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Customer Support Analyst

Customer support analysts answer computer-related questions. They look into technical issues. They work as part of a team to solve users’ software, hardware, and cloud technology issues.

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) 
  • 2016 NOC: User support technicians (2282) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

User Support Technicians

2006 NOC: 2282

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 08, 2022

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

  • Help people solve computer problems over the phone and using remote administration technologies or remote virtual sessions
  • 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 and technologies, including cloud-based and on-premise examples
  • Install and maintain computer software
  • Install and maintain hardware including printers and scanners
  • Conduct studies about the productivity of office computers

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
  • Document issues and solutions, and search the knowledge base and internet for solutions
  • Educate users on the proper use of applications, cloud services, and cyber-security procedures and best practices

Customer support analysts must 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 Apr 08, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Customer support analysts work in offices and remotely from home. 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.

Their need to travel may depend on where users are based. Analysts who install hardware may need to lift heavy computer parts.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Customer support analysts need:

  • Logical thinking skills
  • Communication skills, including the ability to clearly document issues and their resolutions
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to use abstract logic
  • Patience when dealing with problems and frustrated users
  • Customer service skills
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • The ability to meet deadlines
  • The ability to work well alone or on a team

Customer support analysts should enjoy technology. They should also enjoy analyzing problems and finding creative solutions. They should enjoy taking an ordered approach to work. Their work requires precision.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

User support technicians

2011 NOC: 2282

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 98 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Feb 13, 2022 and Sep 29, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Communicate electronically and in person with computer users experiencing difficulties to determine and document problems experienced
Tasks: Consult user guides, technical manuals and other documents to research and implement solutions
Tasks: Provide advice and training to users in response to identified difficulties
Tasks: Provide business systems, network and Internet support to users in response to identified difficulties
Tasks: Collect, organize and maintain a problems and solutions log for use by other technical support analysts
Computer and Technology Knowledge: Internet
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Windows
Computer and Technology Knowledge: Desktop applications
Communicate electronically and in person with computer users experiencing difficulties to determine and document problems experienced
Consult user guides, technical manuals and other documents to research and implement solutions
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Minimum Education Varies

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 Central
Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown
Academy of Learning - Edmonton South
Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat
Academy of Learning - Red Deer
Canadian Imperial College
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 South
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West
Cypress College - Medicine Hat
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop, or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies. They do so objectively applying specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf].

To call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the ISP designation, you must register as a member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Information Systems Professional.

Additional Information

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 Apr 08, 2022

Customer support analysts work for:

  • Medium and 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 2- or 3-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:

A person with the right qualifications could become:

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2282: User support technicians occupational group, 76.5% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2282: User support technicians occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 173 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 08, 2022

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

User support technicians

2016 NOC: 2282
Average Wage
$31.57
Per Hour
Average Salary
$63,163.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2282 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.23 $38.53 $26.57 $25.80
Overall $20.87 $49.76 $31.57 $29.67
Top $28.15 $60.02 $37.58 $33.50

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
34%
34%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
14%
14%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
4%
4%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website: ab.cips.ca

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

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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