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Technical Support Schools

When there is a problem with a computer software, an IT network or even a monitor or phone, a call goes out to technical support. Technical support specialists offer help and advice to those who are dealing with computer problems of all kinds. Some cater to businesses and organizations, while others are available to help individuals. Since computers and networks are employed around the clock, tech support must be available at all hours of the day and night.

Technical support specializations

The type of technical support offered depends upon the problem and the person who is asking for help. Computer network support specialists are there for those who work on a network, such as in a business or organization. They are not only available when there is a problem, but work preemptively with the company to test and evaluate the network, perform maintenance on a regular basis, and help the decision-makers choose the appropriate computer systems for their needs. They are also available for troubleshooting, often at all hours.

Computer user support specialists provide help directly to the user of the computer and software. Sometimes called help-desk technicians, these tech support professionals are available to answer questions about new software, troubleshoot problems with hardware that might be hindering the software use, set up repair services, and even work on computers remotely in order to provide diagnostic help and solutions. Most of these specialists work via telephone, and can walk customers through the process of diagnosing the problem and implementing a solution.

Some technical support persons work from a central office, while other work from home on a contract basis. Some might work directly for a company that produces a particular software, network or computer system, while others work in call centers and answer general questions from a variety of users.

Technical support certifications and degrees

The education requirements for technical support personnel vary. Some jobs require applicants to have some computer knowledge, but don't require a degree. Some employers look for those who have earned at least an associate degree in a computer-related field and have relevant experience.

A bachelor's degree is typically required for those who work with large software companies. Some simply require completion of a bachelor's degree, while others specifically require a degree in computer science, computer engineering, information science or a closely related field. Those who hope to advance in the field can enhance their chances with management and business courses, as well as in-depth certifications of certain computer and software systems.

Technical support salary and career outlook

Employment of computer support specialists is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). Those who cater to compute users are expected to see employment grow by 20 percent during that time. The growth will stem from the increased use of computers, networks and various software, which are all becoming increasingly complex as the years go by.

Firms that provide cloud-computing technology are expected to lead the pack at hiring time. Another significant area of growth will be for those technical support jobs in computer systems design and related firms -- growth in this area will reach a whopping 49 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Other areas that should see higher rates of employment include those in the health care industry, as the use of information technology ramps up to accommodate the need for electronic medical records. Those who work in call centers might see much slower employment growth, as many of those jobs can be outsourced to overseas companies with lower wage rates.

However, there are still numerous states where the employment will go up in the coming years. According to Projections Central, technical support specialists in the following states will see robust growth:

  • Louisiana: 25.5 percent
  • Washington: 20.6 percent
  • Wyoming: 20.2 percent
  • Utah: 19.3 percent
  • Florida: 17.5 percent

Those who graduate from technical support schools have a choice in their career path. The BLS reports the following national median annual wages in 2013 for three areas of technical support:

  • Computer support specialists: $43,450
  • Computer user support specialists: $46,620
  • Computer network support specialists: $60,180

Those who want to work in technical support can choose to pursue certificates or associate degrees through technical schools, vocational schools, trade schools or community colleges. Those who choose to pursue a bachelor's degree can seek the education they need at colleges and universities across the country.

Sources:

Computer Network Support Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151152.htm

Computer Support Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2008/may/oes151041.htm

Computer User Support Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151151.htm

Computer Support Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm#tab-1

Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Technical Support Schools
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Chicago: Chicago, IL

Addison: 1221 North Swift Road Addison, IL 60101

North Brunswick: 630 US Highway One North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Palmdale: One 39115 Trade Center Dr. Ste. 100 Palmdale, CA 93551

Manassas: 10432 Balls Ford Road Suite 150 Manassas, VA 20109

Merrillville: 1000 East 80th Place Ste. 222 Mall Merrillville, IN 46410

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

Saint Louis: 11830 Westline Industrial Dr. Suite 550 Saint Louis, MO 63146

Oxnard: 300 E. Esplanade Dr., Suite 100, Oxnard, CA 93036

Decatur: One West Court Square Ste 100 Decatur, GA 30030

Colton: 1090 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324

Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

Anaheim: 1900 S. State College Blvd. Suite 150 Anaheim, CA 92806

San Diego: 2655 Camino Del Rio North Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92108

