careers.novascotia.ca

User Support Technicians

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NOC:2282
Occupation:User Support Technicians
Category:Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

About the job

Nature of work:

Technicians in this group provide first-line technical support to computer users experiencing difficulties with computer hardware and with computer applications and communications software. They are employed by computer hardware manufacturers and retailers, software developers, in call centres and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors. Technicians in this group are also employed by independent technical support companies or they may be self-employed.

Job duties:
User support technicians perform some or all of the following duties:
  • 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.
  • Emulate or reproduce technical problems encountered by users.
  • Provide advice and training to users in response to identified difficulties.
  • Provide business systems, network and Internet support to users in response to identified difficulties.
  • Collect, organize and maintain a problems and solutions log for use by other technical support analysts.
  • Participate in the redesign of applications and other software.
  • May supervise other technical support workers in this group.
Sample job titles:
  • call centre agent - technical support
  • computer help desk supervisor
  • hardware installation technician
  • help desk technician
  • IT technician
  • software installation technician
  • systems technical support analyst
  • technical help desk agent
  • technical support supervisor
  • user support technician
Skills:

These jobs require an interest in assisting computer users along with an ability to work methodically and pay close attention to detail. You will also require an interest in learning to keep your skills current, the ability to troubleshoot and solve problems, and the communication skills required to work with computer users and other staff.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of a college program in computer science, computer programming or network administration is usually required.
  • College or other courses in computer programming or network administration are usually required.
  • Certification or training provided by software vendors may be required by some employers.
Other considerations:

Progression to computer programming, interactive media development, Web development or systems analysis is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 1,100. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. User Support Technicians most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed, which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 70% of User Support Technicians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $46,718. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
User Support Technicians1,000Moderate growth140Low
Minimum: $15.00
Median: $27.40
Maximum: $38.46
Minimum: $9,651
Median: $39,990
Maximum: $81,277
Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology25,875Strong growth3,095Low
Minimum: $17.69
Median: $31.35
Maximum: $47.18
Minimum: $13,568
Median: $60,422
Maximum: $107,009
User Support TechniciansCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
Percent employed full-time90%94%
Percent self-employed52%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentUser Support TechniciansCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern8%x12%$30,581
Northern12%$34,32916%$33,660
Cape Breton12%$20,05013%$32,974
Halifax53%$43,77047%$41,209
Annapolis Valley14%$22,81313%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeUser Support TechniciansCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
15-245%x
25-3418%14%
35-4432%33%
45-5427%32%
55-6416%18%
65+3%4%
Median Age3843
GenderUser Support TechniciansCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
Female30%20%
Male70%80%
EducationUser Support TechniciansCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school2.3%x0.7%$28,107
High school23.1%$31,82812.1%$35,125
Trades certificate3.2%$53,8406.8%$54,923
College certificate or diploma41.7%$61,17233.7%$52,476
University certificate or diploma3.7%$48,7163.7%$52,446
Bachelor's degree19.9%$61,08729.7%$58,011
University advanced certificate or diploma1.4%x2.0%$54,917
Master's degreeN/A$46,9279.7%$37,706
Doctorate4.2%x1.7%$65,565
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry0.9%x0.1%$57,566
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Information and Communications Technology Council
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2
Tel: (613) 237-8551
Fax: (613) 230-3490
info@ictc-ctic.ca 

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Computer and information sciences and support services - General/other
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, General.
See all institutions providing this program+
Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
careers@aolhrm.com
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Computer programming/programmer - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general writing and implementation of generic and customized programs to drive operating systems and that generally prepares individuals to apply the methods and procedures of software design and programming to software installation and maintenance. These programs include courses in software design, low- and high-level languages and program writing; program customization and linking; prototype testing; troubleshooting; and related aspects of operating systems and networks.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Computer software and media applications - Other
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Computer Software and Media Applications.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Data entry/microcomputer applications - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to perform basic data and text entry using standard and customized software products. These programs include courses in keyboarding skills, personal computer and work station operation, reading draft texts and raw data forms, audio and tape dictation, and various interactive software programs used for tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and others.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Data modelling/warehousing and database administration
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to design and manage the construction of databases and related software programs and applications, including the linking of individual data sets to create complex searchable databases (warehousing) and the use of analytical search tools (mining). These programs include courses in database theory, logic, and semantics; operational and warehouse modelling; dimensionality; attributes and hierarchies; data definition; technical architecture; access and security design; integration; formatting and extraction; data delivery; index design; implementation problems; planning and budgeting; and client and networking issues.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Information technology
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the design of technological information systems, including computing systems, as solutions to business and research data and communications support needs. These programs include courses in the principles of computer hardware and software components, algorithms, databases, telecommunications, user tactics, application testing, and human interface design.
See all institutions providing this program+
Success College
800 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8
(902) 865-8283
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
waterfront.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:System administration/administrator
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to manage the computer operations and control the system configurations emanating from a specific site or network hub. These programs include courses in computer hardware and software and applications; local area (LAN) and wide area (WAN) networking; principles of information systems security; disk space and traffic load monitoring; data backup; resource allocation; and setup and takedown procedures.
See all institutions providing this program+
Eastern College - Halifax
6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111
Halifax, NS B3L 0B7
(902) 423-3933
Centre for Distance Education
222 George Street, Suite C
Sydney, NS B1P 1J3
(866) 446-5898
info@cd-ed.com
DaVinci College of Art and Design NS Ltd.
1577 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7
(902) 429-1847
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:System, networking and LAN/WAN management/manager
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to oversee and regulate the computer system and performance requirements of an entire organization or network of satellite users. These programs include courses in performance balancing; redundancy; local area (LAN) and wide area (WAN) network management; system migration and upgrading; outage control; problem diagnosis and troubleshooting; and system maintenance budgeting and management.
See all institutions providing this program+
Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
careers@aolhrm.com
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Web page, digital/multimedia and information resources design
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply HTML, XML, Javascript, graphics applications, and other authoring tools to the design, editing, and publishing (launching) of documents, images, graphics, sound, and multimedia products on the World Wide Web. These programs include courses in Internet theory; web page standards and policies; elements of web page design; user interfaces; vector tools; special effects; interactive and multimedia components; search engines; navigation; morphing; e-commerce tools; and emerging web technologies.
See all institutions providing this program+
Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
careers@aolhrm.com
Centre for Distance Education
222 George Street, Suite C
Sydney, NS B1P 1J3
(866) 446-5898
info@cd-ed.com
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.