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about technical support jobs

You're incredibly tech savvy. You can diagnose technical problems and propose solutions on the spot. You're also an excellent communicator, as you must often talk people through solving issues, sometimes without seeing the situation first hand.

As a technical support professional, some of your duties may include installing and configuring computer systems, diagnosing failures, and solving problems by phone, online, or in person, although you don’t typically repair hardware. If you work at your company's IT support desk, you also monitor and maintain the computer systems and business networks your employer depends on. You may also train your colleagues on how to use your company's software or applications.

what technical support jobs entail

Most help desk and technical support jobs require you to work part time or full time in an office, although you can work in a branch of the company or in another location. You may provide internal employees or external customers with technical support, depending on the structure of your company.

help desk vs technical support

Technical support jobs often are often ranked on a scale of 1 to 3 depending on the level of skill and experience required, with level 3 being the most advanced.

Help desk jobs are typically considered a level 1 technical support job. Level 1 professionals are the first line of defense to help customers or colleagues when they expertise technical issues. Help desk typically handles reoccurring problems and other issues that can be solved easily. Level 1 technical support can also include phone technical support. Help desk jobs are often considered entry-level and may require little to no formal training, depending on your employer. Often on the job training is provided.

Level 2 and 3 jobs field more complicated issues that can't be handled by level 1 technical support or help desk. Professionals at this level are often more specialized as well. For instance, they may specialize in networks or databases.

your day to day tasks

As a technical support professional, you day to day tasks will include things such as:

  • installing and configuring computer systems and applications
  • monitoring and maintaining computer systems and networks
  • diagnosing technical issues and providing solutions
  • problem-solving over the phone, internet, or in person
  • creating procedural documentation and reporting as needed
  • supporting the roll-out of new applications
  • setting up new user accounts, including password resets
  • testing and evaluating new technology
  • providing technical support to clients, customers or colleagues

what you bring to the table

In technical support jobs, proficiency with technology is a must. Also important is a solid understanding of the business you work for and the software, programs, applications or systems you're providing support for. Some core technical proficiencies required for technical support jobs include:

  • database management including SQL and Oracle
  • operating systems like UNIX, Solaris, Windows & Mac
  • skill with wireless and mobile devices
  • excellent communication skills
  • commitment to serving customers
  • diagnostic and troubleshooting skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • ability to work under pressure

training and certifications

The technical support jobs available to you increase with a university or college degree in computer science, IT, or a related field. That said, you may find some entry-level IT support jobs require little to no technical experience.

Obtaining industry training and certifications will also increase your odds of finding a job. Depending on the industry you work in, familiarity with native software and platforms may help set you apart from other candidates. Most employers will also provide on-the-job training to ensure you're familiar with their systems and processes and able to perform your job to the best of your ability.

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