a daily record of data communication transactions and any problems with devices or systems. If there were problems, they will also keep track of what they did to fix the problem.

The record will also include other, less common things like if the specialist had to set up a new program or if they had to make any new installations that day.

8. Help Users with Computer Problems

This is a large amount of the IT specialist’s work. Whenever a user is having trouble with a device or system, the IT specialist will assist them and help them resolve the problems. This could be in person or remotely.

This is why an IT specialist must have excellent communication skills. They may have to explain difficult concepts over the phone or be able to find their way around a user’s computer without actually seeing it.

9. Keeps User Information Confidential

An IT specialist will no doubt get access to many different computers, but they will never share important information, like usernames and passwords, with any other person.

IT support specialists must be trustworthy and honest so people feel comfortable working with them.

What Education and Physical Abilities Are Required of an IT Specialist?

Not every company requires IT support specialists to have a four-year college degree.

Sometimes, all you need is a high school diploma to get hired as an IT specialist. But a lot of companies also require a B.A. degree, several years of previous experience, and technical certifications.

An IT specialist also has to be able to easily lift 50 pounds. The job can require moving and setting up heavy equipment. They should also be able to squeeze into tight spaces.

For example, if a user is having trouble with a computer, the IT specialist may need to crawl under their desk to evaluate and fix the problem.

How Many Hours Do IT Support Specialists Work Each Week?

Though this is a full-time job, the hours can vary greatly from company to company.

Because companies depend so heavily on technology, an IT specialist must be available to troubleshoot devices at all hours of the day or night. A lot of IT specialists are on call during the nights or evenings, and some may frequently work after hours or over the weekend.

IT specialists also have to be prepared to travel. If a company heads out on a business trip, they may want the IT specialist to travel with them. This is especially true if the company will be making some kind of presentation.

An IT specialist’s hours are not always the same, but usually, they work an average of 40 hours a week.

How Much Do IT Support Specialists Make a Year?

Again, the money an IT specialists makes a year depends on the company and location.

IT specialists in San Francisco make more money than those in San Diego. On average, most IT specialists make about $47,000 a year.

IT Specialist: One of the Best Jobs out There

The IT specialist job is one of the most sought-after jobs in the entire world. IT specialists are the people that maximize a company’s productivity and keep them running smoothly.

An IT specialist job is, without a doubt, one of the most important technology-based jobs there is.

Are you looking for some IT support for your company? Contact us and we will point you in the right direction!

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