Computer Support Specialists have two occupations
Standard Occupational Classification #15-1151 Computer User Support Specialists
Standard Occupational Classification #15-1152 Computer Network Support Specialists
SOC Definition for #15-1151-- Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, or via telephone or electronically. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems.
Examples of other common names in use -- Computer Customer Support Specialist, Help Desk Representative, Help Desk Specialist, Desktop Support Specialist, End-User Support Specialist, Help Desk Analyst, Help Desk Technician, PC Support Specialist.
SOC Definition for #15-1152-- Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.
Examples of other common names in use -- Network Diagnostic Support Specialist, Network Support Technician, Network Technician; excludes Network and Computer Systems Administrators #15-1142 and Computer Network Architects #15-1143.
National 2012 employment as Computer User Support Specialists was 525,630 and for Computer Network Support Specialists were 167,980 for a combined total 693,610. Both jobs were reported together as a combination in the years from 2000 to 2011. The combined category had growth of 14 thousand new jobs a year since 2000 at growth rates well above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting modest job growth of 11 thousand per year through 2020 for the combined category.
Job growth is not the only measure of new hiring. Job openings equal job growth and the number of net replacements. Net replacements are people who permanently leave an occupation for another occupation or retirement and must be replaced before there can be any job growth. Job openings for Computer User and Network Specialists have been around 26.9 per year in recent years.
The recently updated BLS Education and Training Classification assignments for network and user support specialists list some college training in computer sciences without necessarily have a degree as the entry level education minimum. However, percentages from survey data are published for the network and user support occupations showing an educational distribution where 29 percent have some college, but no degree, and almost 41 percent have an associate’s degree, or baccalaureate degree and 8 percent above the BA. Previous experience is considered unnecessary, but moderate on-the-job training is expected to be necessary for new hires.
Computer User Support Specialists
Computer User Support Specialists have at least some employment in almost every industry, but a dozen selected industries have almost 60 percent of the jobs. Computer design and related activities has almost 20 percent, 103 thousand jobs. Education, including colleges, has another 12.5 percent, a little over 65 thousand jobs. Software publishers and data processing employ 6.5 percent, or 34 thousand jobs. Management of Companies have 28 thousand jobs, combined employment services and business support services another 28 thousand, and Federal, state and local governments 23.6 thousand.
The basic wage data from the BLS occupational employment survey includes a wage distribution. Averages are not used much in wage data. A few high wages pull up the average and make it unrepresentative. Instead a distribution range of wages is published with the 10th, 25th, median, 75th, and 90th percentiles of wages. A 10th percentile wage means 10 percent working in this job have wages equal to or less than the 10th percentile wage and so on. Annual wages are converted to hourly wages by dividing annual by 2080.
The 2012 entry wage for the national market in the 10th percentile for Computer User Support Specialists is reported as $27,620 in 2012. The 25th percentile wage equals $35,790. The median wage is $46,240, the 75th percentile wage equals $60,400 and the 90th percentile wage is $77,430.
For the 103,820 Computer User Support Specialists in Computer Design and Related Services the 2012 10th percentile entry wage is $27,230. The 25th percentile wage equals $35,290. The median wage is $46,690, the 75th percentile wage equals $62,630 and the 90th percentile wage is $83,030.
Computer Network Support Specialists
Computer Network Support Specialists also have some employment in almost every industry but a dozen industries have a little over 60 percent of the jobs. Computer design and related activities has almost 21 percent, or 34.7 thousand jobs. Software publishers, communications carriers and data processing have another 13.2 percent, or 22.3 thousand jobs. Education, including colleges, employ 11 thousand; government another 11 thousand; Management of Companies 9.6 thousand jobs. About 5,000 are employed through employment agencies.
The entry wage for the national market in the 10th percentile for Computer Network Support Specialists is reported as $34,930 in 2012. The 25th percentile wage equals $44,530. The median wage is $59,090, the 75th percentile wage equals $76,450 and the 90th percentile wage is $96,850.
For the 34,700 Computer Network Support Specialists in Computer Design and Related Services the 2012 10th percentile entry wage is $34,140. The 25th percentile wage equals $44,960. The median wage is $60,050, the 75th percentile wage equals $79,890 and the 90th percentile wage is $101,170.