How to Become a Support Specialist?

Are you thinking of becoming a Support Specialist or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Support Specialist, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Support Specialist job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Support Specialist

Do you want to become a support specialist or make the next move in your career? Keep reading to find out the skills and experience you'll need to become a support specialist, including the most common educational and work steps to take. You may be just starting out or looking to transition into this career. Discover job postings and transitional roles that will help you on your career journey. A career as a support specialist combines strong people skills with good problem-solving. Here are four steps to follow while you're on the path to becoming a support specialist:

Complete high school or your GED and complete IT courses to enhance your computer skills

Your first step to becoming a support specialist is to finish high school or get your GED. Take computer courses if your high school offers them. You may also get experience in IT by taking free online courses or enrolling in after-school programs. Even if you've been out of high school for a while, you can discover resources to enhance your computer skills and knowledge to help you transition into a support specialist job.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Support Specialist?

65% of people working as a Support Specialist earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Support Specialist?

  • Calculations
  • Ability to Multitask
  • Operating Systems
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Configuration
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Support Specialist in the United States.

Find computer training courses to increase your technology qualifications

Familiarize yourself with computer troubleshooting as early as possible to prepare yourself for a job as a support specialist. Finding training as a support specialist can come from a variety of avenues, including:

  • Vocational school.
  • An apprenticeship.
  • On-the-job experience.

Vocational school and apprenticeships will give you formal training. If you don't want to delay your entrance into the workforce, look for a job in IT that will teach you customer service and troubleshooting. These skills will help you make the transition to a support-specialist role.

While you do not need a four-year degree to become a support specialist, many people seeking this career find it helpful to obtain an associate's or a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Relevant schooling typically opens up higher-paying jobs and can help you move into more advanced positions.


Grow your technology experience by pursuing support specialist positions

When pursuing support specialist jobs, remember to emphasize both your computer skills and your soft skills. Hiring managers want to see that you are capable of communicating with people who may not understand IT terms or be savvy with computers.

Many support specialists work for large companies helping customers of that company. Typically these report in through a call center. As you move through your career, you may transition to a role within a company helping other employees with their IT issues. This type of role can lead to support specialist roles that focus on an organization's networks.


Move into complex IT roles where you may advance your leadership and technology skills

As you move forward with your career, you may move into roles that require you to upgrade systems and communicate with vendors to set up hardware and software that fits your employer's needs. You can also move into supervisory and team leader roles, in which you oversee other support specialists and coordinate larger troubleshooting efforts.

Support Specialist Career Path

Support Specialist

2 - 4Years of Experience
$46K - $66K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

Senior Support Specialist

2 - 4Years of Experience
$51K - $68K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

Support Specialist IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$55K - $74K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

Salary Trajectory

Support Specialist Career Path

Support Specialist I
Support Specialist
Assistant Manager of Customer Support
Senior Support Specialist
Support Specialist Manager
Support Specialist IV
Senior Manager of Customer Support
Principal Support Specialist
Deputy Director of Customer Support
Director of Customer Support
Senior Director of Customer Support
Vice President of Customer Support

Related careers in the Information Technology Industry

Interested in other Information Technology careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Support Specialist skills. Discover some of the most common Support Specialist career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Support Technician
25% skills overlap
21% transitioned to Support Technician