User Support Technicians

(NOC 2282)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

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 Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 140 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

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)

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$27.40

Median

$38.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$9,651

Minimum

$39,990

Median

$81,277

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

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.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,000

employed in 2016

89.8%

employed full-time

3.0%

self employed

29.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
70.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.1

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

52.9%

Halifax

14.3%

Annapolis Valley

12.1%

Northern

12.1%

Cape Breton

8.1%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

24.5%

Management, Admin & Other Support

20.0%

Computer System Design Services

10.0%

Public Administration

9.0%

Information, Culture & Recreation

7.0%

Retail Trade

What is the age of Employment?

31.6%

35-44

26.6%

45-54

17.7%

25-34

16.5%

55-64

5.1%

15-24

2.5%

65+

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

41.7%

College certificate or diploma

$61,172 median annual income
23.1%

High school

$31,828 median annual income
19.9%

Bachelor's degree

$61,087 median annual income
4.2%

Doctorate

N/A
3.7%

University certificate or diploma

$48,716 median annual income

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Computer and information sciences and support services - General/other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, General.

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

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Computer programming/programmer - General

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Computer software and media applications - Other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

Data entry/microcomputer applications - General

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

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.

Data modelling/warehousing and database administration

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Information technology

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

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

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

System administration/administrator

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

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

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

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

System, networking and LAN/WAN management/manager

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

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

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Web page, digital/multimedia and information resources design

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

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

Centre for Distance Education

222 George Street, Suite C

Sydney, NS B1P 1J3

(866) 446-5898

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Information and Communications Technology Council
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2
Tel: (613) 237-8551
Fax: (613) 230-3490

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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