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 work for 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 also work for independent technical support companies or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 140 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Relatively few user support technicians were laid off because of COVID-19. Many employees were able to work from home or in office spaces adapted to meet social distancing requirements. Some employees in this occupation were already permitted to work remotely prior to the pandemic. There has been an increase in remote hiring in Nova Scotia by major e-commerce and online contact centre companies that are headquartered in other provinces or countries. Laid-off retail and food services workers may be suitable for these positions as they have customer service experience. Some remote employers hiring in the province pay much more than the current wage in this region. This trend may apply upward pressure on wages among local employers who are now in competition with companies based in regions with higher wages.

Employment in this occupation has been relatively stable in recent years, with most opportunities occurring because of turnover. However, the growth in remote hiring may result in a notable increase in the number of user support technicians. Jobseekers are encouraged to verify the reputability of remote employers before accepting a position. Being bilingual may improve prospects for jobseekers, particularly with government positions.

The median employment income for the 69% of User Support Technicians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $46,718. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$23.08

Median

$41.03

Maximum

Annual Pay

$9,651

Minimum

$39,990

Median

$81,277

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

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 work for 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 also work for independent technical support companies or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

User support technicians:

  • Communicate with computer users experiencing difficulties to verify and document problems experienced.
  • Consult user guides, technical manuals and other documents to research and implement solutions.
  • Reproduce technical problems encountered by users.
  • Advise and train users in response to technical problems.
  • Support users through problems with business systems, network, and Internet.
  • 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 helping 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

  • 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

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

By the numbers

Quick look

1,115

employed in 2016

89.6%

employed full-time

4.1%

self employed

29.7%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
70.3%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.1

median age

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

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

self employed

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

median age

Where will I likely work?

53.2%

Halifax

14.4%

Annapolis Valley

12.2%

North Shore

12.2%

Cape Breton

8.1%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

27.1%

Professional, scientific and technical services

23.6%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

10.1%

Public administration

9.0%

Information and cultural industries

7.0%

Retail trade

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

25-34

25.0%

35-44

20.0%

45-54

16.0%

15-24

9.0%

55-64

2.0%

65+

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

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

41.9%

College Diploma

$42,466 median annual income
23.0%

High school

$31,635 median annual income
19.8%

Bachelor

$40,805 median annual income
4.1%

Master

$55,590 median annual income
3.6%

Diploma Below Bachelor

$28,051 median annual income

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

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Apprenticeship

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

Computer Installation and Repair Technology/Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to assemble, install, operate, maintain, and repair computers and related equipment. They include courses in power supplies, number systems, memory structure, buffers and registers, microprocessor design, peripheral equipment, programming, and networking.

Institutions providing this program

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Computer Programming

College or Trades Program

These programs focus on writing and implementing generic and customized programs to drive operating systems and that prepares students to apply the methods and procedures of software design and programming to software installation and maintenance. They 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

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Information Technology

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the design of technological information systems, including computing systems, as solutions to business and research data and communications support needs. They 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

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

System Administration

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to manage the computer operations and control the system configurations emanating from a specific site or network hub. They 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

Halifax, NS

Centre for Distance Education

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

System, Networking and LAN/WAN Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to oversee and regulate the computer system and performance requirements of an entire organization or network of satellite users. They 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 Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Web Page, Digital/Multimedia, and Information Resources Design

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs 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. They 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 Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Information and Communications Technology Council
Ottawa, ON
Digital Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.