Morrisville: 1600 Perimeter Park Drive Suite 100 Morrisville, NC 27560

Dayton: 3610 Pentagon Blvd. Ste. 100 Dayton, OH 45431

New York: 180 Madison Ave. Suite 900 New York, NY 10016

Mesa: 1201 South Alma School Road Suite 5450 Mesa, AZ 85210

Chesapeake: 1317 Executive Blvd. Suite 100 Chesapeake, VA 23320

Independence: 6000 Lombardo Center Suite 200 Independence, OH 44131

Cherry Hill: 921 Haddonfield Road Ste. D Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Atlanta: 100 Galleria Parkway SE Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30339

Glendale: 6751 N. Sunset Blvd. Ste. 104 Glendale, AZ 85305

Gurnee: 1075 Tri-State Pkwy. Ste. 800 Gurnee, IL 60031

Alhambra: 1000 S. Fremont Ave. Alhambra, CA 91803

Paramus: 35 Plaza Professional Center 81 Rte. 4 W. Ste. 102 Paramus, NJ 07652

Cincinnati: 8800 Governor's Hill Drive Cincinnati, OH 45249

Sherman Oaks: 15301 Ventura Blvd B-100 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Jacksonville: 5200 Belfort Road Ste. 175 Jacksonville, FL 32256

Alpharetta: 2555 Northwinds Pkwy. Alpharetta, GA 30009

Charlotte: 2015 Ayrsley Town Blvd. Suite 109 Charlotte, NC 28273

Naperville: 2056 Westings Ave. Suite 40 Naperville, IL 60563

Long Beach: 3880 Kilroy Airport Way Long Beach, CA 90806

Rego Park: 99-21 Queens Blvd. Rego Park, NY 11374

San Antonio: 1919 NW Loop 410 Suite 150 San Antonio, TX 78213

Downers Grove: Highland Landmark V 3005 Highland Pkwy. Ste. 100 Downers Grove, IL 60515

Phoenix: 2149 W. Dunlap Phoenix, AZ 85021

Duluth: 3505 Koger Blvd. Suite 170 Duluth, GA 30096

Tampa: 3030 North Rocky Point Drive West Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33607

Columbus: 1350 Alum Creek Drive Columbus, OH 43209

Elgin: Randall Point 2250 Point Blvd. Suite 250 Elgin, IL 60123

Nashville: 3343 Perimeter Hill Drive Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37211

Austin: 11044 Research Blvd Suite B100 Austin, TX 78759

Stockbridge: 675 Southcrest Parkway Stockbridge, GA 30281

Tinley Park: 18624 West Creek Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

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Norfolk: 863 Glenrock Road Norfolk, VA 23502

Troy: 1522 E. Big Beaver Road Troy, MI 48083

Miami: 7955 NW 12th Street Miami, FL 33126

Corona: 4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 100 Corona, CA 92883

