What Does a Technical Specialist Do?

Amy Rodriguez

A technical specialist repairs, monitors, and helps implement new computer networking systems for a business entity. Computers are the heart of many businesses, tracking clientele and inventory levels, for example. Technical specialists must keep the network running, and improve it periodically, to maintain productivity and constant computer access for employees.

A technical support specialist may train fellow employees to use their computers more efficiently.
A technical support specialist may train fellow employees to use their computers more efficiently.

The main duty of a technical specialist is maintaining the company network and database systems. Employees depend upon a specialist to access company email, customer databases, and product information. Access errors are commonly routed to the technical specialist for analysis; the worker must be able to resolve the issue rapidly to maintain productivity. In addition, incorrect customer or product information must be pinpointed and restored to prevent costly mistakes, such as quoting a customer the wrong product retail price.

Continuous advances in computer hardware and software mean that users will need new components and software upgrades periodically. As a result, the technical specialist must update the company's system regularly to prevent incompatibility between hardware and software. New hardware modules and updates or new versions of software may need to be manually installed. Customized or proprietary computer programs may also need changes or updates, requiring the specialist to revise or write new code.

One drawback to the technical specialist position is the possibility of being on call, much like a medical professional. A company many require the specialist to carry a cellular phone or pager to enable a quick response after hours in the case of an emergency. Many employers are international companies, demanding constant computer access for workers across the globe. The specialist may need to repair a key component late at night, allowing international workers to remain productive.

Companies with ample growth potential may call on the technical specialist to help design and choose new equipment or software. Supervisors may rely on the specialist's expertise in comparing various machines and systems. Many times, the specialist will be the main computer installer, once the new system is chosen and delivered to the company. It is important that the specialist be able to customize system software to enhance productivity.

When hiring a technical specialist, employers may only require candidates to have completed a few computer courses and have some work experience. Larger companies tend to request that a new hire hold a degree in computer engineering or computer science, as well as have significant hands-on experience. Additionally, experience with multiple computer operating systems and software packages helps in the hiring process.

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