what is an IT support?

As an IT support technician or officer, you install and configure computer systems. You use your knowledge of information technology to diagnose software and hardware faults to solve technical and application problems. You solve the issues in person if your job is to monitor internal computer systems or over the phone when dealing with external clients.

Some IT support specialists are tasked with providing instructions to customers on using business-specific software. You help clients understand the functionality of various applications. That means you assist with the installation or upgrades of the software applications. You also answer questions related to the programmes, like re-establishing internet connections or diagnosing issues in household IT products like Wi-Fi routers.

where does an IT support work?

IT support professionals work in-house, providing support to a particular company. That involves handling internal IT support issues for the company and its clients. Some IT support professionals work for consultancy companies or call centres and address IT issues on behalf of various companies.

As an IT support technician, you work in various business sectors. Most IT support workers work for technology companies and customer service businesses. You can also find job opportunities in banks and public sector organisations like local authorities and the NHS.

Would working as an IT support suit your ability to interact confidently with customers? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an IT support role.

IT support jobs

average salary of an IT support

According to ONS, an IT support in the United Kingdom earns an average compensation package of £27,500 per year. When you are a newly trained IT support officer, you make £24,000 annually. An experienced professional takes home over £37,505 yearly.

what factors affect the salary of an IT support?

As an IT support, your compensation package depends on various factors. While most employers don't demand formal educational qualifications, having some IT support-related certifications improves your earnings. Additional qualifications strengthen your knowledge of information technology, and you can negotiate a higher salary.

Newly trained IT support workers have minimal experience, which lowers their salary expectations. As your experience and knowledge in IT improve, you receive a higher salary. Your area of expertise also influences your earnings. When you work on complex IT support specialisations like computer networks or computer systems installation, you earn more than those providing phone support.

The hours you work also affect your earnings. IT support jobs are available in part-time and full-time roles. Your hourly rates are lower when you work part-time than IT support workers working full-time.

smiling female IT support
smiling female IT support

types of IT support

Some areas of specialisation for IT support officers include:

  • 1st line it support: as a 1st line IT support, you are the first point of contact for users with IT issues. You rely on your extensive knowledge of information technology to resolve issues promptly. You also provide support on network issues by phone or via the internet.
  • 2nd line it support: when a 1st line IT support cannot handle a technical issue, they escalate it to the 2nd line IT support. A 2nd line IT support uses their in-depth knowledge of a company's products to deal with customers' problems.
  • 3rd line it support: as a 3rd line IT support, you diagnose and solve complex IT issues that a 1st and 2nd line support officer cannot fix. The role requires specialist knowledge in IT support.

working as an IT support

IT support involves assisting users with installing and troubleshooting computer systems and network connectivity issues. Read on for details on IT support specialists' duties, work environments and schedules.


education and skills

The following educational qualifications improve your career as an IT support:

  • degree courses: a degree isn't mandatory for the role, but having a higher national diploma or foundation degree improves your employability. To become an IT support professional, complete courses like computer networking, computer science, information technology or business information technology. The courses give you expert knowledge of the installation and maintenance of computer systems. Exploring certifications in Linux, Microsoft and Cisco technologies is also useful.
  • work experience: gaining practical experience is beneficial for your career progression. Find internships and summer placements to improve your knowledge and expertise in computer systems and networks. On-the-job training also helps you improve your skills and learn the procedures to provide support within the company.

skills and competencies

The following soft skills improve your career as an IT support:

  • communication and listening skills: as an IT support, you assist co-workers and end users with troubleshooting. Communication skills help you communicate using simple words to explain technical terms. Listening skills help you understand a user's problems and provide expert advice. You also require good phone etiquette since your job relies on telephone communications.
  • attention to detail: providing customer IT support means explaining things in small steps. Installations also follow a specific procedure to ensure the computer systems perform the expected functions. Being attentive to details helps you in diagnosing and resolving various problems.
  • time management: as an IT support, you handle various network problems and computer system installation within a short time frame. You require time management skills to avoid wasting time on a solution before trying an alternative. Allocating a specific time for resolving each problem reduces downtime during maintenance.
male IT support
male IT support


FAQs about working as an IT support

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