How to Become an

IT Support

The complete career guide to be an IT Support: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $52,430
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 12.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

IT support technicians provide support to users of certain technology systems. They may help with software or hardware installation, may provide assistance to users over the phone or through a chat or instant messaging system, or they may also make in-person visits to user locations to resolve issues.


What is an IT Support?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in IT support roles:

  • Discuss IT problems with users to gain a better understanding of the root cause of the issue
  • Walk users through resolving problems step-by-step, or make an in-person trip to troubleshoot and resolve issues
  • Use a variety of troubleshooting and communication tools to facilitate issue resolution
  • Install, troubleshoot, and repair technology and networking systems

A Day in the Life

Though IT support technicians may work for a wide variety of companies, the basic responsibilities of the role are fairly standard. For the most part, IT support technicians spend the day working through user issues with IT systems. This may be issues with personal computers, mobile phones, internet and networking systems, software, or other types of technology. At times, the solution may be as simple as telling the user to power up and down the system; other times the issue will be very complex and may require further intervention.

Some IT support technicians work solely in call centers, taking calls from users all over the country or world, and helping them resolve issues. Other technicians work for companies that provide specific technology/software products, and work with customers both in-person and remotely to resolve issues. A third kind of IT support technician works for a company or corporation and helps in-house users—other company employees—resolve issues with company technology and systems.

While some IT support technicians primarily help users resolve issues, some also install or assist with the installation of new technology systems. In some cases, IT support technicians are assigned certain accounts—particularly in business-to-business companies making large sales of software or technology—to conduct all IT support for an account, including initial installation through incremental remote and in-person troubleshooting and support as needed.

Typical Work Schedule

Most IT support positions are full-time, and occasionally overtime may be required. Because users often need help around the clock with IT issues, IT support technicians may be required to work first, second, or third shift.

Projected Job Growth

Increasing household adoption of technology and advances in technology and software systems have created an increased demand for IT support professionals in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue through the coming decade.

Typical Employers

Many different types of businesses in many different industries hire IT support professionals. Many work for IT consulting firms and call centers that handle support for a variety of clients. Many also work for companies that sell software and SaaS platforms. Others work in technology-heavy industries such as banking, healthcare, and internet/cable providers. Additionally, some IT support professionals are self-employed and provide service to selected local clients.


How To Become an IT Support

There are a variety of ways one might become qualified to work in IT support. For some people, a high school diploma is sufficient, though this path requires significant self-study of technology systems. Individuals who grew up fascinated with technology and spent a lot of time educating themselves and fixing issues for family and friends may be able to secure IT support positions with no more education than a high school diploma.

However, for jobs with major companies or corporations, a degree is usually required. Some organizations may accept a certificate, some may require applicants to hold an associate’s degree, and some may want all employees to hold bachelor’s degrees. The certificate or degree program entered is somewhat flexible as long as it provides a thorough education on information technology and systems. Common degree/certificate programs include computer science, engineering, or information systems.

Another benefit of earning a degree prior to entering the IT support career field is that it will allow greater opportunities for advancement. Many degree-holding IT support technicians move into careers as developers, systems administrators, or IT department managers after gaining experience in IT support roles.


IT Support Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$37,300

Average

$52,430

High Range

$81,260

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$18/hr

Average

$25/hr

High Range

$39/hr

How do IT Support salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, IT Support's can make an average annual salary of $52,430, or $25 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $37,300 or $18 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #361 Nationally for All Careers


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an IT Support. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among IT Supports

  • 0.8%   Doctorate
  • 8%   Masters
  • 34.2%   Bachelors
  • 17.2%   Associates
  • 28%   College
  • 11.1%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

585,900

2024 Est. Jobs

661,000

Job Growth Rate

12.8%

Est. New Jobs

75,100

How does IT Support job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 75,100 jobs for a total of 661,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 12.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #136 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most IT Supports

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Computer systems design and related services 118,700 39,500 40%
Management of companies and enterprises 30,300 1,500 2%
Elementary and secondary schools; local 28,100 1,600 2%

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