I gathered government data for technology "help desk" employment as
well as overall customer-service employment.
I'm guessing you want technology jobs, but in case you're looking for
a bigger picture, I've provided the information.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook
Handbook, there were 507,000 computer-support specialists in 2002
(http://bls.gov/oco/ocos268.htm). These workers "interpret problems
and provide technical support for hardware, software, and systems.
They answer telephone calls, analyze problems using automated
diagnostic programs, and resolve recurrent difficulties. Support
specialists may work either within a company that uses computer
systems or directly for a computer hardware or software vendor.
Increasingly, these specialists work for help-desk or support services
firms, where they provide computer support to clients on a contract
The BLS says this job classification is likely to grow quickly over
the next few years:
"Employment of computer support specialist is expected to increase
faster than the average for all occupations through 2012, as
organizations continue to adopt and integrate increasingly
sophisticated technology. Job growth will continue to be driven by the
continued expansion of the computer system design and related services
industry, which is projected to remain one of the fastest growing
industries in the U.S. economy, despite recent job losses. Job growth
will not be as explosive as growth during the previous decade as these
jobs are being increasingly outsourced overseas. "
Median income: $39,100.
There were 1.9 million customer-service representatives in 2002
This field is also expected to post rapid growth:
"Prospects for obtaining a job in this field are expected to be
excellent, with more job openings than jobseekers. Bilingual
jobseekers, in particular, may enjoy favorable job prospects. In
addition to many new openings occurring as businesses and
organizations expand, numerous job openings will result from the need
to replace experienced customer service representatives who transfer
to other occupations or leave the labor force. Replacement needs are
expected to be significant in this large occupation because many young
people work as customer service representatives before switching to
other jobs. This occupation is well-suited to flexible work schedules,
and many opportunities for part-time work will continue to be
available, particularly as organizations attempt to cut labor costs by
hiring more temporary workers. Employment of customer service
representatives is expected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the year 2012."
Median earnings: $26,240.