As a technical support agent, you’ll be the one providing technical assistance and training to customers over a wide range of tech issues and disciplines. In this article, we’ll help you understand this role better and hopefully give you a better idea of what will be expected of you if you take up a job in tech support.
Overlook of the role of technical support professions
Technical support professionals provide assistance to users of tech products like mobile phones, TVs, computers, and software products. These professionals are excellent communicators and know their products inside out. They might be tasked with providing support and technical advice on the implementation of new computer systems or hardware products.
Is a job in technical support right for you?
Technical support services generally attempt to help users solve specific problems with products. This means that you’ll be much more of a facilitator than a trainer. There are a plethora of companies that offer technical support for the products they sell, especially in the computer systems and communications field.
The job can be done in person, but it is most often done over the phone. You’ll need to have a LOT of patience and obviously also the ability to work well with people to ace this job. Remember that you’ll be dealing with frustrated clients and under pressure, so your communication skills should be clear and efficient. Retraining and relearning will be part of your continued career development as you stay up to date with new tech and the changes in products you offer support for.
Skills gained on the job
There’s a rapidly increasing demand for skilled professionals within the technical support sector. Some manufacturers employ their support staff in-house, but you could also find yourself working for a Managed Service Provider.
Regardless of whether you’re providing technical support for IT, communications, or the engineering sector, you’ll need a relevant qualification and aptitude for your chosen field of support. If you work in the engineering sector, for example, you might be able to pick up an NQF in Engineering Technical Support by dealing with areas like safety, engineering data and documentation, and efficient work practices. Working in the IT sector could see you gaining a foundation degree in IT and Technical Support which can boost your chances for advancing your learning in specific IT qualifications.
Job opportunities and salaries for tech support personnel
There is a growing demand for professionals who are able to support the use of technology for the consumer, be it at large or within specific industries.
Let’s take IT support as a guide. Salaries for these positions are around R357,125 per year. Obviously this figure rises depending on the sector and the nature of your work. In general, tech support professionals earn an average salary of R404,280 per year, and by the end of April 2019, there were 1,450 vacancies for these positions across South Africa.