Torrance: 20050 South Vermont Avenue Torrance, CA 90502

San Dimas: 650 W. Cienega Avenue San Dimas, CA 91773

Newburgh: 10999 Stahl Road Newburgh, IN 47630

Dayton: 3325 Stop 8 Road Dayton, OH 45414

Durham: 3518 Westgate Dr., Ste 150 Durham, NC 27707

Salem: 2159 Apperson Drive Salem, VA 24153

Boise: 12302 West Explorer Drive Boise, ID 83713

Madison: 382 Galleria Parkway, Suite 100 Madison, MS 39110

Strongsville: 14955 Sprague Road Strongsville, OH 44136

Tallahassee: 2639 N. Monroe Street, Bldg. A, Suite 100 Tallahassee, FL 32303

Westminster: 8620 Wolff Court, Suite 100 Westminster, CO 80031

Canton: 1905 S Haggerty Rd Canton, MI 48188

Las Vegas: 2445 Fire Mesa Street - Suite 200 Las Vegas, NV 89128

Little Rock: 4520 S. University Avenue Little Rock, AR 72204

Charlotte: 4135 Southstream Blvd. Suite 200 Charlotte, NC 28217

Richardson: 2101 Waterview Parkway Richardson, TX 75080

Houston: 15621 Blue Ash Drive Houston, TX 77090

Sylmar: 12669 Encinitas Avenue Sylmar, CA 91342

Spokane: North 1050 Argonne Road Spokane, WA 99212

Omaha: 9814 M Street Omaha, NE 68127

Dearborn: 19855 W. Outer Drive, Suite L10W Dearborn, MI 48124

Hanover: 7030 Dorsey Road, Suite 100 Hanover, MD 21076

Cordova: 7260 Goodlett Farms Parkway Cordova, TN 38016

Hilliard: 3781 Park Mill Run Drive Hilliard, OH 43026

Chattanooga: 5600 Brainerd Road, Suite G-1 Chattanooga, TN 37411

Springfield: 3216 S. National Avenue Springfield, MO 65807

Wichita: One Brittany Place, Suite 100 - 2024 N. Woodlawn Wichita, KS 67208

Webster: 1001 Magnolia Ave. Webster, TX 77598

Austin: 6330 Hwy 290 E Austin, TX 78723

Johnson City: 4721 Lake Park Drive, Suite 100 Johnson City, TN 37615

Seattle: 12720 Gateway Drive Seattle, WA 98168

Overland Park: 7600 West 119th Street Suite 100 Overland Park, KS 66213

Tucson: 1455 West River Road Tucson, AZ 85704

Columbus: 4717 Hilton Corporate Drive Columbus, OH 43232

Arlington: 551 Ryan Plaza Drive Arlington, TX 76011

Tampa: 4809 Memorial Highway Tampa, FL 33634

Youngstown: 1030 North Meridian Road Youngstown, OH 44509

Carmel: 1289 City Center Drive, Suite 100 Carmel, IN 46032

San Antonio: 5700 Northwest Parkway San Antonio, TX 78249

Nashville: 2845 Elm Hill Pike Nashville, TN 37214

Phoenix: 4837 East McDowell Road Phoenix, AZ 85008

Mobile: Office Mall South - 3100 Cottage Hill Rd., Bldg. 3 Mobile, AL 36606

Maumee: 1656 Henthorne Blvd. Suite B Maumee, OH 43537

Clive: 1860 NW 118th Street, Suite 110 Clive, IA 50325

Orange: 4000 W. Metropolitan Drive Suite 100 Orange, CA 92868

San Bernardino: 670 East Carnegie Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

Greenville: Independence Corporate Park Six Independence Point Greenville, SC 29615

Albany: 13 Airline Drive Albany, NY 12205

Concord: 1140 Galaxy Way, Suite 400 Concord, CA 94520

Waco: 3700 S. Jack Kultgen Expy., Suite 100 Waco, TX 76706

Lexington: 2473 Fortune Dr. Suite 180 Lexington, KY 40509

Chantilly: 14420 Albemarle Point Place Chantilly, VA 20151

Oakland: 7901 Oakport Street, Ste. 3000 Oakland, CA 94621

Aurora: 12500 E. Iliff Avenue Aurora, CO 80014

Douglasville: 5905 Stewart Parkway Douglasville, GA 30135

Atlanta: Two Crown Center 1745 Phoenix Blvd., Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30349

Charleston: 2431 W. Aviation Avenue Charleston, SC 29406

Tulsa: 4943 South 78th East Avenue Tulsa, OK 74145

Akron: 3428 W. Market Street Akron, OH 44333

Swartz Creek: 6359 Miller Road Swartz Creek, MI 48473

DeSoto: 921 West Belt Line Road, Suite 181 DeSoto, TX 75115

Jacksonville: 7011 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 140 Jacksonville, FL 32256

