Survey: Things Still Tight for Support Workers

December 16, 2003 ( - Customer service and technical support operations continue to be burdened with tight budgets and salaries that have been largely flat during 2003, a new survey found.

The survey by the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Help Desk Institute (HDI), found that the support industry continues to face cost-cutting pressures, staff cuts, a competitive field of vendors, and advances in self-help technologies. There was little movement this year in salaries over 2002. Those that have enjoyed small raises are still not where they were in 2001, HDI said.

Other 2003 survey findings included that:

  • comparisons to 2002 show salary cuts for all categories at all levels of company size, except for support managers in companies that have three to 10 employees, where there was no change
  • entry-level salaries averaged $26,648; managers averaged $61,149
  • 72% of entry-level workers earned between $21,000 and $35,000, consistent with HDI’s 2001 and 2002 surveys
  • half of level two workers, who have greater technical skills, earned from $36,000 to $45,000
  • half of managers earned $46,000 to $65,000
  • 42% of senior support managers earned $61,000 to $80,000, compared to 48% in 2002
  • customer-service skills continued to lead to salary increases for call screeners and level one employees
  • specific technical knowledge led the level two area as a factor for salary increases

The HDI 2003 Salary Survey is available at or by calling (800) 248-5667.