What Does a Support Engineer Do?

If you've heard of 'support engineering' and wondered, 'supporting what, exactly?' then here's your answer. In this article, we'll define a support engineer's job, clarifying duties and responsibilities, work environment, and salary statistics. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Support engineers design computer systems that can be easily maintained and repaired. Additionally, support engineers provide ongoing assistance in keeping computer systems working and their users happy. Any large computer system, such as those found in businesses, government offices and universities, requires the services of a support engineer.

Important Facts About Support Engineers

Required Education Varies depending upon place of employment; some may only require an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate or classes
Key Skills customer focused, computer competency, critical thinking, problem solving, close listening, clear verbal and written communication
Work Environment Computer systems design and related services; educational services; information companies; administrative and support services; wholesale trade
Similar Occupations Customer service representatives; database administrators; information security analysts; computer network architects; computer programmers

Duties and Responsibilities

Depending on the employer, a support engineer's duties may vary widely. However, the majority of the workload tasked to support engineers falls into one of two categories: systems design or technical support.

Systems Design

The responsibility of a support engineer starts in putting together a computer system that can be easily maintained. From hardware to software, programming to user-friendliness, the support engineer's job is to make sure that the large computer systems and networks deployed by businesses, universities, and nuclear power plants function as they are required to. Depending on the experience of the engineer and the size of the system, a support engineer may work as part of a team to build an entire network or work on one specific element of a larger project.

Technical Support

Once a computer system is deployed, the support engineer is there to keep it running. By providing technical support to the users of the system, support engineers fix issues when they arise and mitigate problems that can't be quickly solved, to keep everything going smoothly. As the computer network expands and develops, the support engineer will also ensure that the growth is handled in a way that will lead to the fewest hassles.

Required Skills

Support engineers should generally have a background in computer science and certification in computer systems. For example, some employers expect their support engineers to hold certification as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Support engineers also need to operate computer databases and to be familiar with Web technology. Most support engineers will be fluent in computer programming and the UNIX operating system.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of support engineers in the field of information technology (IT) earn between $37,676 - $90,431 a year, as of September 2015. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projects that the employment of computer support specialists, including support engineers, will likely grow by about 12% between 2014 and 2024.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Lincoln Tech

    Lincoln Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Lincoln Tech:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Columbia
  • ECPI University

    ECPI University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at ECPI University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Delaware

    University of Delaware responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Delaware:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Universal Technical Institute

    Universal Technical Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Universal Technical Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Arizona: Avondale
    • California: Avondale, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Sacramento
    • Florida: Avondale, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Sacramento, Orlando
    • Illinois: Avondale, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Sacramento, Orlando, Lisle
    • Massachusetts: Avondale, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Sacramento, Orlando, Lisle, Norwood
    • North Carolina: Avondale, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Sacramento, Orlando, Lisle, Norwood, Mooresville
    • Pennsylvania: Avondale, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Sacramento, Orlando, Lisle, Norwood, Mooresville, Exton
    • Texas: Avondale, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Sacramento, Orlando, Lisle, Norwood, Mooresville, Exton, Houston, Irving
  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »