Software Support Engineer Job Description
Software Support Engineers serve primarily to address technical issues relating to software implementation, function and upgrades. They resolve customer complaints or problems and create product problem reports and troubleshooting documents for each issue. Software Support Engineers also work closely with development teams to identify and resolve any technical problems that might arise during the development of software. These engineers might also be involved in developing and leading training classes to educate customers about software products.
Software Support Engineers typically work for software manufacturing companies or computer retail stores. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the projected employment growth rate for all computer support specialists, such as Software Support Engineers, is 10% through 2026. Those seeking to work for computer design companies are expected to see a 20% growth rate in this area. This growth is directly related to the increasing need for support engineers as software and other computer components become more complex and the need for technical support rises.
Software Support Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
In order to meet their daily obligations, Software Support Engineers must complete a variety of tasks. We looked at several job listings for Software Support Engineers and have listed the mostly commonly mentioned job responsibilities below.
Provide Technical Support to Software Users
It is up to Software Support Engineers to field calls from consumers who are experiencing technical issues with software products. They assist customers in troubleshooting problems, diagnose issues with software installation and application, identify sources of the problem and offer solutions.
Assist with Software Design and Development
Software Support Engineers can be involved in the creation of new software and work closely with software engineers and development teams to identify and resolve potential issues in the development stage. They analyze all aspects of the software and make suggestions throughout the development phase to help avoid issues in the final product.
Create Technical Documents and Manuals
As Software Support Engineers encounter new software issues, they typically document these issues and their solutions to help future efforts in the design and implementation of software products. They also generate technical reports focusing on customer complaints and resolutions. In addition, Software Support Engineers might make written recommendations to improve technical support tools and processes.
Software Support Engineer Skills
To succeed as a Software Support Engineer, you must demonstrate strong analytical, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills. You will also need to exercise strong communication, organizational and customer service skills. Attention to detail is also a requirement for Software Support Engineers. The ability to work in teams, as well as independently, is important in this profession. In addition to these important skills, it is imperative that Software Support Engineers are able to do the following:
- Address customer concerns and issues regarding software installation and operation.
- Document complaint reports and troubleshooting steps.
- Assist software developers to resolve technical issues during the software development process.
- Teach customers how to install and use new software products.
Software Support Engineer Tools of the Trade
To ensure success in this profession, Software Support Engineers employ the use of various tools in order to complete all job tasks. If you wish to become a Software Support Engineer, you should be knowledgeable about the following:
- Operating systems – familiarity with various operating systems, such as Linux, is important for Software Support Engineers, as they will be dealing with customers using a variety of these systems.
- Programming languages – the ability to script in a number of languages is often required for Software Support Engineers.
- Debugging tools – Software Support Engineers might use debugging programs in the software development stage or to help customers resolve issues and it is important for them to understand how to use these tools in various applications.
Software Support Engineer Education and Training
Most employers seem to prefer candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering or a related area. Voluntary vendor certifications, such as those provided in areas of programming languages, can be helpful for those seeking a career as a Software Support Engineer. For example, Microsoft and Cisco certifications might be listed by some employers seeking Software Support Engineers.
Software Support Engineer Salary
Statistics provided by the BLS show that Software Support Engineers earn a median annual wage of $49,390. Those in the 10th percentile are paid a median annual salary of $29,440 and those in the highest percentile earn $82,160. Those employed by computer design companies tend to earn the highest annual mean wage. By state, Software Support Engineers employed in the District of Columbia ($64,960), Massachusetts ($62,430) and California ($61,820) earn the highest annual mean salaries in the U.S.
Software Support Engineer Resources
It is often helpful to review blogs, professional association websites and other resources to get a clearer picture about any career you might be considering. We have offered some additional resources below that can help you gain a better understanding of what is involved in working as a Software Support Engineer.
IEEE Technical Council on Software Engineering – through conferences, workshops, online training and more, this organization provides Software Support Engineers and software developers with various tools to help them achieve professional development goals and increase their understanding of latest advancements and practices in the field.
ZenDesk Blog – this blog, offered by a leading software solutions company, provides several entries focusing on best customer service practices for software support professionals.
The Art of Software Support by Francoise Tourniaire and Richard Farrell – This book explores the building of an effective software support center and also reviews best practices and operations for software support staff.
Technical Support Essentials: Advice to Succeed in Technical Support by Andrew Sanchez and Karen Sleeth – This book offers Software Support Engineers and other technical support personnel a review of best practices and the application of theories in good work habits, customer satisfaction and more.
A Guide to Computer User Support for Help Desk and Support Specialists 6th edition by Fred Beisse – From troubleshooting practices to training methods, this book covers all aspects of being a technical support professional. Includes the latest development and support practices used in the field.
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