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Customer Support Analyst

Customer support analysts answer computer-related questions. They also look into complaints. They work as part of a team to solve users’ software and hardware problems.

  • Avg. Salary $68,632.00
  • Avg. Wage $33.65
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 7,700
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Client Support Analyst, Computer Specialist, Customer Service Representative, Help Desk Support Analyst, Information Clerk, Information Technology Specialist, Network Support Specialist, Technical Support Analyst

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: User Support Technicians (2282) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: User Support Technicians (C182) 
  • 2011 NOC: User support technicians (2282) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

26%
26%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Customer Support Analyst is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
User Support Technicians
METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information from user guides, technical manuals and other documents to research and implement solutions; and in collecting, organizing and maintaining problems and solution logs for use by other technical support analysts

SOCIAL

Interest in assisting computer users by assessing and responding to their technical difficulties; may supervise other technical support workers

objective

Interest in precision working to provide first-line technical support and advice to computer users

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Jun 11, 2018

This job is growing and changing with technology. Duties vary but, in general, customer support analysts:

  • help people solve computer problems over the phone
  • help people use spreadsheets, graphics, databases and other apps
  • walk people through possible solutions
  • explain software errors to programmers
  • recommend changes to apps
  • arrange to have flawed computer products fixed.

They also may:

  • test hardware and software
  • train people to use new apps
  • install and maintain computer software
  • install and maintain hardware (including printers and scanners)
  • run studies about the usefulness of computers in the office.

Solving users’ problems is a big part of the job. To solve problems, they:

  • ask questions
  • talk with other experts
  • use their knowledge of computers
  • try to duplicate errors on their own computers.

Customer support analysts must also keep their knowledge and skills up to date. To do so, they work with other experts, read manuals and trade magazines, and go to trade shows and workshops.

Customer support analysts usually specialize. They may focus on certain types of computers or software. They could also focus on certain types of problems. For more information, see the Information Systems Consultant occupational profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Jun 11, 2018

Customer support analysts work in offices. They may work standard office hours or shifts. Shifts can include evening and weekend hours. They sometimes need to be on call. They may need to work overtime to meet deadlines or solve problems.

They may need to travel depending where users are based. Analysts who install hardware may need to lift heavy computer parts.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jun 11, 2018

Customer support analysts need to possess:

  • logical thinking skills
  • speaking skills
  • an aptitude for solving complex problems
  • the ability to pay attention to details and use abstract logic at the same time
  • patience (for dealing with frustrating problems and frustrated users)
  • people skills
  • an aptitude for working well under pressure
  • the ability to meet deadlines
  • the ability to work well alone or on a team.

Customer support analysts should enjoy analyzing problems and finding creative solutions. They should enjoy taking an ordered approach to work. Their work requires precision. They must take responsibility for projects.

Educational Requirements
Updated Jun 11, 2018

Most customer support analysts complete post-secondary education in computer science or a related field. Options include:

  • 3- and 4-year degree programs
  • 2-year diploma programs
  • 1-year certificate programs.

These programs are offered by:

  • universities
  • colleges
  • technical institutes
  • private vocational schools.

For related programs, see the Computer Network Administrator and Computer Programmer occupational profiles. After completing a program, they must continue taking courses to stay current.

Before enrolling in a program, people thinking about this job should:

  • decide what type of work they want to do
  • choose the industry they want to work in
  • talk to potential employers about what they are looking for.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Calgary NE

Academy of Learning - Calgary South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning - Red Deer

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West

Cypress College - Medicine Hat

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Jun 11, 2018

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies through the objective application of specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the I.S.P. designation, you must be a registered member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

What You Need

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) has defined the body of knowledge required for certification and recognizes the many different ways this standard may be achieved. Applicants must provide documented evidence for 1 of the following I.S.P. designation criteria routes: (1) Established Academic, (2) IT Industry Leader, (3) Established IT Professional, (4) Education Plus Experience, (5) Exam, (6) Professional Experience Only (applicants must have entered the field prior to 1976), or (7) Upgrade from Candidate Status. For official, detailed information, visit the CIPS website, CIPS Alberta website or contact CIPS Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Information systems professionals who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered professionals in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta
PO Box 21085
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6R 2V4
Phone Number: 780-431-9311
Toll-free phone number: 1-844-431-9311
Fax number: 780-413-0076
E-mail: alberta@cips.ca
Website: ab.cips.ca

H5

Depending on the job, employers may require applicants to be certified in areas such as:

  • MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician)
  • CompTIA A+ (PC Hardware/Software Support Technician)
  • CompTIA Network + (vendor neutral introductory networking certification)
  • MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional).
Employment & Advancement
Updated Jun 11, 2018

Customer support analysts work for:

  • large companies with IT departments
  • consulting firms that provide technical support to other companies.

In some places, customer support analysts are the first tier in a two- or three-tier support system. They provide the first response to customers. They send problems that need greater expertise to technical support analysts.

Customer support analysts may advance to positions such as:

  • technical support analyst
  • client support analyst
  • onsite support for new business apps
  • management roles.

They may move into related positions, such as:

  • computer network administrator
  • systems testing technician
  • web technician.

A person with the right qualifications could become:

  • a computer programmer
  • a database analyst
  • a quality assurance analyst
  • a web designer.

Customer support analysts are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2282: User support technicians. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Jun 11, 2018

Salaries for customer support analysts depend on their qualifications and responsibilities.

User support technicians

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.83 $50.20 $28.41 $26.44
Overall $23.08 $55.67 $33.65 $30.62
Top $25.50 $67.31 $38.73 $36.06

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Manufacturing
Oil & Gas Extraction
Construction
Public Administration
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Health Care & Social Assistance
Transportation and Warehousing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Educational Services
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

34%
34%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

26%
26%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

Vacancy Rate

3%
Related High School Subjects
  • Languages (other than English)
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
    • Information Processing
    • Networking
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Communication Technology
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Jun 11, 2018

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website: www.cipsalberta.ca

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website: www.ictc-ctic.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Jun 11, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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