Owings Mills: 11301 Red Run Boulevard Owings Mills, MD 21117

Vista: 495 La Tortuga Drive - Suite 100 Vista, CA 92081

Lake Mary: 1400 International Pkwy South Lake Mary, FL 32746

Baton Rouge: 14141 Airline Highway, Bldg 3 - Suite K Baton Rouge, LA 70817

Oklahoma City: 50 Penn Place Suite 305 Oklahoma City, OK 73118

Portland: 9500 NE Cascades Parkway Portland, OR 97220

Earth City: 3640 Corporate Trail Drive Earth City, MO 63045

Greenfield: 6300 W. Layton Avenue Greenfield, WI 53220

Oxnard: 2051 Solar Drive Oxnard, CA 93036

Arnold: 1930 Meyer Drury Drive Arnold, MO 63010

Louisville: 10509 Timberwood Circle Louisville, KY 40223

Myrtle Beach: 9654 N. Kings Highway, Ste 101 Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Rancho Cordova: 10863 Gold Center Drive Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Lathrop: 16916 South Harlan Road Lathrop, CA 95330

Columbia: 720 Gracern Road, Suite 120 Columbia, SC 29210

Clovis: 362 N. Clovis Avenue Clovis, CA 93612

Bessemer: 6270 Park South Drive Bessemer, AL 35022

Richmond: 300 Gateway Centre Parkway Richmond, VA 23235

Getzville: 2295 Millersport Highway, P.O. Box 327 Getzville, NY 14068

Merrillville: 8488 Georgia Street Merrillville, IN 46410

Henderson: 168 N Gibson Road Henderson, NV 89014

Culver City: 6101 W. Centinela Ave. - Suite 180 Culver City, CA 90230

West Palm Beach: 1756 N. Congress Avenue West Palm Beach, FL 33409

Fort Wayne: 2810 Dupont Commerce Court Fort Wayne, IN 46825

National City: 401 Mile of Cars Way, Suite 100 National City, CA 91950

Saint Paul: 2042 Wooddale Drive Saint Paul, MN 55125

Duluth: 10700 Abbotts Bridge Road Duluth, GA 30097

Liverpool: 235 Greenfield Parkway Liverpool, NY 13088

Albuquerque: 5100 Masthead Street NE Albuquerque, NM 87109

Fort Lauderdale: 3401 South University Drive Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328

Eden Prairie: 8911 Columbine Road Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Minneapolis: 6120 Earle Brown Dr., Suite 100 Minneapolis, MN 55430

Everett: 1615 75th Street SW Everett, WA 98203

Saint Rose: 140 James Drive East Saint Rose, LA 70087

Arlington Heights: 3800 N. Wilke Road, Suite 100 Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Huntington: 5183 US Route 60, Building 1, Suite 40 Huntington, WV 25705

Indianapolis: 2525 N. Shadeland Ave., Ste 103 Indianapolis, IN 46219

Orlando: 8301 Southpark Circle, Suite 100 Orlando, FL 32819

Cary: 5520 Dillard Drive, Suite 100 Cary, NC 27518

Orland Park: 11551 184th Place Orland Park, IL 60467

Warrensville Heights: 4700 Richmond Rd Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

South Bend: 17390 Dugdale Drive, Suite 100 South Bend, IN 46635

Kennesaw: 1000 Cobb Place Boulevard NW Kennesaw, GA 30144

Southfield: 26700 Lahser Road, Suite 100 Southfield, MI 48033

Oak Brook: 800 Jorie Blvd., Suite 100 Oak Brook, IL 60523

High Point: 4050 Piedmont Parkway, Suite 110 High Point, NC 27265

Murray: 920 West LeVoy Drive Murray, UT 84123

Fort Myers: 13500 Powers Court, Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL 33912

Kansas City: 9150 East 41st Terrace Kansas City, MO 64133

Knoxville: 10208 Technology Drive Knoxville, TN 37932

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