What Does a Technical Support Engineer Do?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

If you’re interested in providing IT support for a company’s customers and employees, being a technical support engineer may be a fitting role. Learn more about what a technical support engineer does, how to become one, the different types, and more.

[Featured Image] A technical support engineer has on headphones and works at their desk, troubleshooting customer network and tech issues.

Technical support engineers provide information technology (IT) support to an organization’s customers and employees. Some tech support engineers work internally, assisting employees with computer-system-related issues, while others are outward-focused and interact solely with customers. Many technical support engineers are part of an in-house IT department, but others may work for third-party companies that provide IT support for companies. To become a technical support engineer, read on to learn how to qualify for the role, its earning potential, the different job responsibilities, and more. 


What is a technical support engineer?

A technical support engineer provides technical support for users of an organization’s network systems and may work to maintain them through regular testing and monitoring. The goal of this role is to address technical issues reported by users and to resolve them. The process can involve a series of steps, from walking users through troubleshooting steps over the phone, in person, or via chat to generating support tickets to document the interaction. Depending on the company, technical support engineers may work with customers or employers. 

Read more: 7 IT Career Paths and How to Get Started 

Salary and job outlook

According to Glassdoor as of November 2023, the estimated total pay for a technical support engineer in the US is $80,459 per year. This figure includes an average base salary of $75,750 and $4,709 in additional pay [1]. Additional pay may represent profit-sharing, commissions, or bonuses. Remember that your education level, experience, location, industry, and employer will likely affect your earnings. In this profession, earning certifications can positively affect your salary and ability to move into higher-paying positions. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 5 percent job growth for computer support specialists from 2022 to 2032. It estimates roughly 66,500 computer support specialist jobs will be available yearly on average through the next decade [2]. Computer support specialists are in-demand positions as organizations seek IT professionals to provide support to employees and customers. 

Types of technical support engineers 

As a technical support engineer, you can work under various titles and specialize in certain areas of computer tech support. Depending on the engineer you are, it may impact your overall earnings, duties, and responsibilities. You might need a different skill set and additional qualifications to work in certain areas of technical support. Some common types of technical support engineers include the following:  

  • Applications support engineer (ASE):  Focuses typically on customer-facing software applications 

  • Field support engineer: A customer-facing position that addresses and resolves technical questions about a product and related issues

  • Customer support engineer: A customer-facing position that involves troubleshooting, onboarding, and answering technical questions about a product or service 

Technical support engineer tasks and responsibilities

Tech support engineers provide IT solutions while maintaining an organization’s computer systems; this may require installing software, hardware, and network systems. These professionals must ensure the integrity of their network systems by monitoring performance and security and reporting any issues. Here are some common responsibilities of a technical support engineer: 

  • Provide technical support: Troubleshoot, diagnose, and resolve technical issues. If the technical support engineer can’t resolve the issue, the next step is to report it and pass it along to the appropriate individual or department. 

  • Monitor and maintain computer networks: Perform regular and routine maintenance of an organization’s computer networks to ensure networks are operating properly. Technical support engineers use various monitoring tools to detect, identify, and report issues before they cause problems. 

  • Install computer programs and perform system updates: Assist users in installing programs. Perform system updates and test systems to evaluate performance. Tech support engineers suggest and identify steps to improve system performance. 

  • Repair and resolve technical issues: Document the issue and interaction when a hardware or software problem is identified. A technical support engineer works to resolve reported problems as the final step in the troubleshooting process. 

Technical support engineer skills

To be a successful technical support engineer, it’s important to have both technical and workplace skills. Technical skills represent the practical aspects of your role, while workplace skills contribute to how productive you are in a work environment.

To be a technical support engineer, you’ll need a deep understanding of computer network systems and how to help people needing IT support and assistance. Here are some skills to have: 

Technical skills

  • Customer service

  • Technical support 

  • SQL

  • Linux

  • System administration 

  • Network configuration 

  • Wide area networks (WANs)

  • Local area networks (LANs)

  • Scripting languages 

  • Windows 

  • Python and other programming languages

  • Monitoring software 

  • Enterprise software and hardware 

  • Network security 

Read more: Information Technology (IT) Terms: A to Z Glossary

Workplace skills

  • Patience 

  • Positivity

  • Perseverance  

  • Communication 

  • Collaboration 

  • Troubleshooting 

  • Active listening 

  • Friendliness 

Read more: 7 In-Demand IT Skills to Boost Your Resume 

Technical support engineer career path

A technical support engineer is often considered a mid-level role, so you’ll need two to four years of relevant professional experience, according to Glassdoor. To enter this field, consider the following entry-level roles to gain experience: 

Want to advance as a technical support engineer? 

If you’re interested in furthering your career in this field, you can pursue management roles as an IT manager, IT project manager, or senior technical support engineer. Other careers to consider with experience as a technical support engineer include information security analyst, software developer, and computer systems administrator. 



Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or a related field to become a technical support engineer. According to Zippia, 62.6 percent of tech support engineers have a bachelor’s degree, 21 percent hold an associate degree, and 9 percent have earned a master’s [3]. 

Earning advanced degrees, such as a master’s degree in a related field, will likely improve your salary. Certifications are another popular avenue for improving your annual earnings in this position. 

Read more: 6 Network Certifications for Your IT Career 

Companies that hire technical support engineers

The need for technical support engineers spans several industries since many different types of organizations rely on IT professionals to maintain their computer network systems. Some of the top companies employing technical support engineers include [4]: 

  • Dell Technologies 

  • Verizon

  • Apple

  • Amazon

  • Oracle

  • Salesforce

  • AT&T

Getting started with Coursera

If you’re interested in becoming a technical support engineer, consider the Google IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera to build key IT skills. This five-course series is designed for beginners with no prior experience and covers topics like computer networking, debugging, end-to-end customer support, and more. 

Article sources


Glassdoor. “How much does a Technical Support Engineer make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/technical-support-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,26.htm.” Accessed November 15, 2023.

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