The following article discusses the career path of Information Technology Specialist. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Information Technology Specialists.
Information technology specialists work with various technological products. They can be involved in any part of this, from design to repair and maintenance. Often, they are called in to support operations within the business when there are issues with hardware or software, with databases or with programs.
Information technology specialists also often line manage and train other employees. For instance, if a new software package is installed, they will train managers on how to properly use it. These specialists are also committed to lifelong learning, as information technology changes faster than most people can keep up with.
Other job duties of an information technology specialist include:
- Holding responsibility for the upkeep of computer servers, systems, and networks, including its maintenance, management, repair, security, and upgrade
- Supporting others within the organization with web applications and software packages
- Resolving hardware and software issues
- Developing and setting up new data services, including printers, computers, and telephones
- Ensuring that all information technology products are installed and maintained properly
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 198,800 computer network support specialists in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Computer systems design and related services: 18%
- Wired telecommunications carriers: 10%
- Finance and insurance: 8%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 6%
- Data processing, hosting, and related services: 4%
Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has also reported that there were 636,600 computer user support specialists in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Computer systems design and related services: 21%
- Educational services; state, local, and private: 12%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 5%
- Temporary help services: 4%
- Software publishers: 3%
How to Become
There are some information technology specialists who only have certifications in certain IT-related issues. Others have undergraduate or even graduate degrees. The employer will determine which educational standards they expect and the larger the organization, the more likely that they will expect a graduate degree. Majors include computer science, mathematics, and engineering.
Information technology specialists have varying levels of education. Computer knowledge is obviously very important, but this does not always mean a college education is required. Many start by completing some computer-related courses, perhaps holding an associate’s degree.
If someone were to find work for a software company, however, it is likely that they will need to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum. The same is true for more technical roles. Many information technology specialists have degrees in computer science, information science, or engineering, for instance. It is generally more important that these specialists keep their knowledge up to date in relation to software updates.
Different vendors, as well as a number of neutral certification providers, offer certificates that may be relevant to information technology specialists. While not generally a requirement, these certificates do validate someone’s skills and knowledge. Some companies, therefore, require their specialists to be certified in certain areas.
Information technology specialists also have many advancement opportunities available to them, including computer systems administrator, network administrator, or software developer. Others take on positions of management, and others move into sales.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective information technology specialists have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Excellent customer service skills
- Great listening skills and being able to hear even what isn’t being said
- Strong problem solving skills
- Excellent speaking skills, being able to adapt language used to the audience
- Writing skills
- Computer skills
- Technical skills
The national average salary estimate for Information Technology Specialist was $73,668. This number is estimated from over 1,237,324 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $38.37 and monthly of $6,139.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Information Technology Specialist salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $101,398 while Wyoming had the smallest quoted salary of $33,062.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Information Technology Specialist. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|US Securities and Exchange Commission Information Technology Specialist||DC||$152,612|
|NASA Information Technology Specialist||Maryland||$134,370|
|ClearedConnections Information Technology Specialist||Maryland||$130,000|
|Western Area Power Administration Information Technology Specialist||Arizona||$129,463|
|National Credit Union Administration Information Technology Specialist||Virginia||$128,012|
|Department of Energy Information Technology Specialist||DC||$127,270|
|Los Angeles County Information Technology Specialist||California||$126,700|
|Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Information Technology Specialist||DC||$126,477|
|U.S. Government Information Technology Specialist||Virginia||$124,170|
|Department of State – Agency Wide Information Technology Specialist||DC||$121,560|
|Offices, Boards and Divisions Information Technology Specialist||DC||$119,052|
|Department of Labor Information Technology Specialist||Colorado||$117,333|
|Secretary of the Navy/Assistant for Administration (DON/AA) Information Technology Specialist||Virginia||$116,902|
|Legislative Branch Information Technology Specialist||DC||$116,629|
|Federal Government Jobs Information Technology Specialist||DC||$116,318|
|Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Information Technology Specialist||DC||$116,299|
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|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Real Estate Manager||$76,119|
|Business Development Manager||$75,226|
|Health Information Management Manager||$72,216|