Technical Support Representative
 
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

V. Back To Career Guide Home Page

       

Skill Requirements

Intellectual - Basic

  • Good problem-solving skills and an ability to stick with things until they are working.
  • Ability to describe procedures in a step-by-step fashion.
  • Ability to solve difficult problems without getting frustrated.

Intellectual - Specialized

  • Ability to master technical products.
  • Familiarity with the product(s) being supported.
    Social
  • Desire to help others.
  • Commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills, including an ability to draw the necessary information out of a user and the ability to communicate the solution.
  • Patience in working with others who are less skilled or less knowledgeable.
  • Able to spend most of the day working with others.

Physical

  • Able to work at a computer and be on the telephone for extended periods of time.

Skill Maintenance Requirement
High. Each new product the Technical Support Representative supports requires substantial learning. Processes used for assisting customers are also likely to change over time. And computer hardware, operating systems, and networking is always changing, requiring continual training.

Remaining current is often accomplished by reading manuals, taking short courses, receiving on-the-job training, and attending conferences.

    
 

Experience Prerequisites

Prior experience with the product being supported is usually required. This experience can be gained from a training class or from your own use of the product. Most jobs also require some prior work experience that involves direct contact with customers.

Because there are so many experienced workers looking for work today, it could be difficult for someone just out of school to find a job as a Technical Support Representative, but job opportunities will become more prevalent when the economy rebounds. This makes it a good time to continue to get educated, and become more of a generalist. A computer science degree would be excellent preparation for this career.

    
 

Education/Training Required

A high school diploma or GED is required. Some employers require an AS or BS degree, but experience tends to be more important than formal education.

The next section in this career guide ("Bay Area Education/Training Resources") provides detailed information on some of the training programs available for Technical Support Representatives.

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