IT Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An IT Specialist, or IT Support Specialist, is in charge of setting up, managing and troubleshooting the technology systems that a business uses to maintain computer and software networks. Their duties include responding to hardware problems, updating system software and tracking the data and communications used on their network.

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IT Specialist job duties and responsibilities

IT Specialists maintain and improve the technical systems of a company to ensure all employees have the technology they need to complete their work and the organization’s important files and information remain safe and intact. IT Specialists often have the following responsibilities:

  • Review diagnostics and assess the functionality and efficiency of systems
  • Implement security measures
  • Monitor security certificates and company compliance of requirements
  • Offer technical support to company staff and troubleshoot computer problems
  • Install and update company software and hardware as needed
  • Anticipate and report the cost of replacing or updating computer items

What does an IT Specialist do?

IT Specialists can work for an information technology company that other individuals or businesses use to manage their web and software needs, or as part of an in-house IT department at a larger company to maintain internet connectivity, back up information and troubleshoot glitches and other problems. They work remotely to guide clients through the process of re-setting routers and resolving gateway issues and may also visit clients in the field to inspect, repair and replace hardware. IT Specialists also audit system behavior and monitor firewalls to protect sensitive information and uphold cybersecurity protocols.

IT Specialist skills and qualifications

An effective IT Specialist uses a variety of soft skills, technical skills and industry knowledge to provide the most effienct and comprehensive support they can. These skills include:

  • Working knowledge of relevant operating systems, software and programming
  • Excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Good organization, time management and prioritization
  • Efficient troubleshooting abilities
  • Effective communication skills, including speaking, writing and active listening
  • Great customer service and interpersonal skills

IT Specialist salary expectations

An IT Specialist makes an average of $53,020 per year. Salary may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.

IT Specialist education and training requirements

Many IT Specialist candidates have a bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline, such as computer science, information technology or computer engineering. Some IT Specialists may have a master’s degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering or information system security, which demonstrates a candidate’s advanced knowledge or specialized expertise.

Many candidates also pursue specialized training through certifications, including CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA Security). On-the-job training may be required or preferred for candidates working with proprietary equipment or unique IT needs.

IT Specialist experience requirements

Entry-level IT Specialist candidates may have gained previous experience from internships and practical learning opportunities while completing their undergraduate studies. Other candidates may have one or a few years of professional experience. Candidates with experience in specific systems or programming may be capable of more complex responsibilities. Those with experience in certain industries, like health care or finance, may already have the knowledge background to perform duties with little-to-no additional training.

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Frequently asked questions about IT Specialists

 

What is the difference between an IT Specialist and a Network Engineer?

Network Engineers and IT Specialists both work with computer and web systems, but Network Engineers specialize in creating information networks while IT Specialists work with their maintenance, upkeep and installation. Network Engineers develop customized data networks and set up user administration tools that IT Specialists then study so they can help troubleshoot any issues or bugs that occur as clients use the network. IT Specialists talk directly with network users and customers in a one-on-one environment to identify glitches and user error, while Network Engineers work with the organization or business running the network.

 

What are the characteristics of a good IT Specialist?

Good IT Specialists are highly systematic in their approach to solving problems and understand a wide range of best practices that they can use to resolve common networking and hardware issues. They have a wide knowledge base of the different symptoms of a dysfunctional network and all of their possible causes. Because they interact closely with people using computer networks, successful IT Specialists are also excellent teachers who can explain concepts and instruct a client who is unfamiliar with industry terms through the troubleshooting process. They are focused, patient and calm even during frustrating situations.

 

What should you look for on an IT Specialist resume?

An IT Specialist’s resume should have a balance of customer service experience and technical computer or networking skills. A strong candidate would have experience using a range of hardware and software, demonstrating that they have the ability to learn how to use different systems for a range of clients. Experience in PC installation and using ticketing software should also be prominent on the skills or experience section of an IT Specialist’s resume. Exceptional candidate resumes will indicate customer satisfaction rates or ticket resolution times to quantify their skill and expertise.

 

What are the daily duties of an IT Specialist?

Some IT Specialists work during standard office hours while others work on-call to answer calls 24/7. IT Specialists generally use a ticketing system to receive customer complaints and error reports. They answer calls as they come in or respond to customers, using remote access systems to diagnose and fix tech problems or identify system bugs that need to be corrected by other IT experts.

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021