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Occupational Profile

Customer Support Analyst

Customer support analysts answer computer related questions, investigate complaints and work with others in a team environment to resolve users' software and hardware problems.

  • Avg. Salary $77,904.00
  • Avg. Wage $38.72
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 5,300
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

46%
46%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Customer Support Analyst is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
User Support Technicians
NOC code: 2282
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 Dec 14, 2016

Duties and responsibilities vary in this evolving occupation but, in general, customer support analysts:

  • respond to telephone calls from users who are experiencing computer related problems or who need assistance using a particular software application (for example, a spreadsheet, graphic, database, e-mail or word processing application)
  • apply their knowledge of computer operations, software and hardware to answer questions
  • ask questions to determine what is causing users' problems, walk users through possible solutions and diagnostic procedures, or attempt to duplicate errors on their own computers
  • identify possible causes or consult other computer experts to research the problem and develop solutions
  • explain software errors to computer programmers and recommend changes to programs
  • arrange to have defective software and hardware products replaced or repaired
  • keep their knowledge and skills up to date by communicating with other computer experts (electronically and in person), reading manuals and trade magazines and attending computer trade shows and seminars.

Depending on the employing organization, customer support analysts also may:

  • test hardware and software
  • train users on new applications
  • install and maintain hardware, software and peripheral equipment (for example, printers, scanners)
  • conduct office automation feasibility studies (for more information, see the Information Systems Consultant occupational profile).

Customer support analysts generally specialize in the types of users they assist or the types of problems they deal with.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Customer support analysts work in an office environment. They may work standard office hours or work shifts that include evening and weekend hours. Overtime may be required to meet deadlines or to identify the source of a computer problem. Customer support analysts are occasionally required to be on call.

Some travel may be required if users are scattered in various locations. Analysts who install hardware may be required to lift heavy computer components.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Customer support analysts need to be able to:

  • speak clearly and use excellent communication skills
  • think logically and analyze complex problems
  • pay attention to details and use abstract logic at the same time
  • remain patient and persistent when dealing with frustrating problems and frustrated users
  • get along with all kinds of people
  • work well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • work independently as well as in a team environment.

People in this occupation should enjoy work that involves analyzing problems and finding innovative solutions, taking a methodical approach to work that requires precision and taking responsibility for projects.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most customer support analysts have completed a post-secondary education program in computer science or a related discipline. There are a wide variety of related three year and four year degree programs, two year diploma programs and one year certificate programs offered by universities, colleges, technical institutes and private vocational schools throughout Alberta. For a list of related programs, see the Computer Network Administrator and Computer Programmer occupational profiles. After graduation, customer support analysts must continuously upgrade their knowledge to keep up with changing technology.

Before enrolling in an education or training program, prospective customer support analysts should:

  • decide what type of work they want to do (and in what industry)
  • talk to potential employers about required and preferred qualifications.

Depending on the working environment, employers may require applicants for customer support positions to have certification 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).

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 City Centre

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

Reeves College - Calgary City Centre

Reeves College - Calgary North

Reeves College - Edmonton

Reeves College - Lethbridge

Reeves College - Lloydminster

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 Dec 14, 2016

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.

Education

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Customer support analysts are employed by:

  • large organizations that have their own information technology departments
  • consulting firms that provide technical support services for other organizations.

In some organizations, customer support analysts are the first tier in a two-tier or three-tier support system. They provide initial response services and refer problems requiring greater expertise to technical support analysts.

Customer support analysts may advance to technical support analyst positions, client support analyst positions (providing on-site support for new business applications) and supervisory positions. They also may move into related occupations such as computer network administrator, systems testing technician or web technician. Those who have the required qualifications may move into computer programmer, database analyst, quality assurance analyst or web designer positions.

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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • 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 Dec 14, 2016

Salaries for customer support analysts vary depending on their qualifications and the responsibilities of their positions.

User support technicians
NOC code: 2282

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 $18.00 $47.00 $33.19 $31.25
Overall $21.15 $50.00 $38.72 $38.67
Top $23.02 $64.90 $47.48 $48.08

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing
Public Administration
Educational Services
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Business, Building and Other Support Services (aka Management, Administrative, and other Services)
Transportation and Warehousing
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Health Care & Social Assistance
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

46%
46%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

17%
17%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

1%
1%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
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 Dec 14, 2016

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) website: www.cips.ca

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

 

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Oct 01, 2009. 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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