Computer Specialist: Average Salary of a Computer Specialist

Published Nov 02, 2009

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Computer specialists can work as database administrators, computer support specialists or computer scientists. Educational requirements depend on the particular job; computer support specialists, for example, may need an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Specialist Applications while computer network administrators may need a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems.

Computer Specialist Career Summary

The term computer specialist is a broad term encompassing computer support specialists, computer scientists, network administrators and computer analysts. Computer specialists design, implement, test and manage computer systems. They may also solve workplace issues through the integration of computer systems and software, states the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Besides computer-related industries, computer specialist opportunities in public and private sectors include telecommunications, educational institutions, industrial facilities and agricultural trade.

Depending on the specific position and hiring organization, a degree may not be required if the individual has relevant computer experience and professional credentials. Other times, computer specialists may need a minimum of an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Specialist Applications or a related degree. Colleges suggest physics majors consider jobs as computer specialists. Computer science specialists generally work as researchers, consequently, they usually hold a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Computer Specialist Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, in 2008 the median salary for computer specialists was $75,150. Ten percent of computer specialists earned $40,660 or less annually, while the top-earning ten percent made $114,830 or more. Computer specialists earned the highest salaries in Maryland, Virginia, California, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Some of the top-paying industries included petroleum wholesale distribution, coal and petroleum mechanization, electrical equipment manufacturing, computer development and machinery manufacturing.

The BLS indicates that between 2006-2016, computer systems design and related services, including computer specialists, are expected to experience a 38% rise in employmentwith close to 500,000 new jobs created over the ten-year span. As of 2008, the highest concentration of computer specialists worked in federal executive branch positions, management, software publishing, computer design and postsecondary education.

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