IT Support Specialist
Job title – IT Support Specialist
Job Role – The role of an IT support specialist can often be so broad that it is almost unable to be defined. Essentially it is to be responsible for some or all of the company or businesses technology systems. This can include, but not limited to, networking, hardware, software, cyber security, troubleshooting etc.
Job Description / Responsibilities
The job of an IT support specialist will normally be broken down into three levels or tiers : Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3.
Tier 1 is normally an entry level position, albeit with expectations of significant levels of experience of computer systems and qualifications, rising to Tier 3 which would be considered a much more specialized position.
Most problems / difficulties with a company’s technology system would be triaged by a Tier 1 Support Specialist, who would either be able to deal with them on their own, or would upgrade to someone more experienced.
An IT support specialist will be expected to deal with other employees of the company or business, and possibly clients of the business as well, although this will vary depending on the company or industry.
Some of the more specific responsibilities are likely to include :
- Troubleshooting technology issues relating to hardware, software, networking, Skype or Teams, VPN’s, video conferencing etc.
- Installing and maintaining software throughout the company, either remotely or directly to a desktop or laptop computer.
- Be responsible for making sure that such software is safe to install and does not compromise the system in anyway
- Set up user accounts and train employees where necessary on how to use specific areas of the network or system.
- Knowledge and experience of the main operating systems – Windows, Mac OS and Linux
- Maintain and run an efficient help desk, oversee an efficient ticketing system, deal with and respond to any difficulties the help desk system may encounter
- Monitor and be responsible for all Endpoint devices, especially employees and devices where used, known as BYOD.
All IT support specialists will be expected to have outstanding people’s skills as a key element of the job is communicating with employees and clients in such way as to
1. Communicate what the problem is, how it has been solved and how long it is likely to take (if known)
2. Be able to do so in a reassuring and non-techy manner so as not to exacerbate people’s concerns and worries about not being able to access the system or do the work that they need to be doing, and maybe under pressure to finish.
IT Support Specialist Qualifications / Experience
The two often go together. Most employers normally advertise a position with a wish list of qualifications and experience that they want, which often in reality is quite negotiable.
What is important is that for the specific areas of work that the personal applying has either the qualifications or experience needed to meet the role.
Most job adverts tend to be for Tier 1 support specialists, who are then promoted to Tier 2 or Tier 3 internally when appropriate.
Most employers like applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, although this is often not specifically necessary for the job, but it does help, especially if it is in a computer or technology related field.
Experience or certificates in a range of areas can help, such as Google IT Support Professional Certificate, experience of working with the main Windows and Mac software packages, certificates in networking capability and experience with endpoint management suites such as SCCM.
IT Support Specialist Salary / Benefits
Salary figures always come with a warning that they can vary considerably depending upon the industry, location and nature of the job.
Some companies will offer a pay range, for an IT support specialist it is normally within the range of $65,000 to $90,000.
Benefits can vary significantly from companies company and it is worth pinning any potential employer down to specific benefits that the employee might need.
This can include access to specific training that an employee knows they will need, and making sure that the company pays for it and gives them specific time provision, also paid for, that allows them to process the training packages properly.
Hours / Shift work
The contractual hours are also important as they can vary within company and Industry. It is also important to clarify whether or not over time is paid, as solving technology problems do not normally fit into specific working hours !
A technology system in any business or company operates 24/7, 365 days a year, and an IT support specialist will often be expected to be available to monitor and deal with any problems within these times.
As such some type of shift work is often needed, and an employee should be made aware of patterns of shift work, how often they are expected to work any nights or weekends, and any compensatory time off that may be made available for specific types of hours i.e nights worked.
Some jobs maybe advertised specifically for what are called un-social hours, normally late evening’s, nights and weekends in order to provide cover for employees of a business so they do not have to work said hours.
Some companies are more open to some type of remote or working than others, and will normally specify in the job advert the physical location of the job, and whether or not there is flexibility for a hybrid option.
This can sometimes be negotiable, but with this type of job, a physical location will most likely be a big part of the employment provision.
IT Support Specialist Vetting
Some type of vetting is likely, given that the role of an IT support specialist gives a person complete access to all of the company or businesses operations. The level of vetting depends on the business or industry, and the size of the business as well.
Any job or role in a government or government related agency is likely to have a much higher level of vetting than a commercial business.
It is a good idea for any candidate to be upfront at the beginning of the employment process about any issues, i.e. criminal convictions that they may have, whether or not they are relevant to the job self.