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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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Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

Minneapolis: 7700 France Ave. S. Ste. 575 Minneapolis, MN 55435

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

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

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

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

Bakersfield: 3000 Ming Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93304

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

Auburn: 3600 S 344th Way 0 Auburn, WA 98001

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

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

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

Irving: 4800 Regent Blvd. Irving, TX 75063

Kansas City: 1100 Main St. Suite 118 Kansas City, MO 64105

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

Milwaukee: 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. Ste 300 Milwaukee, WI 53202

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

Houston: 11125 Equity Drive Houston, TX 77041

Louisville: 10172 Linn Station Rd. Ste. 300 Louisville, KY 40223

Fort Worth: City Center Tower II, 301 Commerce Street Suite 2000 Fort Worth, TX 76102

Memphis: 6401 Poplar Ave Suite 600 Memphis, TN 38119

Fort Washington: 1140 Virginia Dr. Fort Washington, PA 19034

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

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

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

Fresno: 7575 North Fresno St. Suite 575 Fresno, CA 93720

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

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Addison: 1221 North Swift Road Addison, IL 60101

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

Pittsburgh: 210 Sixth Ave. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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

Portland: 9755 SW Barnes Road Peterkort Center II Portland, OR 97225

Sandy: 9350 S. 150 E. Suite 420 Sandy, UT 84070

Alpharetta: 2555 Northwinds Pkwy. Alpharetta, GA 30009

Philadelphia: 1800 JFK Blvd Suite 104 Philadelphia, PA 19103

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

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

San Jose: 2160 Lundy Ave. Suite 250 San Jose, CA 95131

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

Fremont: 6600 Dumbarton Circle Fremont, CA 94555

Englewood: 6312 S. Fiddlers Green Cr. Suite 150E Englewood, CO 80111

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

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

Hollywood: 14700 Caribbean Way Hollywood, FL 33027

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

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

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

Colton: 1090 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324

Austin: 11044 Research Blvd Suite B100 Austin, TX 78759

Southfield: 26999 Central Park Blvd. Suite 125 Southfield, MI 48076

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

Lynnwood: Redstone Corporate Center, 19020 33rd Ave W, Ste Lynnwood, WA 98036

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

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

Oklahoma City: 4013 Northwest Expressway Suite 100 Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Denver: 1870 W. 122nd Ave. Denver, CO 80234

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

Columbus: 1350 Alum Creek Drive Columbus, OH 43209

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

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

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

Stockbridge: 675 Southcrest Parkway Stockbridge, GA 30281

Colorado Springs: 1175 Kelly Johnson Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80920

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

Fort Lauderdale: 600 Corporate Dr. Suite 200 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

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

Phoenix: 2149 W. Dunlap Phoenix, AZ 85021

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

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